So I've seen tons and tons of articles and discussions on how to count cards, how to calculate your EV, ROR and everything else, but never really seen much on how to actually make a living from it. So I thought it might be fun to break things down, both mathematically and practically. So here it is..How to make a million dollars playing Blackjack!
So you've bought a couple books on Blackjack, learned to count cards and done a lot of chatting on the forums..that's great but how do you actually make a living playing Blackjack?? Its extremely difficult, so I thought I would try to break it down. Let's assume for argument sake you have learned to count perfectly, can keep the running count easily and can calculate true count accurately. Let's also assume you have learned and can implement the I'll 18 indices, and you've decided to become a professional blackjack player. Well, first you're going to need some money..so let's say you saved up a little. You will need both a Bankroll and some money to live.
If you're going to quit your job and commit all your time to Blackjack for a year, you need to have either estimated the amount of money you need to live for a year, plus travel expenses, or have someone that will help you pick up the slack financially. I strongly suggest preparing the numbers accurately for yourself and/or whoever you choose to walk through life with, and with the understanding that the final outcome will be worth it. So let's talk about your playing!
Let's assume a common spread of 1-10 using I'll 18 indices (Hi-Lo) playing 2D H17 or 6D S17. Good enough to beat six deck and aggressive for double deck. So we're going to start with a spread of $5 - $50..our big bet coming out at TC+5 and leaving the table at TC-2, and only playing games with a deck penetration of at least 65% (85% for 6D). These games are out there if you try hard to find them, I live in the middle of nowhere and there is a 6D S17 LS game within a few hours away that deals down to less than a deck. Playing this way will bring a win rate of around $17 an hour (or around $2 per shoe) on a 2D game, slightly less per hour on a good 6D game. Let's talk about Bankroll!
I strongly suggest keeping your Bankroll separate from everything else, so how much money do you need? I would suggest around 100 max bets, or around $5,000. Assuming perfect play, this will give you about a 99% success rate! Meaning you will have a 99% chance of doubling that money and only 1% chance of losing it all. But what if you dont have that much? Well let's check the numbers for what you do have..
$5,000 (1% risk of ruin)
$2,500 (10% risk of ruin)
$1,000 (40% risk of ruin)
So while you may not absolutely need 100 max bets, having less is a bit risky. But you can always roll the dice and see what happens!
So you take your money and hit the tables for a few months, you travel around, you get a few back offs but you dont let it stop you! You have some good days, bad days, fun times, and lonely times but after a few months of grinding it out you make some money and double your Bankroll!
That's awesome, so what now?
So at $17 an hour (or $2 per shoe) theoretically, with perfect play you should double a $5,000 Bank after about 2,500 shoes played. Now, this could happen after only 1,000 shoes or take much longer, but let's say it happened!
You now have over $10k as your Blackjack Bankroll, well I would certainly suggest a resize! It's now safe to up your bets, I would suggest to start spreading $10 - $100 (or try $5 - $100 if you think you can get away with it), this will double your hourly win rate! Again, it should take you (theoretically) another 2,500 shoes played to double that up, or around 3,000 to bring your bank from $10k up to $25k. And now your risk of ruin with a $10,000 Bankroll spreading $10 - $100 is again 1%. But what happens if after a resize you experience a big loss? All that hard work and months of winnings being lost, that sucks! Well that's why we keep our Bankroll separate, because there is a way to protect it. With a $10k Bankroll, by resizing up you have a 90% chance of doubling it up again and only a 10% chance of losing back what you have won (just your winnings, not your entire Bankroll). If you unfortunately get knocked back down to $5k, you should go back to spreading $5 - $50 and start over, doing this resets your risk back to 1%, if you continue spreading $10 - $100 with only $5k then your risk will be around 10%. If you choose to resize everytime your Bankroll is either doubled or cut in half, you can expect in the long run to double your bankroll 9 times and only have to downsize once. So it wouldn't be out of the ordinary for after a solid year of full-time play to double your Bankroll 3 or 4 times! So as an example, this is what it would look like..
$5 - $50 ($5,000)
$10 - $100 ($10,000)
$25 - $250 ($25,000)
$50 - $500 ($50,000)
$100 - $1,000 ($100,000)
So let's say after a year of full-time play you have logged around 10,000 shoes (or well over 1,000 hours), you could mathematically expect to have doubled your Bankroll 4 times, taking it from just $5,000 - to nearly $100,000! And the best part is now, every year, you can continue to play full-time and expect to make this much, if not more, every single year! You can now begin to put away a percentage of your winnings (let's say 25%) to live off of while continuing to build your Bankroll and keeping your risk astronomically low. Mathematically if you were to run a spread of $100 - $1,000, with a Bankroll of over $100,000 you would expect to rack up $1M of EV at about 25,000 shoes played. That is only a few years of full-time play!
Now I know what you're thinking by now, this is just a bunch of bullshit! Before then you will just be trespassed by every Casino in the Country and probably end up broke..but try telling that to guys like Tommy Hyland who have been doing this for decades! Guys like KC, Ryemo, Yoshi and myself who are doing this now, or Colin Jones who made millions by not only trusting the math, but inspiring others to do the same! My purpose of this post, if nothing else, is to provide an interesting read and hopefully inspire someone the way I have been inspired. Hope to hear some feedback from you guys!
A: Avoid card counting.Quote: theOmega623
How to make a million dollars playing Blackjack!
AND THEN DOUBLE THAT AMOUNT. People never seem to calculate life getting in the way. IE. your car breaks down, you get sick, you meet some chick has cost you a lot of money, you get robbed, eating Top Ramen daily to save money doesn't fare well and all the other little things that end up nickeling and diming you to death.Quote: theOmega623
If you're going to quit your job and commit all your time to Blackjack for a year, you need to have either estimated the amount of money you need to live for a year, plus travel expenses
That's the ticket. Especially if you find yourself a sugar daddy or mama in poor health.Quote: theOmega623
or have someone that will help you pick up the slack financially.
I highly recommend 21st Century Card Counter by Colin Jones. He and his wife were substitute teachers, he also waited tables and started with only a $2k BR. Even myself, my wife is a 1st grade teacher and we just had our first child..took some savings and started back playing this year. Far cry away from a million, but it sure beats making excuses on forums..
Making excuses and exaggerating ones income are about the same to me.
I'm gonna stop typing now.
how many $ millions have you made so far?
I'm thinking you've probably made at least $15 million - is that about right?
There's gotta be an easier way without getting kicked out of the casino.
I'm gonna stop typing now.
Sometimes the easiest way to double your money
Is fold it in half and stuff it back into your wallet
(Quote by Alfred E. Neumann, Mad magazine)
The reason there is little talk about BJ is twofold...... It's all been said already, and there are just WAY more lucrative opportunities in a casino. Loss rebates, free play opportunities, vulturing, must hits, scarabs, bubbles, multiplier days, etc....
No one doubts that you can beat the house at BJ counting..... It's the "millions" part that has some ears pinned back.
Welcome to the forum!