ChallengedMilly
ChallengedMilly
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March 17th, 2024 at 2:27:33 PM permalink
This is a hypothetical that's bounced around my head for years and years. Figured I'd lay it out on this forum and see what you all think of it.

Imagine you're 21 years old and luck into a $20,000-50,000 bankroll. You're decent at math and you take a couple months to train in the absolute ins and outs of blackjack card counting and importantly bankroll management. Your appearance is fairly plain and "forgettable", especially when you use a multitude of disguises. Your hair grows back fast when you cut it, you look good clean shaven or with facial hair. You're able to pull off about 6-10 decent enough accents. You have no criminal convictions for anything. You're smart, ambitious, and single without kids or major responsibilities.

Would it be theoretically possible for this person to plan out a trip around the entire globe to any countable-for-profit casino, starting with the least heat places or less likely to share info with other casino type places, build up their bankroll until they're banned from that casino then move on to the next one. Or even better as soon as their bankroll is increased by X% they move on before getting perm backed off. Thus once they complete one "circuit" they can come back to those casinos.

It seems to me that back in the day(before say 1990) this was definitely very possible to do, and likely there are some stories of people doing this very thing. Yet very few people ever did seem to do this. Even in 2024 we know there are still small blackjack teams that sort of do this, with my youtube friend Steven Bridges showing this off in modern times, but this kind of lifestyle is incredibly rare. There's also a younger black guy on youtube that shows off his card counting trips, and I believe he lives out of his car to do it.
DRich
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March 17th, 2024 at 3:05:54 PM permalink
Of course it is possible but with a small bankroll and the variance it will be challenging. Travelling is expensive so that alone will probably take a good part of your winnings. Probably best to join a team and use a shared bankroll to help with the down swings.
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.
mcallister3200
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March 17th, 2024 at 3:35:21 PM permalink
That last four sentences of paragraph two is not that helpful and just kinda movie stuff imo. Just not real world card counting today maybe other AP, generally card counting the play itself is obvious enough it’s kinda pointless for extreme physical disguises.

This would be much harder than just 5 years ago with bankroll you mentioned. Covid forced casinos to upgrade technology faster than they otherwise would’ve some places, but mostly the inflation of food/lodging would be a considerable difference between just a few years ago. Trying to do essentially all the less sweaty places first while building a bankroll rather than working most of an area at a time would likely drive time/travel expenses WAY up also. If someone’s living in their car for more than a year doing that I don’t care if they’re winning, they’re probably still a gambling addict.

Just a decade ago in Vegas you could’ve every day of the week either had a buffet for less than $1 EV on VP promos and regular $5-$8 Boyd or stations breakfast and lunch, coulda ate pretty well without cooking or any AP for $300 a month if you wanted.

Today keeping reasonable costs and risk level for a solo player with that sort of unreplenishable bankroll without rice and beans out of car lifestyle until you double it just doesn’t exist anymore IMO, I’m sure someone’s out there proving me wrong with what I’d consider unreasonable risk though.
Dieter
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March 17th, 2024 at 4:23:29 PM permalink
Casual thoughts, in no particular order.

Over the last 5 to 7 years, the "vanlife" thing has become common enough that society isn't completely put-off by the idea.

It is possible to do "honest" work, either as gigs or remote work, to supplement AP income and dilute travel expenses.

$20k seems light. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the 1990's MIT team bankrolled at $40k/player to start.

Vans aren't cheap.
May the cards fall in your favor.
DRich
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March 17th, 2024 at 5:46:34 PM permalink
Quote: Dieter

Casual thoughts, in no particular order.

Over the last 5 to 7 years, the "vanlife" thing has become common enough that society isn't completely put-off by the idea.

It is possible to do "honest" work, either as gigs or remote work, to supplement AP income and dilute travel expenses.

$20k seems light. I seem to recall reading somewhere that the 1990's MIT team bankrolled at $40k/player to start.

Vans aren't cheap.
link to original post



Van life may make sense if the majority of their play is in U.S. I can not imagine a professional card counter not taking advantage of games across the world
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.
Dieter
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March 17th, 2024 at 6:00:14 PM permalink
True enough.
Hopefully that $50k bankroll is enough to sustain international play.
May the cards fall in your favor.
jjjoooggg
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March 17th, 2024 at 9:39:59 PM permalink
Quote: Dieter

True enough.
Hopefully that $50k bankroll is enough to sustain international play.
link to original post



Maybe I'm pessimistic.

Seems like this idea has a chance of becoming an expensive vacation.
Born in Texas and lived in Texas my whole life.
ChumpChange
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March 17th, 2024 at 10:59:36 PM permalink
You get caught counting with your bet spread as the obvious tell, most card counting videos have the player removed in 5 to 120 minutes. I don't know how anybody expects to find a good shoe in that amount of time and make a profit. Find some other way to bet, like a progression or a different game.
ChallengedMilly
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March 18th, 2024 at 5:54:31 PM permalink
Quote: ChumpChange

You get caught counting with your bet spread as the obvious tell, most card counting videos have the player removed in 5 to 120 minutes. I don't know how anybody expects to find a good shoe in that amount of time and make a profit. Find some other way to bet, like a progression or a different game.
link to original post

I don't see why you'd get caught without making a profit at most venues, assuming you're following normal blackjack counting team procedures.

Putting aside rising food costs right now in america, there are still cheap ways to eat on the road especially when you have a decent vanlife setup. As Deiter points out, you can freelance in your 'career' and spend the other time hitting casinos up for as much as you can get from them before getting backoffs. Yes this would be an entire lifestyle thing for a few years, making hundreds of thousands or millions in theory before you retire. We know there are still some teams out there making a killing, but they're few and fair between so there must be some big 'issue' that isn't apparent to me other than the obvious: having a large initial bankroll is hard to create out of thin air.
ChumpChange
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March 18th, 2024 at 6:26:07 PM permalink
If you are playing unrated with no ID, you can't be cashing out more than $3K per person per night. So are you going to be able to make repeat visits to the same casino a handful of times or several dozens of times? It doesn't really pay to hit the road because the casino flyers will be beating you to the next casino on your trip. Just find some neighborhood casinos you are comfortable with and play straight.
DRich
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March 19th, 2024 at 5:26:30 AM permalink
Quote: ChallengedMilly

I don't see why you'd get caught without making a profit at most venues, assuming you're following normal blackjack counting team procedures.



I have been asked to quit playing BJ at multiple casinos while losing.
At my age, a "Life In Prison" sentence is not much of a deterrent.
Dieter
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March 19th, 2024 at 7:47:00 AM permalink
Quote: jjjoooggg

Quote: Dieter

True enough.
Hopefully that $50k bankroll is enough to sustain international play.
link to original post



Maybe I'm pessimistic.

Seems like this idea has a chance of becoming an expensive vacation.
link to original post



So many of the most popular memoirs of famous blackjack players include "being underfunded" and "a fortuitous winning streak".
May the cards fall in your favor.
Mental
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March 19th, 2024 at 12:34:34 PM permalink
Quote: ChallengedMilly

You're smart, ambitious, and single without kids or major responsibilities.
link to original post


Why aren't you in college nearing completion of a STEM degree that will soon allow you to be making $100K+ with no travel expenses and no risk of being robbed in a third-world country (or by the State Police of Oklahoma)?
This forum is more enjoyable after I learned how to use the 'Block this user' button.
SOOPOO
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March 19th, 2024 at 12:54:41 PM permalink
Friend (wealthy) bought a luxury Mercedes van and added $$$$ in ‘stuff’ to make it habitable. He goes to triathlons and other such events in it. I think I’d be ok in it for a few nights but after that I’d need a ‘real place’ with a real bathroom and a real shower and a real place to walk around.

Tell me how much $$$ you can make per day and I’ll tell you if this ‘van’ idea is feasible. You’d have to add a $ to have made it feasible for me!
TomG
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Mental
March 19th, 2024 at 9:34:54 PM permalink
probably not a good situation.

living expenses might be around $3000 per month. Maybe even more, travel can be expensive, temporary housing can be expensive. "Couple months" to practice cuts us down to $14,000 - $44,000 before we even start; and starting out might not be enough income to support those expenses. Usually the more time someone spends spreading $5 to $50 before moving to black and purple the better. In this scenario it's going to be a rush against the clock, which might not work out so good.

most players who do this have some other income source or a lot more money. Sometimes it could be a seasonal or part-time jobs, or could be other casino games like poker, slot machines, sports bets. Why force a more difficult lifestyle just to test some theoretical possibility?

team play or collaboration with other players can help a lot. Are we going to be able to do that as an unproven 21-year-old?

-----

lots of examples of people doing something similar, but with some key changes. Common difference is to start playing as a hobby while in the workforce, then slowly increase time and money invested in the card games until it takes over as a full-time vocation.
Archvaldor
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March 23rd, 2024 at 3:32:18 PM permalink
Quote: ChallengedMilly



It seems to me that back in the day(before say 1990) this was definitely very possible to do, and likely there are some stories of people doing this very thing. Yet very few people ever did seem to do this. Even in 2024 we know there are still small blackjack teams that sort of do this, with my youtube friend Steven Bridges showing this off in modern times, but this kind of lifestyle is incredibly rare. There's also a younger black guy on youtube that shows off his card counting trips, and I believe he lives out of his car to do it.
link to original post



I knew of a few people who did this in the nineties. You could find great opportunities like joker games in out of the way places.

But expenses really killed you. Even the guys who were good at this didn't really make that much.

Nowadays there aren't so many great games but the MAJOR factor is that there are a ton of opportunities online which are way better than any B&M games. Some of these are gambling-related some not but any one smart is not going to be going to physical casinos much.

You have to remember that it used to be the case that you had to have a proper job unless you were born rich enough or could hustle investor capital to start your own business. Nowadays the barriers to entry are so much lower because of online commerce.
AxelWolf
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March 23rd, 2024 at 4:50:08 PM permalink
Quote: ChallengedMilly

This is a hypothetical that's bounced around my head for years and years. Figured I'd lay it out on this forum and see what you all think of it.

Imagine you're 21 years old and luck into a $20,000-50,000 bankroll. You're decent at math and you take a couple months to train in the absolute ins and outs of blackjack card counting and importantly bankroll management. Your appearance is fairly plain and "forgettable", especially when you use a multitude of disguises. Your hair grows back fast when you cut it, you look good clean shaven or with facial hair. You're able to pull off about 6-10 decent enough accents. You have no criminal convictions for anything. You're smart, ambitious, and single without kids or major responsibilities.

Would it be theoretically possible for this person to plan out a trip around the entire globe to any countable-for-profit casino, starting with the least heat places or less likely to share info with other casino type places, build up their bankroll until they're banned from that casino then move on to the next one. Or even better as soon as their bankroll is increased by X% they move on before getting perm backed off. Thus once they complete one "circuit" they can come back to those casinos.

It seems to me that back in the day(before say 1990) this was definitely very possible to do, and likely there are some stories of people doing this very thing. Yet very few people ever did seem to do this. Even in 2024 we know there are still small blackjack teams that sort of do this, with my youtube friend Steven Bridges showing this off in modern times, but this kind of lifestyle is incredibly rare. There's also a younger black guy on youtube that shows off his card counting trips, and I believe he lives out of his car to do it.
link to original post

Travel the world with a meager bankroll and only do card counting? I won't say it isn't possible, but it's certainly not the best plan for being successful and making lots of money.

If one were to use actual Card Counting as plan D, but then they use that knowledge and skill in order to springboard themselves into much better AP opportunities, then I would say... ABSOLUTELY, HELL YES!!! Given the right skills, personality, and motivation, I believe one would do very, very well if traveling the world and starting with only 20-40k.

There are a few simple but key aspects I think that are needed to be successful, but I'll keep that to myself for now.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
ChallengedMilly
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March 25th, 2024 at 4:14:56 PM permalink
Considering card counting is one of the few ways to get banned from a casino / banned from playing bj, and it's insanely rare for an AP to get banned... isn't it pretty clear that you can make far more money(assuming you don't get caught) doing the blackjack grind than the AP grind? 40 hours AP vs 40 hours BJ cardcounting, BJ wins every time.
SOOPOO
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March 25th, 2024 at 4:44:38 PM permalink
Quote: ChallengedMilly

Considering card counting is one of the few ways to get banned from a casino / banned from playing bj, and it's insanely rare for an AP to get banned... isn't it pretty clear that you can make far more money(assuming you don't get caught) doing the blackjack grind than the AP grind? 40 hours AP vs 40 hours BJ cardcounting, BJ wins every time.
link to original post



I would think you are wrong, but really don’t know. What I do know is this is an irrelevant point. Why on earth wouldn’t you do both? It’s not like you are going to play BJ counting cards for 10 hours straight.
I know he’s long banned, but Kewlj posted about doing both at length. Makes sense to me.
mcallister3200
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March 25th, 2024 at 6:01:43 PM permalink
Flawed assumptions. Banning isn’t insanely rare, at least in most of US, and if you want to count cards at professional level for 40 hours a week and not get caught would probably mean at least 120 hours of actual work per week. 100 hours/month and 1k/year is a GOAL for some of the more ambitious card counters out there.
AxelWolf
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March 25th, 2024 at 6:27:50 PM permalink
Quote: ChallengedMilly

Considering card counting is one of the few ways to get banned from a casino / banned from playing bj, and it's insanely rare for an AP to get banned... isn't it pretty clear that you can make far more money(assuming you don't get caught) doing the blackjack grind than the AP grind? 40 hours AP vs 40 hours BJ cardcounting, BJ wins every time.
link to original post

I'm not fully understanding.

Card counting is a form of Advantage Play.
"Card Counting is one of the few ways to get banned from a casino" Because it's more easily detected than other advantage plays, It is a well-known method.

"insanely rare for an AP to get banned" I don't know how to quantify it but I don't think insanely rare would be an accurate assumption.

Furthermore, what if you are backed off, limited, or somehow can't profit due to their actions that are technically not banned?

Pound for pound, dollar for dollar, risk vs reward, given a 20-40k bankroll, Card Counting is on the bottom of the list of well-performing advantage plays.

If you have a big enough bankroll, and you can get away with big enough bets, that's a different story because now your hourly skyrockets.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
AxelWolf
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March 25th, 2024 at 6:35:54 PM permalink
Quote: mcallister3200

Flawed assumptions. Banning isn’t insanely rare, at least in most of US, and if you want to count cards at professional level for 40 hours a week and not get caught would probably mean at least 120 hours of actual work per week. 100 hours/month and 1k/year is a GOAL for some of the more ambitious card counters out there.
link to original post



I enter into evidence ZenKing, the I only play Black Jack, purist. Who for years called the Card Counters who started playing slots "BUTTON PUSHING FRAUDS"

Guess what, Zenking is also playing now? That's right, he is now officially a "BUTTON PUSHING FRAUD"

I don't care what it is, I'll play it if there's an advantage to be had and I believe it's worthwhile.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
Morstana
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March 30th, 2024 at 7:24:10 AM permalink
Today, with advanced surveillance and interconnected casino networks, pulling off such a globe-trotting feat seems more daunting, yet not entirely impossible. The rise of online opportunities and the evolution of AP strategies suggest that while blackjack and card counting remain fascinating, diversifying one's approach might yield better, less risky returns.
unJon
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March 30th, 2024 at 7:55:37 AM permalink
The generative AIs are getting better.
The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong; but that is the way to bet.
MDawg
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March 30th, 2024 at 11:23:00 AM permalink
Morstana and the other newbie CrystalMethod appear in the same thread. Is that thread legitimate or just part of a build up to promote a casino or something li' that?
I tell you it’s wonderful to be here, man. I don’t give a damn who wins or loses. It’s just wonderful to be here with you people. https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/gambling/betting-systems/33908-the-adventures-of-mdawg/
AxelWolf
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March 30th, 2024 at 12:37:07 PM permalink
Quote: unJon

The generative AIs are getting better.
link to original post



"while blackjack and card counting remain fascinating, diversifying one's approach might yield better, less risky returns."


I thought that was fairly good.
♪♪Now you swear and kick and beg us That you're not a gamblin' man Then you find you're back in Vegas With a handle in your hand♪♪ Your black cards can make you money So you hide them when you're able In the land of casinos and money You must put them on the table♪♪ You go back Jack do it again roulette wheels turinin' 'round and 'round♪♪ You go back Jack do it again♪♪
Dieter
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March 30th, 2024 at 1:14:15 PM permalink
Quote: MDawg

Morstana and the other newbie CrystalMethod appear in the same thread. Is that thread legitimate or just part of a build up to promote a casino or something li' that?
link to original post



I do not think your hypothesis is correct.

I also think you should have posted 58 seconds later, but I'll cope... somehow.

edit: this timestamp? 13:14:15. By accident!
May the cards fall in your favor.
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