Mitch8017
Mitch8017
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June 4th, 2017 at 9:28:12 PM permalink
Out of curiosity, how many professional blackjack players are there out there? I'm wondering if some of you more seasoned vets who have seen more than I have know how many people are actually out there playing full time with blackjack as essentially their only source of income. What kind of winnings do these people make? What kind of EV, ROR, and bankroll do they play under? Thank you for all response.
billryan
billryan
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June 4th, 2017 at 9:40:27 PM permalink
Almost every successful BJ player I know has a career where they are also very successful. Most play BJ part-time. I only know one person who claims to have gone from pauper to semi-rich strictly on BJ and I'm suspect of much of his story. I'm sure there are exceptions, but if someone is going to spend all their time playing in casinos, there are more profitable ways to spend your time.
It's what you do and not what you say If you're not part of the future then get out of the way
MaxPen
MaxPen
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June 4th, 2017 at 10:20:37 PM permalink
If you include counters, hole careers, shuffle trackers, side bet specialists, and all team players probably more than a thousand but less than 5000 for sure. This is just a guess.
RS
RS
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June 4th, 2017 at 11:55:38 PM permalink
# of pro BJ players -- I don't really know but I'd guess similar to MaxPen.

As far as EV, ROR, etc., not one size fits all. Some are probably grinding out $20-25/hour. Others may be playing games worth $2k+/hour.

But it's not something you just jump right in to...at least I recommend not doing that. It's best to do it part time / recreationally for a while so you can learn the game in depth with real world experience, actions of the pit bosses, personalities, etc. Then over time, you figure out what works and what doesn't....all while holding a regular job.
"should of played 'Go Fish' today ya peasant" -typoontrav
djatc
djatc
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June 5th, 2017 at 6:49:50 AM permalink
Quote: RS


But it's not something you just jump right in to...at least I recommend not doing that. It's best to do it part time / recreationally for a while so you can learn the game in depth with real world experience, actions of the pit bosses, personalities, etc. Then over time, you figure out what works and what doesn't....all while holding a regular job.



making me post this again

They asked me how well I understood theoretical physics. I said I had a theoretical degree in physics. They said welcome aboard.
Romes
Romes
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June 5th, 2017 at 7:10:29 AM permalink
As RS said, most people try it part time to do a trial run at what it would be like. I would imagine during this time spending more and more time in a casino they would also stumble upon better opportunities for much more hourly EV with much less heat. I think a better question might be how many full time AP's are there? That number would be higher.

I've come across other counters, but in my 10+ years of playing only few that had a polished pristine game. Usually they counted well but didn't understand some of the finer stuff and thought they were making $100/hour when really they were only making $15/hour... then they blamed it on bad luck instead of their understanding of the game.

I've also come across NUMEROUS counters that counted quite well (RC) but had no idea how to play the game other than that. They had no clue what deviations were, bankroll management, RoR, kelly, etc. These are the people I like to think of as movie watchers. They watch 21, learn the basic hi/low count, and don't even know how to convert to a true count but go out and count and just bet more when the RC hits double digits or something.

It depends on what you qualify as a blackjack professional. My business partner ("Bruce" on GWAE) and I played tons of hours in one year, probably about as much as a professional would, though we had our regular 9-5 jobs so we weren't BJ pros by any means. We also didn't play very high limits at the time and were doubling our hourly EV by attacking side bets... so again, not just regular counting.

I've said time and time again... regardless of "pro" or not... 1% of the population can count cards, and of that 1% only about another 1% does all of the above correctly to have a winning game. Casinos that chase counters at the lower levels ($5, $10, $25) are literally just lighting their money on fire. Agencies have done a phenomenal "scare" job on them to make them think we'll bankrupt them when in reality I think there's maybe 1,000 competent counters in the US.
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
Mitch8017
Mitch8017
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June 5th, 2017 at 7:30:24 AM permalink
For clarification, I do mean APs of all sorts in BJ, not just counters. That includes people who track shuffles, sequences aces, peek hole cards, sort edges etc. basically anyone who makes a living on BJ and out of curiosity what types of EV, ROR and Bankroll conditions they play under
Romes
Romes
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June 5th, 2017 at 7:47:31 AM permalink
Funny thing is the number will definitely go up, but not by a ton. Instead of a guess of ~2,000 regular counters, then maybe like ~3,000 overall including your above categories?

Your EV's are going to vary wildly pending situation. A regular counter will get a 1-2% advantage back in the long run. Your HC BJ player will get more like 10-12% back in the long run... etc, etc. With each of these wildly different EV's would come different Bankrolls and RoR's. With higher EV, such as hole carding, your EV might be much higher but your average bet will undoubtedly be much higher, causing higher variance and a need to have a larger bankroll. Then again going from 1-2% EV to 10-12% EV would also require a smaller bankroll due to the much higher edge =P. There's a lot more to it than being able to say "eh, what's the average of all of them?" If you want generics, and complete average, I'll take a stab at it, but you should in no way take this as some concrete numbers. Also, this is my attempt to average out the EV's for what I think each would make separately in EV per hour with average conditions:

EV = ~$500/hour
Bankroll = ~$100k
RoR < 1% (if they're serious and pro's)

Again, take those with a grain of salt... A regular good counter (pro) might have an average bet around $150, get 80 hands per hour, and have (let's round up) a 2% edge... That EV would be $240/hour (and I'm being generous). A HC BJ player would have an average bet around $300 (probably more even, but average joe), get 80 hands per hour, and have (let's round down) a 10% edge... That EV would be $2400/hour. Then add in shuffle tracking, ace sequencing, etc, etc, and you can see how the 'average' of these is pretty meaningless, especially since as you get to the higher numbers they should be weighted less due to the fact that fewer and fewer people know about them or do them correctly. If 1% of 1% counts cards correctly, then of that 1% and 1% ANOTHER 1% might do these other tactics correctly.

So then you're at the following average EV's (assuming about 3k overall APs):

$240/hour (94% of 3000) 2820 people
$500/hour (2% of 3000) 60 people
$700/hour (2% of 3000) 60 people
$2400/hour (2% of 3000) 60 people
Playing it correctly means you've already won.
Mitch8017
Mitch8017
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June 5th, 2017 at 8:30:41 AM permalink
Quote: Romes

Funny thing is the number will definitely go up, but not by a ton. Instead of a guess of ~2,000 regular counters, then maybe like ~3,000 overall including your above categories?

Your EV's are going to vary wildly pending situation. A regular counter will get a 1-2% advantage back in the long run. Your HC BJ player will get more like 10-12% back in the long run... etc, etc. With each of these wildly different EV's would come different Bankrolls and RoR's. With higher EV, such as hole carding, your EV might be much higher but your average bet will undoubtedly be much higher, causing higher variance and a need to have a larger bankroll. Then again going from 1-2% EV to 10-12% EV would also require a smaller bankroll due to the much higher edge =P. There's a lot more to it than being able to say "eh, what's the average of all of them?" If you want generics, and complete average, I'll take a stab at it, but you should in no way take this as some concrete numbers. Also, this is my attempt to average out the EV's for what I think each would make separately in EV per hour with average conditions:

EV = ~$500/hour
Bankroll = ~$100k
RoR < 1% (if they're serious and pro's)

Again, take those with a grain of salt... A regular good counter (pro) might have an average bet around $150, get 80 hands per hour, and have (let's round up) a 2% edge... That EV would be $240/hour (and I'm being generous). A HC BJ player would have an average bet around $300 (probably more even, but average joe), get 80 hands per hour, and have (let's round down) a 10% edge... That EV would be $2400/hour. Then add in shuffle tracking, ace sequencing, etc, etc, and you can see how the 'average' of these is pretty meaningless, especially since as you get to the higher numbers they should be weighted less due to the fact that fewer and fewer people know about them or do them correctly. If 1% of 1% counts cards correctly, then of that 1% and 1% ANOTHER 1% might do these other tactics correctly.

So then you're at the following average EV's (assuming about 3k overall APs):

$240/hour (94% of 3000) 2820 people
$500/hour (2% of 3000) 60 people
$700/hour (2% of 3000) 60 people
$2400/hour (2% of 3000) 60 people



Awesome. This is exactly what I was wondering. Thank you for the response.
SOOPOO
SOOPOO
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June 5th, 2017 at 8:51:11 AM permalink
Quote: Romes



So then you're at the following average EV's (assuming about 3k overall APs):

$240/hour (94% of 3000) 2820 people
$500/hour (2% of 3000) 60 people
$700/hour (2% of 3000) 60 people
$2400/hour (2% of 3000) 60 people



Those numbers seem very high to me. How many hours per week can you be playing at an EV of +$240 per hour? It only takes 10 to make $100k per year.

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