I was hanging out with a guy recently that goes by the name Yoshi and he’s been a very successful card counter and we’re talking a little bit about how we got into card counting and it just got my mind going on some of the unexpected things that really led to me having success and I want to share those with you right now. So, the first thing that really helped me out when I started as a card counter is I had very low overhead, very few expenses, honestly I was just really cheap. But because I didn’t have a lot of money they need to make to get by every month, I was free to really continue to grow a bankroll.
So, for those that don’t know I started with $2,000 and within a year I had over $50,000. If I would have needed a couple thousand dollars a month to live off of there’s no way I could have grown to a fifty thousand dollar bankroll in the first year. Well, year two I made a couple hundred thousand dollars.
Year three I made another couple hundred thousand dollars. If I would have had high overhead it would have been really hard for me to leverage my investment in that way. And as I was talking with Yoshi, he said pretty much the same thing. I was amazed by how little he’s spent of the seven figures he’s made as a card counter. So, if you’re wanting to make as a card counter keep your expenses low. It’s going to be the easiest way to leverage your investment and grow it so you can make more money.
So, a second thing that I was thinking about that really helped me make it as a card counter is that I started with low expectations I started with Stanford Wong’s professional blackjack and in that book he has what he calls benchmark win rates. So with a ten thousand dollar bankroll if you find certain rules you can expect to make like sixteen dollars an hour. Then if you find better rules you might be able to make twenty dollars an hour. I started with $2,000.
So, I was thinking well I’ll never make $20.00 an hour as a card counter. But, because I had low expectations I was really happy initially to be grinding it out making five and seven dollars an hour. Well, fast forward six months and I’m making over $200 an hour as a card counter and the sky was the limit. But if I would have started out at the beginning thinking I’m gonna make a million dollars in the first year I would have been horribly disappointed to be making hundreds of dollars at the beginning. Because I had low expectations I was really content to put in the hard work to grow a bankroll and then be able to make good money.
So if you want to make it as a card counter my advice is to keep your expectations in check. Don’t expect to get rich overnight but you can make serious money as a card counter if you put in the hard work put in the time and like any investment it grows over time. The third thing that really helped me out when I started out as a card counter is I didn’t have any gambling baggage.
I hadn’t even been into a South African casino until I had practiced card counting for who knows how many hours. Now, I know people like Joe who has made upwards of seven figures and he actually was a blackjack player before. He enjoyed playing blackjack and then he turned that into being a successful card counter.
But for me it was helpful that I didn’t have a lot of you know gamblers fallacy or weird logic or bad habits or bad superstition. Or honestly, people that have a serious gambling problem the wiring in their brain changes and it’s gonna be hard to override that. So, my advice to you is do not form bad habits by gambling if you want to make it as a card counter.
Step away from casinos. Practice your skills. Walk into the casino again when you know you can walk in as an investor and not a gambler. A fourth thing that was critical to me making as a card counter is access to games. So, I was really lucky to be in Seattle at the time I was because there are so many little casinos here and then there are tribal casinos sprinkled around the area too. But all these little mom-and-pop casinos I was able to play lots of hours and really get my skills honed.
So, what does this mean for you? Well, if there’s only one casino within a five-hour drive of you, card counting might not really be worth it. The juice might not be worth the squeeze if you’re gonna have to drive that far have all the gas costs and all that stuff. And if you get backed off from the only place in five hours if you have nowhere else to play. Now, I do know professional card counters that all of their trips are traveling and flying.
So it can be done, but for me I don’t think I would have made it if I had to fly to Vegas to count cards So the fifth thing that helped me make as a card counter is that I had nothing to lose. So what do I mean by that? Well, when I got into card counting, you know, I was not making much money in another job and I also didn’t hang out in casinos at all. I never went to casinos.
so card counting for me was an opportunity to see if I could make some money outside of my job and if it didn’t work out I would have been okay. But also I wasn’t afraid of back offs. I wasn’t afraid of failing I really had nothing to fear. If you’re afraid of the back offs, if you’re afraid of losing the money, if you’re just afraid of being a failure at something it’s gonna be a lot harder to make it as a card counter then if you have nothing to lose and I’ve found that a lot of the most successful card counter I know they’re in a similar situation with me.
Where they’ve got some money, they’re willing to give it a try, if it doesn’t work out it’s okay. And because of that they’re fearless in their approach to card counting. The final thing that I had that really helped me make it as a card counter and this is actually a really big one is the right mentors. So, I read books and I read the right books.
I read professional blackjack by Stanford Wong. I read burning the tables in Las Vegas by Ian Anderson. And I knew a couple other card counters that were much more seasoned than me. I knew Ben who had been trained by we’ll call it “the big team” but one of the largest national teams and without that connection I wouldn’t have received the training I needed. There’s another guy I played with, I call him Sammy because I don’t wanna use his real name because he still plays, but Sammy had been a card counter for about a decade by the time I met him. He was much more seasoned and he really saved us from some huge mistakes we were making on our earlier team.
If I hadn’t had those mentors I know I wouldn’t have had the success I had. So for you my encouragement is find the right mentors Whether it’s through blackjack apprenticeship. Whether it’s through another network. Whatever it is, don’t try to, you know, reinvent the wheel. Learn from people who have had success with it.
Go out there crush the casinos.