I’m not a professional blackjack player, but I know enough about the game to offer some professional blackjack player tips. This post includes answers to several questions about pro gambling.
Is It Possible to Be a Professional Blackjack Player Online?
No, it’s not possible to be a professional blackjack player online. For one thing, online casinos shuffle after every hand, so you can’t get an edge by counting cards. For another, if you’re thinking you’ll take advantage of bonus offers in order to get a mathematical edge over the Internet casino, think again. They will bar you from playing faster than you ever thought possible.
Want to play for a living? You’ll need a big bankroll, and you’ll need to be able to either travel to casinos offering good games for counters or take up residence there. Living close to such a casino might be the better option, as travel costs will eat up your profits fast.
What Kind of Salary Can You Expect?
You need to get the idea of earning a “salary” as a card counter out of your head. Even if you get an edge over the casino by counting cards, you still have to deal with volatility.
That’s what most people call “luck.” Even though blackjack has a mathematical expectation in the long run, in the short run, anything can, and will, happen.
So you can play perfect blackjack with a perfect count for 40 hours in a week and still come up with a net loss for the week.
How do you make a living playing blackjack? You start with a huge bankroll and a lot of confidence. You play within your limits.
Most card counters size their bankroll and their bets according to the Kelly Criterion, which is a theory that you should make your bet the same size as your advantage. This will theoretically maximize the growth of your bankroll while also minimizing your risk of going broke as a result of a bad streak.
For example, if you calculate that you have a 1% edge over the house with your particular counting strategy, you would need a bankroll of $10,000 to play for $100 per hand.
Your expectation is to win $1 per hand.
Assuming you can play 40 hands per hour, that’s $40 an hour, or $1600 a week, IF you play 40 hours a week.
But playing a casino game for 40 hours a week is probably a lot more work than you’d expect, and if you get tired, and your play suffers as a result, then your expectation gets smaller.
And keep in mind that with standard deviation in effect, you’ll almost assuredly have weeks where you lose as much as $3000 or $4000. You’ll also have weeks where you’ll win that much, too.
The long run is called the long run for a reason.
My Best Tips for Aspiring Blackjack Pros
My first, best tip is to play blackjack as an avocation rather than as a vocation. Casinos don’t like card counters, and it’s a high-stress way to make a living. In fact, if you’re certain you want to make your living playing cards, you’re probably a lot better off learning how to play poker, instead.
My second tip is to find a partner or two that you can trust and form your own blackjack team. Playing with a team offers a lot of advantages. For one thing, you combine your bankroll, which means you can play for higher stakes and grow your bankroll faster. For another, you’ve got people you can talk to and work with to both improve your play and stay motivated.
If you do form your own blackjack team, be sure to have a written agreement covering all of the details of your relationship. Include information about how and when the funds from the team’s bankroll will be disbursed to the team members.