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After 9 plane rides, 8 train rides, 7 hotels, 1 AirBnB rental, 8 cities, 5 countries, 5 different languages, 3 currencies, more than 60 meals in restaurants, and 26 days of traveling, we have returned home from our trip to Europe.
Our adventure began in mid-June with a full day inwhere we hiked between the villages of Monterosso and Vernazza, ate pizza and local pesto, and sunbathed on the beach.
We loved the peach, butter yellow and sunkissed pink colors that made up the landscape of this iconic beach town.
From Cinque Terre, we took a train to a small village outside of Venice called to attend.
The meal at the event lasted four hours, not including appetizers, fruit or dessert, and the wedding itself lasted nearly 12 hours, going into the wee hours of the morning.
The best hotel and coffee on our trip was found here.
We stayed at and progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace the most incredible customer service we had ever experienced, along with divine Italian coffee.
Our final stop in Italy was.
We took a cooking class, sunbathed, drank a lot of wine and toured the lake and a village by Ferry.
One of the highlights of our trip was the first day we spent in Switzerland where we took the train from the alpine city of St.
Moritz to the ski town of.
We wove our way around mountains, through tunnels and across expansive landscapes dotted with brown and white Swiss mountain homes until we ended at the foot of the Matterhorn in Zermatt.
My favorite city of our entire trip was Zermatt.
Alex and I adore being in the mountains and I loved the small-town feel of the mountain town, as well as being able to look up and stare at a mountain peak as majestic as the Matterhorn.
We had an incredible time hiking, taking in the scenery and eating fondue, which was our favorite meal on our trip.
The meat fondue {pictured below} is from and we also had a phenomenal cheese fondue from.
The customer service in Switzerland and Italy was by far the best in our trip.
We were so impressed with the level of care and consideration that every person we encountered in the service industry in Italy and Switzerland had.
The hotel we stayed in {} was great too!
{my little slice of paradise} The third country in our trip was Spain.
We split a week between the bustling, cosmopolitan city of Barcelona and the quiet beach town of Alicante.
Our two favorite restaurants in Barcelona were and.
{overlooking the Priorat wine region} We were able to relax and work on our tans as we laid out on the Postiguet Beach in the coastal town of.
By this point in our trip we were beyond tired of any type of ham, jamon or prosciutto and were really looking forward to a new type of cuisine.
Even so, we had two exceptional meals at andwhere we dined with some new friends, Jose Luis and Conchita.
Enterthe fourth of five countries on our trip.
It was a big change going from Spain to London, not just because of the language difference, but the architecture and overall feel of the city drastically changed here.
We had the most idea of what to expect in London since there are so many iconic photos depicting the cityscape.
It was really fun to visit places like Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abby, ride the London Eye, as well as see the bright red double-decker buses and telephone booths.
{view from the London Eye} Other than simply walking the streets, the best parts of our trip in London were seeing the Tour de France come through and eating Indian food at.
We both loved how quaint the town of 700,000 people was.
Both of us adored the architecture and structure of the city, where it was situated alongside semi-circle canals.
The people were very friendly and we really enjoyed the food.
We are really looking forward to being able to return to Europe again one day.
As Rick Steves says, plan to be back!
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The sixth stop on our Europe trip was Alicante, Spain, a small city on the Costa Blanca {located on the Eastern coast of Spain right on the Mediterranean Sea}.
We chose to go to Alicante for two reasons: the beach and to re-visit the location where I studied abroad in 2006.
The first bit of excitement in our Alicante trip was our taxi ride from the airport.
The driver was very quiet and then halfway into our ride he decided to turn on some music.
Not just any music, mind you.
It was all in English and their lyrics are notoriously vulgar.
Alex and I https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/super-blackjack-5-8.html a good sense of humor and were sitting in the backseat holding our breath trying not to burst into a fit of laughter.
We were curious if the taxi driver had any idea what the lyrics were saying.
Our first day in Alicante was a bit silly.
I thought I had made it perfectly clear to anyone who Read article discussed my study abroad trip with that my priorities for my summer abroad were as follows: go to the beach, go to the beach, go to the beach and go to the bar.
My priorities had only slightly changed for this trip and included going to the beach, going to the beach, drinking sangria and wine and eating good food.
He was also surprised that the city I lived in is not the nicest city in Spain.
Alicante has seen better times and has been hit pretty bad with the recent recession in Spain.
There are certainly very cute parts of Alicante, which we explored, but there are a lot of areas in shambles, too.
What Alicante does have going for it, though is its beach.
This was our first stop after checking into the hotel.
We postponed unpacking so we could set up shop on the Postiguet Beach, a good 10 minute walk from our hotel.
The beach was everything I remembered it to be.
Crowded, sunny and gorgeous.
The water was so clear.
I had forgotten how beautiful it was to simply look out at the sea.
The shallow water glistened a lovely turquoise color while the deep water was a mystical blue.
It was so inviting!
{the weather for our beach trip was absolutely perfect!
} Most of our time in Alicante was spent laying out on the beach.
And then he read another one called Sound Investing or something thrilling like that.
Opposites do attract… Really, though, the stop in Alicante was like a vacation from our vacation.
We loved having a few days to simply do nothing and recover from being on the go for two weeks, as well as the hustle and bustle in Barcelona.
We had a few mediocre meals followed by two really great meals.
The first of the really great meals came as a surprise.
We ended up at a spot called Taberna de Tito, a restaurant I had found on Trip Advisor.
This was an awesome restaurant!
We had several rounds of tapas, a fabulous bottle of wine and then a great steak dish.
Oh and we https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/21-blackjack.html or may not have finished our meal with ice cream accompanied by a Kit Kat bar and Oreos.
The second great meal came on our last day.
We met Jose Luis and his wife Conchita, both of whom are progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace friends of my uncle Brian and happen to live outside of Alicante.
We met them at Pripi, a classy Spanish joint on the other side of town from our hotel.
It was a lovely lunch not only because of the food, but because of the company.
Since the two of them frequent Pripi we let them pick the meal.
We started with jamon iberico {more ham!
But this was GOOD!
} and pan y tomate {baguette with rubbed tomatoes} and some really lightly breaded eggplant slices and romesco sauce.
Our main course was paella.
I have had paella a few times in the past, including one time on our present trip, and it had always been dry and virtually flavorless, so I was ready to give up on the paella movement.
Pripi proved me wrong.
We had the exact same paella as we had ordered in a different restaurant in Alicante and it was incredible how much better it tasted.
Paella is a rice dish that hails from the Valecian province of Spain.
Actually if we are being matter of fact, paella is a type of pan, but the dish paella is one of rice that is made in a paella pan {a bit redundant to say paella pan — kind of like saying pan pan}.
All paella includes saffron which gives the rice its notorious yellow hue.
It is all cooked together and served straight from the paella {the pan that is!
We had a lovely time in Alicante.
We were well-rested and ready to take on London!
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Some time ago Alex and I fell in love with Spanish wines, and in particular, those that reign from the Priorat Region.
This region is known for its difficult growing conditions, as it is at a higher than usual altitude over 2,000 feet and the terrain is basically slate — the lower elevations are black slate, then red slate and the highest elevation is clay.
Can you imagine growing anything on a slate mountainside??
{Welcome to the Priorat!
} Basically no one thought you could grow grapes here, but thankfully way back in the 1100s the Spanish monks mastered the practice until the region was basically destroyed by phyllaxora {a nasty underground bug that ate away at the roots of the grapevines}.
Some resilient wine makers stayed put and then in the 1980s some wine lovers decided to give it a go and came to the Priorat here try their locations denver pizza blackjack at the region and the rest is history.
{view overlooking the region} Mid-way through our Europe trip we had scheduled a tour of the Priorat wine region through Spanish Trails {a tour company}.
This was one of the few pre-planned activities we had put together, but one that we were most looking forward to.
{some of these vines are close to 100 years old!
} Our wine guide, Andrew, was extremely knowledgeable on the region, the wineries and on wine in general.
He also had a good sense of humor.
He began the day by telling everyone Perfect pairs blackjack online free was pregnant so I had to sit up front.
It was https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/joker-in-blackjack.html fascinating.
{our guide and another wine drinker inspecting the old vines} Lucky for us, we got stuck at the first winery.
The streets in the Priorat are hardly wide enough for a Smart Car to pass through, but a big semi-truck was making its rounds through town and the driver locked his keys in his car, so we were stuck tasting wine after wine after wine at the first winery until the driver was able to get into his truck.
I think we tried seven wines.
{this is a street that cars drive on!
} Alex ended up buying a 2002 wine that we had tried.
It was out of this world.
And it cost 10 Euros.
We were blown away by the low cost of buying wines at the wineries here.
It is so different from buying wines directly at the wineries in Washington.
The distribution has made it so that it is cheaper, often, to buy a wine at the grocery store than it is at the winery.
This is not the case in Spain, anyway.
{this is what 10 euros can get you in Spain!
} From here we drove about 15 minutes to the Clos Figueres winery.
Alex and I had been fortunate enough to try a wine from this wine maker back in Seattle before we left.
Henri at our favorite spot, Bottlehouse, knew we were progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace to this winery and he was able to get a bottle of their wine from his distributor and allowed us to try it.
Needless to say, after we tried this wine we were even more excited to take the trip!
Our experience at Clos Figueres was our favorite of the day.
They prepared a fabulous lunch for us that they paired with their own wines.
We tried four wines here, a white and three reds, one red was from grapes from new vines, and the other two were from old vines {vines that are older than 70 years}.
It is hard to pick a favorite, but really I think my favorite was wine we had already tried.
We began our meal with the white wine, which was paired with some cheese, bread, their own olive oil, slices of salami and sausage, and some liver pate.
{heading down to the cellar at Clos Figueres} Next came the wine from new vines and my favorite part of the meal — the tomato bread.
In Spain they love to smear tomato guts all over crusty bread.
It tastes great, but here they let us do the smearing of the tomatoes.
They gave us each our own little station with a slice of crusty bread, a clove of garlic, homemade olive oil and then a whole tomato.
We rubbed the bread with a little garlic, drizzled on some olive oil and then sliced our tomato in half and smeared the cut side of the tomato all over the garlicy bread.
{I want to say this cellar is 600 years old} The third wine was our favorite.
It was paired with a simple but divine salad.
The salad was mixed greens with enormous chunks of heirloom and cherry tomatoes.
Did you know that Spain has unbelievable tomatoes?
We were given the choice of lamb or sausage.
Both Alex and I selected the sausage.
So was the wine.
To finish off the meal we were given two platters with an assortment of desserts.
As if we needed more food.
It was an exceptional meal and experience.
On to Clos Dominic!
We made our way through a teeny tiny town and met up with the wine maker, whose wife, Dominic, click to see more the namesake of the winery.
This wine maker is the heart and soul of the operation.
He does blackjack cards all.
His production is quite small — only about 13,000 bottles of wine each year, but truly, I cannot believe how much he does.
We started our visit by taking a trip out to the field.
Again, I was not dressed properly for what we came across.
This field was a very steep, sandy and rocky plot of land and it was hot.
That is putting it mildly.
The wine maker does everything from planting the vines to weeding, harvesting the grapes and then completing the process of making and bottling the wine, giving wine tours and tastings and selling the wines.
I was tired just thinking about all he does.
After our trip into the fields we went back to the cellar.
Truly a cellar — we entered at ground level which was very basement-like.
This is where he does a lot of the fermentation in the steel tanks, as well as the bottling process.
Then we went down to the real cellar.
We learned that this was over 600 years old!
I cannot even comprehend.
The cellar was quite musty and cobweb laden but our host had set up a lovely glass table for us to drink around.
He prepared some bread and olive oil {likely some that he made himself}, a glass for each taster and had lined up a row of all of the wines we were about to try.
{The wine cellar at Clos Dominic where we did our final tasting} These wines were some of the biggest, boldest red wines I have ever tasted.
No whites for this guy.
He is strictly a red man.
There was some stat for each wine, but please remember I had been drinking for nearly 12 hours at this point so my memory from here out was a bit foggy.
We would have been happy to just go to one or two of casino889 com wineries, but to go to all three and get the chance to drive through the region and see the vines was such an honor and a treat.
Our appreciation for wine and what it takes to be a small production winery grew exponentially as a result of this experience.
We have already started looking at wine {and its cost} in a new light.
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The third country in our recent trip to Europe was Spain.
We visited two Mediterranean cities in Spain: Barcelona and Alicante.
First up, Barcelona… {Christopher Columbus statue at the foot of La Rambla} After a long train ride from Zermatt, Switzerland to Geneva, a lengthy wait at the airport, a reasonably quick flight and an easy bus ride to the city center we arrived at our hotel in Barcelona late in the evening on a Saturday at the end of June.
It was the perfect time to get checked in and grab a bite to eat since the Spanish enjoy eating dinner at 10 p.
Upon check in we asked the receptionist for a recommendation for dinner that night.
We had a great time at the restaurant.
It is almost like the concept of a high-class cafeteria can blackjack strain grow info apologise buffet where you walk up to a very long bar and pick out which tapas you would like.
Some of the pinxos we had were skewers with meat, veggies and cheese, others were croquettes {basically fried mashed potatoes with some meat in them}, and sausages.
It was a great introduction to Spanish food.
We set off for the Picasso Museum and got a chance to walk through that before it got too crowded.
From the Picasso Museum we strolled around and wound up at Placa Catalunya, near our hotel, and at the start of La Go here, one of the main tourist walking streets in town.
Some say this is the heart of Barcelona, but both of us felt it was too crowded and way too touristy.
{Down on the port at the end of La Rambla} We ventured off La Rambla and came upon Placa Real {the royal plaza}, a big open courtyard with butter yellow buildings adorned with wrought iron gambling blackjack online and beautiful palm trees in the center.
The perimeter of Placa Real is all restaurants.
We settled on a restaurant, Quince Nits {15 Nights}, and plopped ourselves down for our first Spanish lunch.
{Placa Real} Much like the Italians, the Spanish love to eat and enjoy a laborious meal.
Being on vacation we learned to love this, too.
We found it quite enjoyable to settle in for a slow, leisurely meal once a day.
In Spain, that leisurely meal was lunch, which is typically eaten between 2:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon, then a light dinner follows around 9:00 or 10:00 in the evening.
Rarely did we eat dinner that late, but I can understand if you stuff yourself so much in the middle of the day all you want is a salad or fruit later in the evening.
This meal in particular ended up being one of our favorite Spanish meals.
We enjoyed a liter of incredible Sangria, then shared a variety of tapas, followed by a roasted duck breast and beautifully prepared pork tenderloin.
After lunch we strolled through el Barri Gotic {the Gothic Quarter neighborhood}, stopped for ice cream and retreated to the courtyard pool oasis back at our hotel.
We had completely forgotten that this little section of paradise existed so we were extra happy when we were able to take our counting techniques blackjack siesta outdoors next to the pool.
Thanks to our siesta, we were more info and ready for an evening on the town.
We had tickets to see a flamenco show at the renowned Palau Musica, an absolutely stunning music hall.
We arrived a little early for the 9:30 show so that we could see the stained glass while it was still light out.
} dinner of tapas and wine at Ohla, a gastropub, which was awesome, on our way to the show.
{all dressed up for the Flamenco show!
It was a fun experience but the best part was seeing the stained glass inside the Palau Musica.
{this https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/stratgie-de-base-blackjack.html the ceiling in Palau Musica… no big deal} Our second day in Barcelona was one we had been looking forward to for many weeks prior to the trip.
This was the day we had signed up to take a tour of one of our favorite wine regions, the Priorat.
We met our guide and trip companions at 9:00 sharp and made our way through the Spanish mountains {the Monserat Range} about two hours until we reached the rugged, beautiful Priorat.
{overlooking the Priorat wine region} The wine tour was awesome, to say the least.
We drank our way through three wineries and sampled around 15 wines over a 12-hour period.
Each winery had its own way of doing things and we appreciated the variances among the wines.
It was one of the major highlights of our whole trip and warrants its own blog post… Stay tuned!
After drinking for 12 hours neither of us was particularly interested in going out to dinner.
Thankfully we were on the same page and decided to order room service and watch a movie.
Luck was on our side when the movie Knocked Up was just starting as we turned on the TV in our hotel room.
It is not something that either of us had ever imagined doing but we were very glad we did it.
We got to see a vast part of the city that we otherwise would not have seen, plus it was just awesome to be riding around in the sun on the upper deck.
We stopped at the Sagrada Familia, Hospital de Sant Pau and Parc Guell.
Since I had been in Barcelona eight years prior, a lot of progress had been made on the façade of the Sagrada Familia.
I had been inside previously and the wait to just buy a ticket was more than 3 hours, so we walked around the outside and kept on our way.
Our next stop was a beautiful hospital that was intentionally built to be a design sensation.
Hospital de Sant Pau was designed by the same architect who designed Palau Musica, where we saw the flamenco show two evenings prior.
Both of us agreed that this was our favorite stop of the day.
Parc Guell turned out to be a ridiculous tourist trap — much more so than it was in my past visit.
The park is very unique — Gaudi, the artist, used mosaic tiles to design benches, fountains, and sculptures around the park, as well as two houses.
It is lovely, but somewhere along the line it got over-hyped and now they charge admission and ask you to buy a ticket for a particular time to see the park.
All of that was new since I was there not that long ago.
Even since they regulate the number of people in the park it was so crowded all we wanted to do was leave.
It was neat to see but also very disappointing.
After our day of tourist activities we were very happy to return to our hotel for a siesta by the pool.
Our overall feeling of Barcelona was really that it was a very, very crowded, but very cosmopolitan city.
The people of Barcelona are extremely trendy and they love to shop!
We felt that the customer service progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace was lacking, generally speaking, but especially compared to the exceptional service we received in Italy and Switzerland.
The Spanish seemed to be more direct and in a hurry than the Italians or the Swiss.
We really enjoyed the gothic architecture in Barcelona and being able to explore a city with so much culture and history.
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I could not lose.
I went home with all of the money and it completely warped my perception.
It got progressively worse, leading to some massive losses at on-line casinos, and local casinos too.
I was making good money, working hard, so what's the problem with playing and letting off a little steam now and then, right?
Then I made a large sum of money selling a house in 2007.
I began trading stocks, and thinking I was "investing".
It really turned into an obsession, checking stock tickers many times a day.
Then one day in April 2010 I was on vacation with my family when the news hit that the stock I "invested" in had dropped by over 50% in a single day.
I was numb for the rest of that trip.
From then on, I was desperate to find a way to get that money back, which led to risky bets on short term options, which of course evaporated before my eyes.
The entire amount, enough to buy a house!
I went for a couple of months and thought, "hey, this is nice, I feel much better!
This began a cycle of relapse, go to some meetings, feel better, stop going to meetings, relapse.
I wanted my freedom back, I wanted my credit cards back, I am different, I have control now!
I promptly took several advances and ran my card up.
Sneak out to the casino, have a few drinks, act like a big shot, have a few more drinks, act like an ass, lose the rest of the money, go home and cry and think about suicide.
Such a vicious cycle, and for me, somehow my memory is just too short, I get overconfident, I talk myself into not needing the meetings anymore because things are "fine".
I need to stay in GA, I need to keep working the steps, I need to remember the PAIN.
I can't make sense of any of it, really.
I think at least for now, I need to just focus on recovery, writing, reading, thinking about each of the 12 steps.
I just have no faith right now that I won't fall right into the same trap.
I feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.
Hi Fritz, I know exactly what you say.
I am in the same boat.
Less money, but the same emotional effects.
This site is brilliant.
Use the chat function with some of the staff if you have the time, they are great.
I have just quit again after a relapse which took hold of me more violently than ever before.
In 2 weeks it escalated to consuming all my time - which means my business is now in a precarious state and I have several dealines I have to meet which are now upon me which, if I hadn't gambled 2 weeks ago, would not be to immediate.
I hae given in to the fact I cannot gamble at all - this morning I thought about how I would read article if I started playing poker again and I know understand the merry go round.
It will never be different.
IN time the thoughts of playing will fade, which means I need to be ultra vigilant.
You can do it this time.
Remember, just like Bill Murray, you have to take it one day at a time.
And that day will build until release.
Better days are ahead for both of us if we work at it every single day.
All the best to you.
We understand that this might be a tough time for you, particularly if you’re new to recovery, so come here as often as you need to and participate in the forums, access online groups and connect to the live advice helpline if you need one to one support.
We’re in this together!
Here on the forum you can share your experiences in a safe, supportive and accepting environment.
The beauty of writing it all down is that you can take your time and you will be creating a record of your progress that you can look back on if it ever feels like you’re not moving forward.
So, share as much or as little as you like but do try to stick to keeping just one thread in this forum so people know where to find you if they want to be updated on your progress or share something with you.
And on that note.
I’m going to hand you over to our community because I’m sure they will have some words of wisdom for you :- Take care The Gambling Therapy Team PS: Let me just remind you to take a look at our and so you know how it all works!
I explained to myself: no, I cannot win long term; no, I cannot win even short term because I'm a compulsive gambler and will just lose; yes, it will bring misery and regret; yes, I will hate myself And then I asked myself do I still want to gamble?
And the answer was resounding YESSSSS!!!
I knew that money would last anywhere from 20 minutes to 3 hours and I was ok with it.
That's how I felt.
And if it wasn't for this forum I would have gambled that day and on many other days and I would go to my old ways.
But somehow, miraculously I found the strength to come here and read posts and the urge subsided.
I've been clean for 62 days now and on at least ten different occasions I came very, very close to gambling.
Gambling is one scary addiction.
The more I learn about it the scarier it gets.
It has slick ways of messing with out mind.
Thank you for replying.
The insanity and complete lack of logic baffles me endlessly.
I am an engineer and yes I do like order and logic just as the stereotype goes.
I want to be able to get to the bottom of things and understand why, so I can solve the problem, by myself.
Gambling just doesn't work that way.
I need to be able to accept that I cannot solve this problem, only faith in my higher power and with help from others can I recover.
I will always be a compulsive gambler, FOREVER.
So far I think that has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks for me.
Accept it, have faith that my higher power will deliver me for today, and today only.
Don't look back and don't phrase blackjack increase bet strategy Goes! too far forward.
I can convince myself.
Where did your strength come from.
I have never been able to talk myself out of it?
If we are here or at GA then we couldn't stop on our own, we need to use support to do so.
The trick is to then keep using that support to maintain recovery.
It sounds like GA helps you stop, this time keep getting to meetings.
Posting here as well will make you stronger still and you will always be able to read your own words as a reminder of that pain.
A great first post, keep posting.
But that's not all.
I have made an inventory of all of the negative, self destructive behaviors and it is quite a lengthy list, and at the moment seems like a mountain of problems.
Here goes: gambling, alcohol, marijuana, video games, checking stock quotes, biting my finger nails and skin on my fingers, depression, anxiety.
Yes, I am a mess.
The good news is that on my last binge I knew I would be found out quickly, and so I promptly admitted to my family that I had relapsed.
I have found that although extremely painful, it provides some measure of relief that I am not continuing a lie, and it helps me to start fresh.
When I lie and hide things, I feel more anxious and depressed.
When I share my problems and ask for help, these conditions lessen.
I saw a therapist yesterday, and laid all of this out there for her to hear.
It took a pony blackjack fallout of courage, as in all my time I have never been able to admit all of these defects.
I am convinced now that fully admitting all of my problems and recognizing that I can't tackle them alone.
I know that these behaviors either cause or exacerbate the anxiety.
How I would like to be truly relaxed and comfortable in my own skin!
I also spoke with my older sister yesterday about what has happened and she revealed she also suffers from anxiety and depression, but she has both well under control with help from her doctor and proper medication.
It was great hearing her advice on tackling these issues head on, and not being ashamed of taking medications.
I have considered medications a crutch and have resisted somewhat.
Due to the lack of marijuana in my system, I have not had any sleep the last two nights, and feel exhausted.
This is click the following article to be rough but I have to get through this and carry on!
It is helpful to me that I have 2 kids and a wife that depend on me, love me defects and alland want to help me get better.
If I didn't have them, I am quite sure I would have taken my own life by now.
I am looking forward to the time when I am more focused on my positive replacement activities, rather than on the troubles and hardships of my addictions, I guess that is a ways off yet but from reading other stories and hearing GA veterans tell their stories, I do know that it is possible and that gives me hope.
Four days is great.
Glad you are using the support available.
Whatever works is my motto.
Read up, go to meetings, there is counselling, keep coming here, get busy in other areas, I love it when I hear people grabbing on to all sorts of help, it gives you a better chance than one thing only.
For me a combination of all things, counselling, ga, here, readingkeeping busy, delaying urges, have been the best thing for me, but it's taken me years and years to find my footing.
I don't like to appear to lecture to people but I do have a lot of experience over the years of what has and hasn't worked for me.
Keep going, don't gamble today.
I am dealing with a lot of problems right now and encouraging words like yours strengthen me greatly.
The author is Lama Marut.
I highly recommend it!
There are tons of great insights in this book, but the basic premise is that if you want to be happy, you have to help others.
source others gives your life purpose, and gets you out of your own head.
I know that when I am thinking about me, I tend to focus on the negatives- what I could have or should have done, regret, remorse, depression, and on it goes.
Then I don't feel like doing anything, and just stay perpetually gloomy.
When I say to myself, what can I do for my wife today?
What can I do for my kids today?
My coworkers, other relatives, etc.
I get ideas about things that may make their lives a little easier, better, lighten their load a little.
It helps to keep me busy, helps me get the focus off of my old self, and it strengthens my relationships.
I get more smiles.
I get more hugs.
All the good stuff.
I have thought a lot about why I am here on this planet, and I now understand it isn't to collect things or money, it isn't a race, it isn't a contest.
It's not about becoming a CEO.
My real purpose is to help others.
Helpers don't complain, they don't bemoan, they don't wallow in self pity.
Everyone has troubles, everyone has issues.
I am not special in that regard at all.
How do I want to be remembered?
I know that I am a compulsive gambler, and that is not a good thing, but in the end if I continue to be a helper, the people around me won't remember that.
They will remember a kind and caring man.
I think that is where I want to be, but I can't hurry it.
I think I am still in grief about what I have done, what I have lost.
I have to accept I am a compulsive gambler, which means that as soon as I bet once, I'll never stop.
So I never want to start again.
I want a satisfying, productive life.
I am to shift my expectation to something more mature and realistic.
I have to accept who I am and what I can be, without trying to force it on myself or on others.
Fritz, you are doing so well, please keep posting because your positive progress makes me realise I can do it too.
I sincerely hope you can realize what a great thing you are doing for yourself and your family by making it through one more day gambling free.
I talk the talk but have I been able to walk the walk?
Sometimes, but I have failed miserably many times as well.
But hey, you have to have goals, and you have to stay positive, and you have to keep trying!
Being a helper is what we should all strive to pity, blackjack demo game can />To put others before ourselves.
How could anyone not think of someone who could use the money better than the casino or bookie?
There are so many people hurting or starving, how could I not find something better to do than risk the funds that might feed someone?
Wow, your post made me remember a time when I was seeking help to stop.
I looked up why gambling is wrong.
I remember these words.
Because the house always wins, when you gamble, you have not shown love to your neighbor.
Your neighbors many, many of our neighbors had to lose for those very few who do win, to ever win at all.
So basically if we win, we have taken that win right out of the pockets of all our neighbors.
Thank you for this lovely reminder, our purpose is to help, not cause harm in this life.
Many must lose for the few to win.
That is a sobering thought.
Thanks for the insight.
Not wanting to leave any stone unturned in my quest to be gambling free, I grabbed a copy of the The Easy Way to Stop Gambling by Allen Carr and read it over the weekend.
Something in this book really struck a chord with me.
After reading it cover to cover, I now believe strongly and without a doubt that I will never gamble again.
Sounds pretty naive, right?
I am sure many of you have tried this book and this method?
I am curious how you feel about it, has it worked for you?
Do you think it is a load of crap?
Funny that on the major book purchasing website that I frequent, I was the first person to ever review this book.
However there were many, many reviews of the same book that is adapted to smoking cessation.
Apparently there are millions of people out there that have used it successfully to stop smoking and also other compulsive behavior issues.
Anyway, I wanted to thank the person that posted about this book but I can't find the post anymore.
So if it was you, thanks!
For those that haven't tried it, you may want to!
Been at that point so many times I have lost count!
You quit before and can quit again.
Keeping going to the GA meetings, get as many blocks in place.
Have NO access to cards.
Wear your addiction openly on your sleeve.
Hide it from no one.
Make yourself fully accountable.
This is the hard part.
Keep posting my friend!
How it really is.
Thank you for your advice, and slowly but surely I am making this as transparent as I can.
Hiding things is basically lying to myself.
The more honest I am with myself, the less stress I feel, the more relaxed I can be, and maybe that helps.
Lying to myself helps me justify continuing "the game".
For example, I began "hoarding money" before my last gambling binge.
I saved some of the allowance cash I get from my wife, which I usually use for lunches and coffee and sundries, and squirreled it away.
Then I received a couple of checks in the mail that were "new money".
One was a refund from an overpayment by the insurance company.
Another for how betting units works in blackjack question a rebate check.
They should have been immediately turned over to my wife.
I justified cashing them because they were a bonus, with full intent on gambling with the money.
My thought process looked at the situation as a free opportunity.
Nothing to lose really, since we hadn't planned on receiving the money, and what harm could there be in gambling with money we weren't supposed to be getting in the first place?
It is a very slippery slope.
I read it 3 times and am in the process of reading it for the 4th time now.
I mean I don't like the pep talk and that solemn promise crap, but other than that the book reveals gambling for what it really is.
It also let's you get a different perspective on the whole thing, https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/free-texas-holdem-tournament-manager.html different mindset.
But the book in itself doesn't work magic.
No book does I think.
At least not for the vast majority of gamblers.
I thought I had it down so cool after not gambling for 60 days only to relapse big on the 63rd day.
I wasn't getting complacent or anything, I knew the danger is out there, Free online with friends didn't lower my guard, i was still coming here almost every day and visited support groups a couple of times a week, but it still hit me.
I went onto a gambling spree and lost what I would normally have lost had I been gambling for 2 months.
In other words, the book is great, but it's not enough.
It's probably like 'helping others' that you mentioned.
No doubt great in the beginning, but after a while, chance are it no longer does the trick.
One other thing, I felt dozens, maybe even hundreds of times in my life absolutely, positively certain, no doubt whatsoever, that I WILL NEVER GAMBLE again.
Sometimes I would gamble in matter of minutes.
After a huge loss i would solemnly promise myself I would not gamble again and I would be absolutely certain I wouldn't.
Then I'd get a notification that a friend logged online, I would ask him for money, he would send me the money and off i went.
You have to find out what works for you.
I know coming here helps me.
Helping others, coming here, exercising, growing flowers, teaching your kids chess etc might work for you.
But as p said it probably takes years to fine-tune it.
Also, you should take everything I say with a grain of salt.
I appreciate it a lot.
No need to berate and beat yourself up, it is not helpful to recovery, right?
And I know it is marketing when they say they have helped millions of people quit with a 90% success rate at 90 days.
Lots of people make it 90 days and go right back to it, I'd be more interested in their success rate at 1 year or more.
I also agree with the shotgun approach, try many things, something may work, and some others may not.
I also have had the "I will never do this again" mindset, with tons of confidence, only to slip again.
You wake up in the morning, brush your teeth, and say to yourself, I'm a non-gambler today.
The positive form of Groundhog Day.
You search out those relapse ideas, like starting to squirrel money away, or hanging onto checks that should be going to your spouse for deposit, and act on them, immediately.
Tell someone what is going through your head.
Tell them you are afraid you may relapse.
My problem with relapse has always been the inability to call someone, to tell someone, to reveal the plan that is hatching in my brain.
If I could only find the courage to make that contact with another human, at that critical moment, I would not relapse.
My problem has always been complacency.
I get very comfortable with life, feeling really good after a few weeks or a few months, then I get the itch, and I cave in to it without making a call.
That's why I need to think about my recovery every morning, and really search out any of those itches, and nip it in the bud before it takes root as an idea, a plan to gamble.
Being brutally honest with myself.
For me, once I have a plan to gamble, it's almost like I feel as though I have already committed the act, and I begin telling myself there is no turning back now.
I will from now on, each morning, do a self check- do I have an itch developing into an idea?
That's the time I make the call to a friend, not just after I have gambled and have already fallen apart and failed.
Thank you to those that have created and maintain this great website, it is helping me a lot already.
I read an article in the newspaper the other day about a guy with terminal cancer.
He was an older gentleman, so he could at least take solace in the fact that he spent many good years on this earth and was fairly satisfied.
He had about 6 months to live.
He discussed how his mindset had changed with the news.
He no longer watched the news, because it was a waste of his precious time.
He also no longer read about nor debated with people about climate change, because he reckoned that problems like that were for the younger generations to sort out.
Again, he really didn't have the time.
What he made time for was the things he truly cherished, which were his writing, he's an authorand spending more time on his relationships with friends and family.
This made me think, hey I'm "terminal"!
Why shouldn't I try and live as though I don't have much time?
If I knew I was checking out in 6 months or a year, would money really even matter anymore?
No, I don't think so.
Would "catching up to my losses and getting even" matter?
Would obsessing with past failures be of concern?
Maybe not obsessing, but I would want to think about and correct what I could.
In fact, maybe I would be that much more open about trying to make amends and right any wrongs that I could.
I know gambling is a fools errand, but somehow it doesn't register with me as a compulsive gambler all the time.
Maybe living each day like it's your last is a little overdramatic, but the idea is sound.
I will be a happier person if I focus on what is most important, and discard the rest.
What a mean trick my brain played on me with that one.
Woke up elated, then click at this page dashed when I realized that it wasn't real.
I am pretty sure my mind decided that was my total loss up to this point, a get back to even point.
Needless to say I didn't get any sleep after that.
On self exclusion, I looked up the laws in my area, and what I found was appalling.
Self exclusion protects the casino, not the player.
All it says is that the casino can charge me with trespassing if they choose, and can confiscate any winnings if they choose.
When I came back to a casino I had earlier self excluded from, I expected them to refuse service to me if they found out who I was.
I can only imagine the rage i would have felt if I had won blackjack card counting simulator free large jackpot and then been told the win is invalid due to the self exclusion agreement I signed.
My advice, read any self exclusion you sign very carefully, just as you would with any other agreement.
It was crazy how often and how fast a simple single thought of gambling would snowball into major major financial losses.
If you have never heard of him, he is a blogger that blogs about financial independence and early retirement and a bunch of other cool stuff.
I know, I know, gambling therapy.
In fact, compulsive gamblers for the most part would laugh and scoff at me for even mentioning the word "retirement".
Mountains of debt, are you kidding me?
Never happen in my lifetime!
Get real they would say.
This may seem off topic, but I don't think it's off topic at all.
Compulsive gambling often is rooted in unhappiness, fear, and wanting to hide from problems.
It generates intensely negative feelings.
It makes me feel like a complete failure.
It traps me in a death spiral.
It generates pessimism about me and my future.
It forces me to think about horrible things I have done in my past.
Negative to the max!
Training myself in optimism is one way to break the negative spell that gambling has cast on me.
But how do I become optimistic?
I am not an optimistic person!
I need to work at it!
As an example, if I catch myself feeling sorry for myself, I need to mentally pause, and reverse that thought.
The more I am able to do this, the happier I will become.
The happier I am, the better my life will seem, and the chances of me relapsing decrease.
Sometimes it feels a little artificial, but that's because I am not used to it.
I have negative self talk all the time.
I beat myself up, tell myself I can't do it, etc.
Optimism is very hard to create when I am struggling with my gambling addiction.
I need more of it, I know that for sure.
It's hard to set goals and begin doing the things to reach them if I am down, depressed and pessimistic.
I get into ruts, and I can't get out.
And I think that human nature tends to lean towards pessimism rather than optimism.
Therefore, I really need to practice and intentionally create optimism in my own life in order to become happier, it doesn't just happen on its own.
If you have the inclination or curiosity, search up outrageous optimism and Mr.
Money Mustache, and you will see a blog post that discusses the benefits of outrageous optimism, and offers some advice on how to implement it in your life.
He has another blog post on Stoicism that is great.
Teaches us how much more we have that we think we do, and how that can change how we view the world.
Anyway, I just finished up day 9, and I am also on day 9 of no alcohol and no marijuana.
This is a tough time for me due to lack of sleep.
I know that if I can make it through today, I have a shot at another day, and as each day passes, my sleep should start to improve.
I have so much even though I have lost so much.
What is past is beyond my control, so I'm not going to worry about it now.
I am going to try to build optimism into my daily thinking!
Cheers everyone and stay gambling free for another day!
I too have read the Easy way book, and I must admit that since I read it I havn't had a single urge to gamble.
I hadn't gambled for a few months before I did read it but I did come close to on one occasion.
I think it would be a good idea for you to read it again after a few weeks or months of being gambling free.
Another book that I think you might find helpful is No Big Deal by John Coates.
He's a recovering addict of 15 years.
I also think that where ever we seek support, be it here, GA, doctors, hypnotists, counsellors or anywhere elseand then we return to gambling, it isn't the support that dosn't work its us as individuals.
I think to live a good life without gambling, without the desire to gamble we have to change a hell of a lot, but it can be done.
As individuals we are the ones who created our own gambling problems, obviously not intentionallyI therefore think we have to be the masters of our problems demise.
However its only common sense that we should strive to get as much support as possible along the way.
I'm not a very optimistic person either.
As a matter of fact I often imagine very bad scenarios and I often have nightmares.
I think there's even a term in psychology for this condition it's like we think that if we "predict" all bad things that could happen, they actually won't happen.
Which is crazy of course.
God progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace play dice.
Or rather dice don't have memory.
Or something along those lines : But yes, being positive is important.
My wife is a very positive person and I love her for that among many other things I love her for.
I have learned and am still learning a lot from her.
Kudos on day 9 Blackjack atx c 8 />Funny you mention your wife is a positive person.
My wife is also.
I have always admired the way she is able to turn any bad situation into a manageable situation.
I also am very happy that I am now starting to feel less anxious and more clear headed.
I had one of the best work weeks I've had in the last two years.
I accomplished all of my goals, and my boss was very happy with my work.
Giving up so many things all at once is something I thought I could never do.
So far I have done it.
I feel more relaxed and able to take things as they come, rather than feeling the urge to drink, smoke weed or gamble.
I am starting to learn that these vices that I used to ease the pain were very ironically causing a lot of pain, to me and my loved ones.
Now that I realize that, it is becoming much easier to leave them behind.
I used to have a very consistent pattern, when coming home from work, light the bong, inhale the smoke, and feel the false sense of relaxation hit me.
Open a beer, and feel another sense of false relaxation.
Repeat several times until bed time, at which time my brain was so muddled I usually didn't get much productive sleep.
On the gambling front, for me it is all about escapism.
Since my wife and two teenagers know all too well that I am a gambling addict, it is a waiting game until everyone is away doing other things, then off to the casino I would run.
Timing was critical to avoid getting caught.
A lot of pressure to avoid having to lie, if I could just do my gambling and get home before anyone could question me on it.
In the past, I would just tell my wife I was going out for a drink, which of course was a half truth because yes I was drinking all right, however I conveniently forgot to tell her I was drinking with a blackjack hand and some chips in front of me.
I remember vividly one night when we had a family argument, and I headed out the door to go gamble.
My wife and kids physically attempted to restrain me, and begged me to stay.
I left anyway, with them crying and hoping I could find it in me to stay.
What a graphic reminder of how easy it is for a compulsive gambler like myself to callously disregard the three people I love the most in this world.
What a shit I feel like for doing such a despicable thing.
It is good for me to recall those awful, embarrassing moments of my gambling addiction.
Then of course later I would feel huge guilt and remorse, and complete confusion over what a monster Progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace had become.
I thought link myself as an honest, loving husband and father, but in the death grip of CG, I was neither.
Anyway, off to bed and soon to start day 11, feeling calmer, and feeling very grateful that I am on the road to recovery!
Today I choose not to gamble.
First off, riding the bus home from work yesterday, thinking how great I felt after an honest days work and a feeling of accomplishments, I suddenly felt a slight pang of fear.
What happens when true hardship or loss progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace />Will I be OK?
I am fortunately in a time of life with relatively smooth sailing.
In these times it is much easier to choose not to gamble.
Fear of what might be suddenly struck.
Then I remembered how important to push such thoughts out of my head immediately.
So hard for me sometimes to be present in the present, without future fears or past regrets barging in to demand thought and energy.
Which reminded me to just be grateful for today.
I guess that's why the serenity prayer is so important for recovery.
Also, I read a piece from Russell Brand that was so insightful regarding his own recovery.
He was recalling the moments after he had learned of his friend Amy Winehouse passing away.
He immediately mapped out a way to score some smack and began driving.
This is after 10 years of recovery up until that point.
He ended up making a phone call, and he half wished his friend wouldn't pick up so he could conveniently use.
It was 4:00 AM at his friends location half a world away.
Fortunately his friend picked up, and helped him through the rough patch.
He didn't use that day.
Russell's honesty in his writing and videos is extraordinary, and for a star of his stature it is rare I think to be so publicly open about addiction.
He has progressed toward helping others through his own experience, which reinforces his commitment to recovery i think.
I hope to do that as well some day.
Thanks very much hope that it helps loads of people to make a good decision.
Let's keep up the good work and see where it takes us.
Still no gambling, alcohol or marijuana either.
Unfortunately still not much sleep, and occasional terrible nightmares.
It seems as though the sleep disruption and nightmares are quite common side effects when quitting MJ.
I am really looking forward to how my sleep will improve with more clean time in.
How "normal" people sleep.
I guess it's not guaranteed that my sleep will improve, but it certainly can't get worse.
I am already noticing some reductions in feeling anxious and panicky.
I believe that I have felt, for many years, that subconsciously that I needed to maintain these addictive behaviors to function at my best in social situations, and that I couldn't handle those situations without them.
That I didn't "measure up" with others, and was afraid of failure.
I am now realizing that the addictions make the social situations even harder to deal with, especially the MJ.
In addition, these addictions just make me doubt myself and my own abilities much read article />Which made me something that my friends, and especially my kids, didn't really care for.
That made me want to use more, and on and on.
Funny how addictions can play with your head like that.
Conversely, not using is making me feel more confident in myself, that I'm going to be just fine and in fact much better without my "old friends".
So it's feeling great to clear my head, get back to the real me.
The more I think about it, there is a lot of truth in "the easy way" by Allen Carr.
The addictions are playing me like a fiddle, making me believe that they will cure the exact ills that they create.
Now that the fog is clearing a little, I can start to see that.
I see from them what I could be like in 2 weeks, and god knows I need to get my head clean.
I love the bet365 blackjack review you describe the fog clearing.
I realise now that the gambler me is not me.
Keep posting, we love ya!
You help yourself and help others, too.
I have to drive past two casinos on the way there and the way back each day of the training.
I've been checking my feelings as I drive past them to see if there is any urge or desire to stop for a quick gambling session on the way home.
So far nothing of the sort, just driving right on past thinking how glad I feel not to be there losing more money.
Maybe because my last relapse is still only 2+ weeks past and is still very fresh in my head.
I still feel the sting of being out of control and the next day feeling distraught, hung over, not even knowing exactly how much I had lost.
So humbling to come crashing down so hard so fast.
I tend to have the most trouble when the bad experience has had a chance to fade out of my immediate memory for a while.
Anyway, just glad to be gambling free another day, and glad I'm not feeling the temptations at all.
But I am now trying to be more aware of when the danger may strike again so that I can be ready and preempt the attack by double reinforcing my defenses and safeguards.
I am more determined than ever to never gamble again.
Cheers fellow non-gamblers and soon to be non-gamblers!
The schizophrenia was still there.
On the contrary, it was ingraining it.
The belief that I have had for as long as I can remember, that when I stop gambling, or using pot or alcohol in my casethat I am making a genuine sacrifice, which makes me believe that I am somehow missing out when I don't allow myself to do these things.
That is the lie of addiction.
That is the evil little monster in my head arguing with my rational mind.
It is not a sacrifice to stop my addictions!
The only thing I am consider, blackjack table images safe by not doing these things is more pain.
I need to reverse the thinking to what is correct, which is that I am missing out on life when these unneeded, unwanted intruders barge in and take over my life.
I'm taking my life back now.
I will be visiting some friends tomorrow night which is a monthly ritual I have.
We usually "party" the first Saturday night of each month and have been doing this for years.
This will be the first time in forever that I won't be partaking in the pot and alcohol part of the party.
I am hopeful I can watch the others do these drugs and feel great that I don't need them to have fun anymore.
Of course I am slightly apprehensive also.
I have tried to use the willpower method to not uses at this party before, but it never worked.
I got talked into and talked myself into using by my friends.
I won't be using the willpower method tomorrow and am hopeful the EasyWay will work.
Also good to remember when things are going well too!
We need to remember that recovery is a process and we need to stay patient.
How did the party turn out?
Why is it so hard for "our friends" to be supportive when we want to change?
Makes me think of things my Mom would say, "misery loves company", "you can tell the character of a man by the company he keeps".
I know these are quotes from someone else, but she drilled these into my head when zi was a teenager.
Oh and one last one, "when you lay down with dogs, you get fleas".
Well done see more driving past the casinos.
Those places are all glitz and glam on the outside to hide the grim reality of their scheme.
These are really good friends, so they were just glad to see me and reacted in a slightly surprised but positive way.
I was worried that it may make them feel uncomfortable about their own drinking and smoking, but on the contrary, they did as they normally do and just had a good time!
So I felt a bit relieved and very happy.
Still no gambling nor any desire.
I am now a big believer in the Easy Way.
I am trying to decide whether to continue with GA meetings or not.
It is a good safe place to discuss how you are feeling but at the same time some of it doesn't fit well with Easy Way.
I guess I will continue going for a while and see how it goes.
What gambling really delivers is nothing less than nothing, actually in exchange for something a lot of things, actually.
It's an illusion, a lie and a fallacy.
Gambling takes away the very thing that it promises to deliver.
Just like all drugs.
Empty promises, all of them.
The promise of euphoria, happiness, and riches.
The delivery of a hellish nightmare of despair, hopelessness and poverty.
How on earth did I believe that over the long term I wouldn't lose money?
In fact, I had the arrogance and audacity to believe I could actually make money gambling.
Well, the joke was on me.
I have been conned, over and over and over again.
Next time I get another urge, I have to remember all of this, and also ask myself, what would I gain from another bet?
What would be the point, really?
Trying to prove something?
What would I be proving, that I am still an idiot?
It's all just a silly game inside my head, and I have no need or desire for that ever again.
Just finishing up day 20, and things are going ok for me now.
Sleep is still hard to come by but the nightmares and waking up in a cold sweat are subsiding.
At least I am starting to see gambling for what it truly is.
I think for me I am still getting there.
Today is day 7 for me, but I think the nightmare of recovery is still beginnig because I haven't been honest and truthful with those around me.
Well done, you are a beacon of life Fritz.
My problem with gambling was always that I thought something was being taken away from me, something good, therefore I wanted to go back and do it again and again.
I thought I was being deprived of having the chance to make up for all of the prior losses with a big win.
I was being deprived of the freedom to do as I choose.
An analogy might be if as a kid I was offered a lollipop by a kind looking person once per week.
I took the lollipop, and then ate it, enjoying the sweet flavor very much.
Then the next day I got very sick but recovered the day after.
I made no association between the lollipop and the sickness.
A week later, I was offered another lollipop from the same kind looking person.
Once again, I enjoyed it immensely, but got sick again the following day, and then recovered.
I still made no association.
My mom tells me I shouldn't eat candy from strangers, but I do not listen.
This pattern goes on for several weeks.
I finally grow suspicious and go to the doctor.
The doctor tells me that the lollipops are laced with poison, and if I continued eating them I will die.
Each time I was offered the lollipop after learning of the poison, I flatly refused, knowing I wasn't missing out on anything!
Perhaps my problem with relapses has been caused by the idea that I am being deprived.
The idea that I "like" gambling because it is "fun" is what I tell myself, and everyone around me is somehow stopping me from having this "fun".
Therefore I must go gamble to show myself and others that I can and will do it and will not be deprived of my "fun".
I now know that it's all a head game that I play with myself.
I am not being deprived of anything by not gambling.
In fact, I am being deprived of a normal life by gambling.
Kind of a Eureka!
Thank you for sharing.
I think you have hit the nail on card counting electronic blackjack head.
My big regert right now is that I am quitting too late to save my business.
I should have come on this site 1 year ago and quit then, and my life would be so diffferent.
HOwever, I do wonder what my life will be like in 1 more year - time to start planning for the future instead of regertting the past methinks.
It takes a lot of work for us former gamblers to dig our way out of the holes we have dug ourselves into, but we must do it.
We must get back on our feet and figure out how to make a way for ourselves, a positive way that is honest and good.
No more pipe dreams of instant riches.
Real goals that we pursue with hard work.
We think of others and do for others with our actions.
We show our loved ones we care by doing the right thing, step by step regaining and rebuilding trust.
The trust comes slowly, much too slowly for us impatient souls sometimes.
We must remain calm though, and remember what we have done.
Remember the pain, remember what we have put our families through.
It takes time to heal all of the congratulate, blackjack system strategy counting firmly we caused.
We have sold ourselves short in our gambling past.
Telling ourselves we couldn't do it, that the only way out was to hide our problems, then go out and risk it all and hope for the best.
We all know how that story ends.
But now we realize that we can do it, if we apply ourselves, be honest and believe in ourselves.
One step at a time, we set goals, small ones at first and then build from there.
Sometimes the road back seems too daunting, too much to overcome.
Maybe that is why we falter and relapse sometimes.
The false hope of instant gratification creeps back into our minds, fooling us one more time.
The road seems too long, too hard, so let's give gambling just one more try, we say.
Maybe this is finally my lucky day.
But alas, it is not.
Just another hollow, empty promise, and another humiliating day zero.
Another total waste of time and money.
Well, I am done with day zero.
I will never go back, and never look back.
I have many more important things to do, and new dreams to fulfill.
Maybe it is because I will be 50 years old this year.
Yeah, pretty much over the hill!
I am starting to think about how short life really is.
I have to seize each day and really live.
I think your story has inspired me great, and many stories on these blogs, reminding me why I too want to remain clean.
The truth I understand now is that gambling is a waste of time.
All it does it feed an addiction, it serves no other purpose for me.
It is a drug, and in the same way that I quit other drugs, I am sure I can kick this one too.
Thank you for your post, and thanks for the quote.
I must admit though that the choices seem a lot more clear cut to me since I read it.
How are you managing with the other things you mentioned you struggled with at the beginning of this thread; weed, video games, alcohol etc.?
No gambling, weed, alcohol, or finger abuse since Feb 17, so almost a month now.
I do find myself still touching my finger nails a lot, so the itch for that hasn't gone away.
I have been able to catch it though and redirect my attention so far.
I have seen the stock market averages on line or heard the averages over the radio a few times, but I haven't actively searched out stock charts since Feb 17, although I must admit I have been tempted a few times.
Same thing with the fingers, just a catch and a redirect before I start engaging in the activity.
Last Printable betting chart I played two video games with some friends socially, but that has been it.
My Xbox has sat dormant for a month now.
Interestingly enough, no interest in alcohol or weed anymore after reading EasyWay for Alcohol.
There are many bottles of alcohol in my house, but I have no desire whatsoever to drink it!
My wife still drinks occasionally, but it really doesn't bother me a bit.
So this is really great progress for me.
Without these two drugs, I can think more clearly and have more energy.
So overall I am really pleased with my progress to date.
I find that these behaviors are related.
They all relate to anxiety and the desire to relieve stress, I think.
I am doing a few healthier things to relieve stress, such as walking, deep breathing, and meditation.
I am still a beginner at meditation so I can only do it for a couple of minutes at a time, but I have heard that through practice it is possible to do it for longer and longer periods.
I still grind my teeth at night, and I have now noticed that the area of my chest right below my sternum is often tight and tensed up.
Likewise the top of my neck.
Deep breathing has helped me notice this and work on releasing tension in these two areas.
I still am working on learning how to relax.
I am somewhat more relaxed, but I can see now how tense I have been for so many years, sometimes without even realizing it!
I am really looking forward to learning what true relaxation feels like.
I have deprived myself of this for so long I don't even remember how it feels!
So, really good progress so far, and much progress to look forward to.
Thank you so much for asking and taking an interest, I hope all is well for you in your journey.
Bad head and chest cold.
More inability to sleep, now due the sickness, and not so much the cold turkey quitting of smoking pot.
Still doing ok, trying to take care of myself.
Nothing going on, just resting and trying to get well.
Two more days makes a month, woohoo!
The longer I stay gambling free, the happier I will be.
Gambling will never solve any problem, only make it worse.
Gotta keep drilling that into my head.
Gambling isn't fun for me, and hasn't been for a long time.
So if it won't solve any problems, but will create new ones, and isn't fun, why would I ever gamble again?
Yes it is a compulsion, and yes it is an addiction, but it is purely psychological.
We can either choose to distance ourselves from our past gambling selves, by putting up blocks, having others manage our money, stop associating with gambling buddies, etc.
We all know we have a limited amount of time left on this planet, starting from today.
What will we do with that time?
Shall we spend it miserably regretting past failures?
Shall we spend it secretly planning our next bet?
Shall we get back on the treadmill of darkness that is gambling?
When we are in a gambling frame of mind, it is so difficult for us to shut out all of these dark thoughts.
Or shall we set about doing what we can, however small, to make things better than they were yesterday?
Every bit of work we do to make things a bit better for ourselves and our families is valuable and constructive and puts a bit more distance between us and what we were.
Every plan or act of gambling is destructive and brings us back to what we were.
It's almost like a gravitational force.
The gambling gravitational force gets weaker as we move toward other constructive things and as time goes by.
Less gambling thoughts and urges.
Less preoccupation and scheming.
Less feelings of not caring about current job, family, responsibilities.
Less feeling like this life is pointless.
Less guilt and shame.
But it takes time and a lot of effort.
We have the power to make the right choice every day.
Each gamble free day makes the choice a little bit easier.
Addictions occur because people have allowed themselves to get out of control.
Ultimately, it is up to the individual to bring himself back under control.
He may get assistance with that from barriers and support services, but these things only work if the individual co-operates with them, and does not undermine them.
Addictions are the polar opposite of freedom.
You cannot be liberated through addiction but you can be liberated from addiction.
When you are liberated from your addictions, you can experience and appreciate real freedom.
These are the thoughts I want to have myself, naturally, not forcing myself.
A life without gambling is a true life.
Gambling sets off our head, our mind.
It becomes an all encompassing set of thoughts.
When we are not gambling, we are thinking of how to gamble.
blackjack weapon from takes our mind away from being in the present, with our families, friends, at work etc.
Or we are thinking about losses, and how to overcome them, filled with regret and hate.
I am done with that.
Got to walk the dog now.
Peace and love Fritz, keep posting.
I have a month in now since my last bet and I feel a lot better.
I agree with Vera though, I don't put much credence in number of days gamble free.
It's more about moving in a positive direction and learning how to leave my gambling past behind.
It's more about improving myself as a person.
I am working on listening to myself, and being honest with myself and my family.
I am learning how to relax and be happy and content with how things are.
It's amazing how gambling can destroy your self worth, it really takes time to repair.
So I am grateful that these things are coming back to me, despite my setback a month ago.
I vaguely remember you saying.
You've moved on so far since you first posted, and I think for the first time I am recognising my faulty thinking.
The next few days are crucial for me as I had a 'win' on the weekend.
But as my wife says, how can it be a win when I lost so much - I am just slightly less down.
That is the lie of the gambling addict.
I am spending the day today with my family, to enjoy the moments with them, and then I am going to enjoy doing some work and putting in place solid plans to go forwards.
The pills are taking effect and although the things I was worried and anxious about haven't gone away I feel stronger in dealing with them.
Have a great day, and 1 month is so awesome dude.
I am finding that when work is very stressful for me, like it is right now, I tend to get anxious.
So I have been checking my breathing, and it is shallow, and my chest is all tense, which is not good.
So I need to do some deep breathing, some light exercise, watch some comedy on tv, and do the things that truly get me in a relaxed state.
That's called listening to your body, and I am learning how to do it now.
In the past, I would let this situation build up a lot, and actually make it worse by doing adrenaline inducing activities like video games.
And of course drink and smoke to try and smother out those anxious feelings.
And then, if I could get the chance I would escape and gamble with the false thought that it would erase the anxious feelings too.
I know now that every last thing I thought gambling would help me with reducing stress, give me a happy feeling, get to hang out with a bunch of "friends", get a thrill all were false.
Even the getting a thrill part.
What I get from the gambling is a rush of adrenaline due to fear, after really thinking about it.
If I had a huge bet out, and a big win or loss depended on the next card the dealer flipped over, my heart would race, because I was scared!
It was only a relief if I won!
Now that is a really demented and masochistic form of excitement!
Gambling is a huge CAUSE of stress, not a relief of stress.
Just a few examples of the complete perversion of truth that we are brainwashed to believe as gamblers.
The more I think about it, the more pissed off I get about how much of a fool I was to ever believe that gambling is anything good!
It's all a load of crap, and I fell for it for sooooo long.
Oh well, live and learn, and never again to gamble shall I go.
Just what I needed to read right now.
I'm sitting up in bed.
The tightness in my chest is unreal.
I'm sucking an Aspirin, fearing the worst.
Clammy and waiting for the Heavy Hand to drop!
Saying My Act of Contrition even!
Fear is at the root of it for sure.
The opposite to Fear is not Courage It is Love.
I learned that years ago "Perfect Love casts out all fear"!
Let's commence by loving our selves.
Let's cut out the self-destruction.
Gambling has me destroyed.
I'll try the deep breathing now!
You were a godsend just now.
It's great we are all here for each other, sharing experiences, through struggles and triumphs, and most of all help each other along toward another gamble free day and a brighter tomorrow!
It's all a load of crap, and I fell for it for sooooo long.
Hi Fritz Stop being pissed off with yourself, you have an addiction that you neither asked for nor wanted but you are now using that very addiction to support others in a way that you could not have done without it.
This is almost certainly the greatest education you will ever have in your life, you have taken it by the scruff of its neck and you are using it — brilliant.
All the effort that you are putting in to your battle with your demons is giving you greater clarity and increasing your confidence.
I understand, only too well, that as an engineer with logic you want to get to the bottom of things and understand - but logic, reasoning and compulsive gambling do not belong in the same sentence, understanding the surrounding behaviour is more important and life-changing.
It seems to me that your wife is supporting you in just the right way but if she should want to talk at any time she would be really welcome in the Friends and Family group.
As a non-CG I also come across posts that really help me with what I am dealing with at a particular moment.
I came across such a post click the following article now — thank you.
And I will extend your gracious offer to my wife, it may do her some good.
After reading the text above that I wrote yesterday and that you quoted, I realize that sometimes my thoughts don't translate into the correct written words very well.
You are 100% correct, I should not be pissed off, and in fact I am not.
It is more of a regret that it took so long for the veil to be removed from my eyes.
For CG's, gambling is like the devil in the Bible that tempts Jesus three times, promising all of the worlds riches for free, but in exchange for our soul.
Jesus exposed the devil for the fraud he is, and we need to expose gambling for the fraud that it is as recovering addicts.
I don't want to appear smug and superior, believe me that is absolutely not my intent.
I am humble and only hope to share what is working for me, that it may help others.
When you realize that something you used to think gave you something valuable in return, has actually nothing valuable to give you, then it's really hard to "unlearn" it and go back to the former way of thinking.
I have learned that gambling offers not one helpful thing in solving my problems, and in fact has created most of my problems.
I believe this to my core, and that is the key to my now being a non-gambler.
It's great for me, because I know I will never gamble again.
I am ecstatic about it!
But I know that others here will think that I am delusional about never gambling again, and that's unfortunate.
I don't want to appear boastful or overconfident, and I know that my way of thinking does not fit the mold of how a recovery is "supposed to" work.
I just happen to believe that the easy way is the surest way to a complete recovery, and it runs quite counter to the GA method.
You see, we as gamblers trained ourselves to believe that gambling is the way to solve our problems.
Have a disagreement with a loved one and get upset?
Escape to gambling for comfort and calm.
Disappointed about a job loss?
Gambling will provide the solace you need and help you forget for a time.
Facing a large unexpected bill this month?
Gambling will help you win enough to take care of it and relieve the pressure.
Feeling bored, lonely, or a bit down in the dumps?
Gambling will correct all of these problems instantly.
For every problem in life, we have convinced ourselves that gambling is progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace one and only solution.
However after a string of gambling losses and binging has made it quite obvious that we need to get this problem under control, we stop cold turkey.
We make vows and promises, and muster all the will power we can.
We go to GA and confess our sins.
We pray and ask for divine intervention.
Gut it out "just for today".
Then repeat this same struggle,day after day.
And be forced to believe that our brain is " addictive", we have an incurable disease, and we will be addicts for the rest of our lives?
What makes us all believe that the GA method is the only way to control this addiction?
Because they tell us it is the only way, and we don't know of any other options!
And we are desperate for any help!
But deep down we know that the urges will come roaring back, and it scares us to know that the cycle is very likely to repeat.
Even if it doesn't, we have mental struggles and it is all we can do to keep the monster held back in a corner of our mind, and pray that it doesn't come storming out to unleash it's wrath yet again.
There is a better way.
When stress, problems, disagreements and other misfortunes strike, I get no urge to gamble whatsoever.
It's impossible for me to explain it fully here, all I can say is read the book, and read it again after a week or two.
It will change your perspective.
And it is a great book in its own right.
If I had to lay odds, I would give you 20 to 1 that you will gamble again in the course of your life.
Again, not being negative, just making a very educated guess.
Have you have been to Vegas?
Have you seen the Venetian, the Bellagio, the Cosmopolitan?
But I was wrong, they can.
One problem I had with The Easy Way, apart from the pep-talk and solemn-promise crap was that it claims to make you a non-gambler.
And at the same time it wants you to block all your accounts and limit your access to gambling every which way.
My wife is a non-gambler, and she can play a poker tournament once a year or once every 3 months no problem and not have the desire to play again.
You make one bet and all hell breaks loose.
I still swear by that book, but it does not make us NON-GAMBLERS.
We will always be compulsive gamblers.
And so should you.
I think I read about Easy Way from Geordie, but you may have been the first to post about it.
I hear what you are saying, but there is a LOT of group think that has gone into everything you are saying.
For example, what is a compulsive gambler?
What is the exact definition?
What is a non-gambler?
What is the exact definition?
The answer is, there is no definition.
Even GA says there is no definition, and only you can determine if you are a compulsive gambler or not!
How scientific or exact is that really?
You say that your wife is a non-gambler, but GA states that gambling is a progressive illness, so in their definition, is there really any such thing as a non-gambler?
Hmmm, seems like a paradox to me.
And yet everyone that participates in GA it is told they need to believe their materials unquestioningly.
In fact, GA tells us and implies in all of their materials that you must believe and implement everything they say exactly as they say it.
Because they say it has worked for countless others and nothing else has worked, so by deduction you must use their method for any chance of recovery.
I question their logic, because they have no scientific or medical basis for anything they say.
Others believe it, and that is their choice if it works for them.
GA promotes a theory that we are powerless.
That only a belief in a higher power gives us the least bit of hope app free controlling this disease.
That is an assumption, and again if it works for you, then great.
All I am saying is that it is not the only way, and there may be other better ways of gamblers getting their life back under control.
The bottom line is, whatever works is what you should be doing.
I am doing something that is working exceedingly well for me, which is great.
It may not be for everyone.
I knew I would be criticized for my post, it's ok, I expected it.
But I stand by it.
Of course I can't say with 100% certainty that I will never gamble again, but in my mind, I am a non-gambler now, and having that mindset empowers me to take control and responsibility for my own actions.
Easy Way is not a miracle cure, it is just a different mindset.
And in our society, unfortunately because GA is so pervasive and is trusted to be the only way, people get very defensive about any competing method.
A non-gambler in my mind is a person to whom gambling is what alcohol is to me.
Alcohol doesn't do anything for me.
I have a glass of wine once a week, usually when my wife has it during lunch or dinner.
I don't particularly enjoy it, but it's ok with certain kind of food and I never crave for more.
If you locked up my wife in a room full of movies and an online poker account with her money in it, she would not gamble, she would watch the movies.
Whereas I would gamble and not watch the movies.
That's because she's a non-gambler and I am a compulsive gambler.
I don't think the line between us problem gamblers and non-gamblers is very thin or very blurred.
I think it's fairly easy to distinguish who is who.
You're right, WHATEVER works is great.
All I'm saying is be cautious.
You've been clean for a month and it's great, but it doesn't mean you're a non-gambler now.
I agree that changing our mindset with regard to gambling is what recovery is all about!
I call it AWARENESS!
When we suffer enough we will seek the "cure"!
Every one knows when the time has come to call a halt to the madness we once called fun!
Some call it "recovery", some say its "Grace" and others call it "burnout"!
Here lies the hub of the problem.
GA tells us there is no cure.
GT tells us we will always be CGs!
Easy Way goes a step further and says we are "non gamblers".
We become confused as the plot thickens!
In my experiencethe human brain has a mechanism for obliterating pain and bad memories.
This "gift" gives us the ability to repeat the behaviour we resolved to shun forever.
Herein lies all our grief and pain!
I have seen people who go along with each of the aforementioned theories who have remained G free for many years same with alcoholics.
I have also seen people myself who have sworn that they will never gamble again, succumb to the "addiction" and relapse.
What happened to our changed mindset?
When I discovered GT in 2008, I was fully convinced I would never gamble again.
When my sister died in 2009,I swore "this is it"!
I will not dishonour her memory by gambling again.
When I white knuckled it through 2010,I thought "maybe this is IT" but after a clean year I exploded again in 2011.
Again I swore "never again" but failed AGAIN.
I guess what I am sayingFritz is that everyone follows a different path and there are no certainties.
I really wish there were!
All I do know is every time I gambled it happened because I didn't put enough effort into NOT gambling.
I gave in instantly and indulged my whims selfishly and recklessly to the point of near destruction.
Today I did not gamble.
By God's Grace I will say the same every day, forever.
I don't take from what others believe or do, but I do know that every time I gamble, my life ends up in more and more chaos.
Humanly speaking ,this problem is beyond my control!
We must not let our guard down, ever.
Another thing I believe is that we must commit and vow never to gamble again.
Without such a commitment, we are leaving the door open to gambling in the future.
I have closed and locked that door, I refuse to leave any room for doubt.
Of course we must be vigilant, but a stand must be made and if it is an absolute stand in our mind we have a much better shot at a gamble free future than if we tell ourselves that we might gamble sometime in the future.
Just my humble approach for myself, not saying anything about what others should or shouldn't do.
I will march forward with this philosophy, and will continue to report my progress on GT, regardless of how successful I am or not.
Honesty is the only policy for people struggling with addiction, faking it is what leads to failure.
Cheers and wishing you all the best in life and recovery.
Allen Carr is very specific in the book to say you must read the book from cover to cover before you can or should embark on your efforts to not gamble.
He makes it clear that there are no shortcuts, and you can't just read the punchline and really get it at a deep level.
So with that caveat, here goes.
I have decided that gambling, smoking pot and drinking alcohol were all a problem for me, and I want to stop.
That's the first step.
Allen then explains, point by point, each so called "benefit" of the behavior, or reason most people do it.
He then systematically destroys each "benefit" as misinformation: brainwashing that the alcohol, tobacco, and gambling industries have used to make every user believe that their product is something good that you need.
Advertising for these poisons is everywhere, and it covertly and overtly has hoodwinked everyone into believing that they offer benefits.
Obviously if they can convince people that their read more is an essential thing in your life, you will use it, right?
For example, do you think alcohol tastes good?
But we have been brainwashed to believe it tastes good, and if you say you think it tastes bad, people look at you like you are a wimp.
All your friends believe it, so if you do not, suddenly you are an outsider, and you question your own logic.
Wow, I guess I am wrong and they are right, so I better follow along and do the substance.
You follow the herd, and use these harmful products just like the rest of modern society.
If you gamble, smoke, drink alcohol, you will be popular, the life of every party, successful, rich, and life will be amazing.
If you do not use their products, you will be dull, poor, an outcast, and your life will generally suck.
You get the idea.
In reality, these hundred billion dollar industries offer poison and misery and generally just take a bunch of your productive time and money away.
Do alcohol conglomerates have commercials about drunk loud obnoxious partiers that throw up on the floor and have a huge hangover the next day?
No, that's the dirty little secret that no one talks about.
You hide it, because it doesn't fit the advertising, so you must be doing it wrong.
Same for smoking and gambling.
Why are all the others such good drinkers and I always drink too much and feel crappy the next day?
Why do so many people win at gambling but I always seem to lose?
In reality many people feel crappy the next day, but nobody really talks about it.
The real reason you feel crappy the next day is because it is poison.
And of course everyone loses at gambling, only the house wins, but that of course is not advertised.
The advertising glamorizes a poisonous substance that does nothing for my health or well being.
Alan destroys every supposed "benefit" of gambling, drinking and smoking.
You begin to realize that you have been fooled for your whole life, the lightbulb comes on, and you have no desire whatsoever to ever do it again.
In fact, you start realizing that I would be a complete fool to do any of those foolish things!
The second part of Allen's strategy is to point out that this is a progressive disease and no one is immune to this.
Once you are so far into it, you believe you need the substance or the bet to feel good.
In reality after you have repeated the substance or betting many many times, he correctly points out that doing it again doesn't make you feel good, it makes you feel less bad.
Your brain tricks you into thinking the substance will make you feel good.
In reality you are in a cycle of feeling bad due to a lack of it, and feeling less bad when you do it.
By this time, you have forgotten what it feels like to feel normal, let alone actually feel good.
But that's only part of it, you really need to read the Easy Way book to really understand it.
All I can tell you is that I have a group of friends that get together every month to socialize, drink and smoke pot.
In the past I have tried to use the will power method and not partake in the smoking and drinking part of our parties.
And I have failed every time.
Since Easy Way, I can party and have a great time with them, with no anxiety whatsoever while they smoke pot and drink, and I do not.
I have lemonade and snacks, listen to music, get into philosophical discussions, and have a great time, but my desire for the pot and alcohol is completely gone.
In fact, I watch them and think, "why do they feel a need to do that to have a good time?
Since Easy Way, I can party and have a great time with them, with no anxiety whatsoever while they smoke pot and drink, and I do not.
I have lemonade and snacks, listen to music, get into philosophical discussions, and have a great time, but my desire for the pot and alcohol is completely gone.
In fact, I watch them and think, 'why do they feel a need to do that to have a good time?
If I could say this about my gambling I would consider myself cured.
What I'm trying to say is the following: because of my background and the fact that almost everyone I know is involved in gambling one way or another I often come across favorable bets and favorable situations.
I come across people who are willing to sell their online dollars at a discount because they don't want to cash it out to their bank accounts, I come across people who developed state of the art arbitrage betting software that yields very, very handsome returns, I come across people who are willing to take bets having the worst of it just for the sake read more a thrill.
All this translates into thousand of euros worth in EV expected value every month.
It would be easy money if I wasn't a compulsive gambler.
Yes, I used to take advantage of these favorable situations, but I wouldn't limit myself to them.
I would then because money was available go and gamble it away where I had the worst of it.
If I wasn't a problem-gambler I could have a nice supplement to my income, but alas.
I would consider myself a non-gambler if I was able to limit my "gambling" to situations where I have the best of it.
I'm https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/5228-blackjack-circle.html good at identifying these, but because of my addiction I don't limit myself to them.
I understand your situation a lot better after reading this.
If I were in your shoes, I would bit by bit drop every friend and acquaintance that has anything to do with gambling.
Then I would rebuild a new set of friends and acquaintances bit by bit.
Your life is immersed in gambling, from the sounds of it, so trying to stop would be an immense maybe impossible challenge every day if it were me.
It would be very hard to get a foothold in non-gambling if you are subjected to it day in and day out, and if gambling propositions kept coming your way that appeared to be investment opportunities.
A drug addiction analogy would be living with a house full of drug dealers that offer to make you a lot of money by helping them with their deals, all the while passing bags of the drug you are addicted to back and forth under your nose day in and day out and flashing wads of cash.
Even with Easy Way, there is no way you could make it through your recovery in that scenario.
I don't think your situation is much different.
Good Luck JansDad, I really wish you the best in trying to beat this gambling addiction, but I would strongly encourage you to remove yourself from all of the people and situations related to gambling that are currently in your life, because from the sounds of it, it is way too much to handle for any person to attempt a recovery.
I think sometimes we as compulsive gamblers think that accomplishment in life comes easier for everyone else than for us, because we have a "special" problem.
But really everyone that lives on this planet something blackjack live with to be disciplined every day to actually accomplish good things in our lives.
Otherwise we end up with a bunch of unfulfilled goals and excuses for why they never happened.
I am disciplined today, and I am taking actions to make my goals become a reality!
I am not sitting around waiting and hoping my goals will accomplish themselves.
I refuse to feel sorry for myself or waste time regretting the past.
My old compulsive gambling self believed my dreams could come true with no work involved on my part.
Big money would just drop in my lap if I gambled successfully.
That is flawed thinking and I know now that you only get the good things out of life if you put the hard work in every day.
I am not unique, we all have troubles, obstacles and difficulties, gamblers and non-gamblers alike.
We can choose to get up and do good work anyway, or we can choose to roll over and go back to sleep until 2pm.
To say "addiction"is beyond discipline is a cop out.
Yes, we come to a point where we cannot stop but we would never reach that stage if we exercise discipline say and NO to the initial "urge".
It's based on greed and sloth.
Getting easy money is more tempting than earning money.
One of the mini casinos I frequented was link BIG EASY.
Can you believe they had the audacity to put that name over the door!
I used to feel sick when I would find receipts where I used their ATM facility to withdraw 1,2,5,6,hundred to stuff into their machines.
Easy money is right!!!!
How stupid I was!
On that note, I'm going to rollover for a bit of sleep now!
Another one from the same book "the next best thing after gambling and winning is gambling and losing" Yes, P, gambling is about so much more than money alone.
How are you doing, please let us know.
You have been an inspiration to me over the last few weeks, and I would love to hear how you are doing.
You sound like you have really sorted your head out.
That doesn't mean blackjack system strategy betting is perfect, far from it!
I do suffer from anxiety, probably always will, and I work in a high stress job, not a great combination!
But through Easy Way and a lot of soul searching and honest assessment, I have come to realize that gambling, smoking pot, and alcohol were my choices to manage all of my stress, and decided that it was worth an experiment to remove those so called stress managers and try to use some other healthier stress management techniques.
So far what I have found is that I am still anxious and stressed some of the time, but at other times I feel more relaxed.
I am learning that this is just normal for the human experience, and my expectations were too high before.
I am learning acceptance, in other words.
Side benefits include better relationships, more self respect, a feeling that I can manage my life on my own, without need of so called crutches.
I have also come to understand and truly believe that gambling, pot and alcohol offer me no benefits whatsoever, and are very costly in terms of health degradation, anxiety, reduced self worth, and hopelessness.
So on I go with a greater sense of well being, peace of mind, and hope.
I have gained the knowledge that leaving gambling behind is the best thing I have ever done for myself and my family.
Hope you are doing better.
If not take solace in the fact that it can and will get better if gambling is removed from your life.
It takes time and patience though, and of course discipline and a plan of action each day.
I have been grinding my teeth for years and wear a mouth guard at night, but unfortunately my teeth are really suffering from all the abuse now and it is painful to chew, and my gums have receded to the point that Blackjack gambler can't have anything too cold or hot without pain.
My dentist has said these problems are from grinding teeth, and i know this is my bodies way of trying to release the stress.
I don't want to lose my teeth at an early age, but if this continues I know I will.
I go to sleep anxious many times and know that I won't be sleeping well and sure enough I wake up feeling anxious and not rested at all.
My chest is tight, I have jaw tightness, slight headache and feel exhausted.
This is demoralizing and makes https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/flash-blackjack-embedded.html hard to face the day with any enthusiasm.
I know that my job makes me anxious quite a bit.
My old gambling self ignored this problem.
My new self is working on understanding what behaviors may make it better or worse and adjust accordingly.
So far I noticed one thing that is makng it worse.
I have an automated email sent to me every day from craigslist telling me about used cars for sale.
I set this up because I am searching for a car for my daughter.
However, this has become a way for me to think my own 2003 Volvo is not good enough, so I have begun searching for a new car for myself.
I have learned that I have a very hard time being calm when I start believing something about my situation is not good enough or unsatisfactory or needs to change.
I convince myself that my old Volvo has too many https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/building-blackjack-bankroll.html, smells of smoke from the prior owner, and take offense when my kids criticize it.
I need to upgrade!
I can afford it, so why not?
Wouldn't a BMW be more fun to drive?
My mind goes to work and I begin searching for a replacement car relentlessly.
How much should I spend?
What mileage is OK?
And on and on my mind goes, day after day.
It's ridiculous, I know.
My Volvo works fine, gets me around reliably and does the job.
What should I do?
Recognize the stress this is causing, and stop looking at cars!
Tell myself how happy I am with my old Volvo.
Realize that a new car won't make me a happier person.
Realize it's just a thing, and things are good, but should not tie me up emotionally.
The main thing is to be happy with how things are, right now, today!
I need to work on this relentlessly, until it becomes second nature.
I know it will increase my happiness, and help me sleep better.
May even save my teeth!
It's a slow healing processespecially with my kids.
They are super blackjack szerencsejáték and 19 now, and for the better part of their lives, I was a mess.
Kids are "show me" not "tell me".
I knew I was setting a horrible example, and that made me feel really guilty.
I made empty promises.
They came to expect that I would fail again, because hopes had been dashed too many times.
It hurt them, and it hurt me.
It used to bug me that I had this responsibility to set a good example.
I resented it I guess.
I wanted my freedom to be as good or bad as I felt like, not someone they thought I should be.
I was rebelling, I was selfish.
I have been trying to quit for over 4 years now, and I have slipped up 5 or 6 times over that span.
Each time regretting it and vowing not to go back.
But more importantly I have vowed to strengthen my relationship with my wife and kids.
I used to jump to conclusions a lot and usually found fault in them at nearly every encounter.
There was always something wrong.
I have put a lot of effort into fixing these character flaws lately.
I remember that kids are not perfect and that is OK.
I try to let their mistakes go sometimes, and try to remember to praise them.
I try to give them ideas without dictating, and share my experiences without lecturing so much.
It is starting to pay off, my son has a better attitude and is trying hard to make it in college now.
He is more positive about the future.
My daughter is taking longer to warm up to me, but I see progress,and we do have good conversation sometimes.
And I am feeling better about my role as a family leader and role model.
I don't care so much about my success but really want to show my kids I care about their success and happiness in life.
I am trying to be more about them and less about me.
I also want to show them I can recover and fight through a big life problem like gambling and come out a better person.
I want them to learn that they can do the same if life deals them a big challenge, because at some point it will and I want them to be source />I just need to remember the good stuff and discard the rest.
Accentuate the positive, right?
It is way too easy for me to wallow in the negative past if I let it happen.
I am so glad you are working on strengthening relationships within ur family.
You are very self aware.
You see good in others You are a very good man Yes u have a gambling problem but I am inspired by how you work to overcome it!!
Your daughter is young and will come round Maybe take her Bowling or something.
Where u can just have fun and no need for deep conversation.
Just enjoy each others company Keep working recovery fritz.
You wear it so well!
It's really great to have this forum.
A safe place where people that "know how it is" can help each other to recover.
I tend to be a perfectionist so it's good to hear some feedback that maybe my expectations are a bit high and I should just relax and be patient with my daughter.
Have a great half free weekend!
I have the Alan Carr smoking book, but never got around to reading it.
Keep posting, i know I am getting a lot out of it.
I please click for source that for us compulsive gamblers, the value of currency that is won betting is worth almost nothing compared to the money earned doing work.
It isn't real, it is very much like monopoly money.
When you win, it justifies playing more, because, after all, you didn't work for it, its a windfall, right?
Might as well give it another go.
One reason why we walk away empty handed most times.
We view it as a lottery ticket, especially when we have lost so much over a long period of time.
We think we have nothing to lose, may as well go for broke, so we end up broke.
We feel we need to go for the "hail Mary" every time because we know how far below par we are and feel that small wins won't make up for it.
It is truly a downward spiral.
It is a silly game, one we will never win, so what is the point?
A silly game with such horrific consequences.
A game where WE get played.
Games are supposed to be fun!
With this knowledge, I can choose to spend my time on games that actually are fun!
Here's to you mit students blackjack idea gambling behind, forgetting that score, and living a good life with a good future.
For most people the dollar they stand to lose is far more valuable than the dollar they stand to win.
For us gamblers it's the opposite.
Damn, it totally amazes me that with all my knowledge and understanding of economy, risk, probability, utility of money, marginal utility of money etc etc, I still managed to degrade myself to a compulsive gambler.
I am doing well, keeping busy, not thinkiing about going back out at all.
At the same time i am still very aware and vigilant because the little monster continue reading awaken at any time.
I need to continue reminding myself that I am not being denied anything by not gambling, I am not missing out on any fun or benefit whatsoever.
This thinking eliminates all desire and urges.
Stay strong GT community, we can do this together!
I appreciate and am grateful for this day and this forum.
I am here to reaffirm that nothing https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/blackjack-como-jugar-bien.html been taken away from me by not gambling.
Therefore there is nothing for me to reclaim by gambling.
Gambling sucked the life out of me.

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Few gamblers anywhere in the world have matched your success or skill.
Stanford Wong, the pioneer and trailblazer for many card counters online blackjack hot me.
Your astute insights paved the way and showed us all how to win at blackjack.
When I was about twelve I started unlocking the secrets of blackjack.
Some people doubted that blackjack could be beaten, but I was convinced that Thorp presented a valid winning system.
I learned his TenCount System, and then had to wait until I turned twenty-one before I could use my new skill in Nevada.
The game keeps changing, so there excited flash blackjack embedded something always a need for new books with the most current information.
Since I published Professional Blackjack in 1974, many other books on card counting have appeared.
Kevin Blackwood is the latest author to make a contribution vi Foreword to this science.
Blackwood is a high-stakes pro who spent years in the trenches.
He claims to have won over a million dollars at the game, and I have no reason to doubt that he has.
Can you do that, too?
Well, yes, you can, if you really want to.
So good luck, and may you make the casinos pay https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/south-point-blackjack.html this book many times over!
Blackjack tables all over the world.
I chose this unusual line of work for only one reason—to make money.
And I succeeded, becoming one of the top blackjack players in the country.
How did I win in a game where everyone is expected to lose?
More important, is it possible for you to follow in my footsteps and routinely withdraw money from casinos?
These qualities ultimately separate the few who viii Introduction actually make a living at blackjack from those who frequent the glitzy temples of chance only to help pay the light bill.
The truth is that anyone with reasonable intelligence can learn to count cards and win at blackjack.
Determination is far more important than aptitude, and my main strength is a dogged tenacity.
Finding the hottest clubs takes hard work and extra effort.
Like other card counters, I still made periodic pilgrimages to the gambling Mecca known as Sin City, but to beat blackjack on a consistent basis required hard work and a willingness to boldly go where few had gone before.
REALITY My gambling philosophy could be summed up in two words— aggressive and selective.
I always sought to maximize my wins by spreading aggressively whenever I had the edge.
Also, I was extremely selective in choosing casinos, absolutely refusing to play marginal games.
It takes a great deal of perseverance to overcome the Introduction ix many obstacles facing card counters, and far too many settle for mediocre blackjack conditions.
The result is most players never reach the highest levels.
These people gravitate to card counting because they want the kind of job in which, when everyone else rolls out of bed in the morning, they just roll over.
However, trading in your paycheck for casino chips is anything but easy, and not for the faint of heart.
It takes steel nerves and thick skin to remain unaffected by the kaleidoscope of emotions bombarding you at the tables.
Yet there are few legal jobs anywhere in the world that offer the potential of clearing ten grand a month from just a few days of work.
So the reward is great, and I know it can be done.
I started out with only a small amount of cash and have won over a million dollars at the blackjack tables.
Very few individual players in the world can make that claim, and I will share many anecdotes from my career to help you learn from my experience.
But my life has been far from a picture-perfect fairy tale.
Thousands of other skilled players learned the same winning principles and attacked casinos all over the globe.
Anthony Curtis—probably the most visible face of anyone today in the gambling world because of his frequent TV appearances.
Rick Blaine—a seasoned pro who has led some of the biggest blackjack teams.
Every chart, graph, story, or example in this book is written to help answer the one central question in the minds of most readers: can you become a pro?
The good news is that the skills and techniques needed to become a winning blackjack player can be mastered by nearly anyone and are easier to learn than poker, where you also need to read your opponents in addition to learning the correct strategies.
Almost everyone can improve their game and win more often, and I will offer several different levels of playing ability, from beginner to expert.
However, some of the names and places have been changed or are composites to protect the identities of the innocent or in some cases, the guilty.
But as long as the game of Introduction xi blackjack has been dealt, there have been legal ways to reverse the odds and beat the house.
Play Blackjack Like the Pros will give you the knowledge to exploit those weaknesses and become a consistent winner.
A large number of tourists think they play basic strategy accurately.
They may even have read a book or bought a laminated card intended to teach them the correct method.
Yet in the fast-paced environment of the casino, what little they learned often melts away in the heat of battle.
They never quite embedded proper strategy into their brain so it became second nature.
Instead, they use some combination of correct plays and hunches.
Inevitably, the next time the tourist receives the dreaded 16, he gives up on basic strategy and stands.
This time the dealer draws the paint and pays the table.
The 2 Play Blackjack Like the Pros tourist is pleased and elated that he could outsmart the experts.
I will discuss a few of these misconceptions in this chapter to illuminate why blackjack is different from other casino games, and show the real reasons why it can be beaten.
SELECTIVE MEMORY Like some mythical monsters, selective memory rears its ugly head in many shapes and forms.
The above illustration of hitting stiffs is fairly common, as players tend to remember big https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/online-blackjack-casino-bonus.html or jackpots they won.
They often give themselves the credit for wins and blame outside sources for their losses.
But over the long run you are paying a high price for that short-term pleasure.
The best example of selective memory comes from huge wins.
However, tourists typically display much more selective memory of their ups and downs in gambling.
Most invariably look me straight in the eye and say they are ahead.
This obviously cannot be the case, or Donald Trump would have to get a real job.
Possibly the worst thing that happens to these players is when they have that one big killer day at the tables.
Then you feel bulletproof.
You always remember how easy it was and tend to overlook all the losing trips.
But even huge jackpots can be squandered away if you play long enough.
The best way to counter this fallacy is to keep good more info />Only if you maintain an accurate log can you get a true appraisal of what your hobby is costing you.
Otherwise, you are just guessing.
Most people fail to face up to reality.
Don Henley sang that there are three sides to every story— yours, mine, and the cold hard truth.
Dealers do have streaks, and some days it seems like they never bust.
However, unless you happen to be Nostradamus, there is absolutely no way to determine the future.
You can perceive with your own eyes that the dealer is riding a hot or cold streak— 4 Play Blackjack Like the Pros that is reality.
Yet there is absolutely no way to know when it will end.
Past results never affect future results.
I could cite several mathematical reasons for this, but let me give you a practical example.
If the cards remain unchanged as she takes over no burn cardwhat will happen over the rest of the shoe?
Exactly the same thing that would have happened if the bald dealer had stayed at the table.
Dealers unless they are cheating have absolutely no control over the cards.
So the only thing that would be different in our illustration is that playing the rest of the shoe might become more pleasant, since you at least had a nicer-looking adversary across the table.
BLACKJACK IDIOTS Bad players and bad decisions even out over time.
Again, selective memory is at progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace here because we tend to remember the time it hurt us when that stupid punch-drunk sailor at third base accidentally hit his hard 18 and caused everyone at the table to lose.
Whenever one of these dimwits makes a truly horrendous play and it works, he always remembers that one wonderful moment of success and is encouraged to keep doing it.
It might have been different back in the mobrun era of Las Vegas, and some early blackjack authors were overly paranoid about cheating and spread this legend.
But today the chance of getting cheated is virtually nil.
So you have no reason to get angry at dealers.
They have no control over the outcome.
My suggestion is to be polite to them in either circumstance.
And if you tip, it only makes sense to tip the same amount whether you win or lose.
I will leave it up to you whether to respond at that moment with a tip equaling a generous portion of your winnings or with a mathematical discourse on the erroneous theory of hot dealers.
The fallacy in this thinking is blatantly obvious—money is money.
Whether you obtained it by working in the factory for forty hours or found it on the sidewalk, it still has the same value.
However, the distinction comes in how it is appreciated by the holder.
Money you slaved over to earn is less likely to be wasted than a big jackpot you won on a whim at the slot carousel.
True professionals purge themselves of this mentality.
They know that if someone feels compelled to buy a new boat after a nice fat win, they might also have to sell it after a big loss on their next trip.
Adopting a long-run mentality is important if you want to keep your newfound loot rather than squander it.
One of the best known is the Martingale system.
It is commonly assumed that you will never lose too many hands in a row, but it does blackjack information />You would think this form of betting is foolproof and logical because you have to win sooner or later.
Every mathematical simulation done on blackjack will tell you the same thing—progressive betting will never make you a winner over the long haul.
If the house has a 1 percent edge on a given game, then you will lose approximately 1 percent of your money regardless of how often you change your bets.
In the short run, you might get lucky and push out the big guns at the right time.
If progressive betting makes you happy and gives you a more pleasurable gaming experi- The Myths of Blackjack 7 ence, then feel free to continue frolicking.
However, if your concept of fun involves winning rather than losing, then let me explain how card counting works.
CARD COUNTING 101 This section is markedly different from the earlier part of the chapter because card counting is not just another false system.
Indeed, the casinos would like people to dismiss card counting as just another one of the myths of gambling—one that is impossible to do without a photographic memory—or is an outdated technique that no longer exists because of six-deck shoes.
If becoming a winning card counter were truly unattainable for us mortals, then my writing and you reading this book would be a complete waste of time.
Yet it can be done—by people like me and by readers like you.
Later chapters will cover the how of card counting.
At this juncture all I will cover is the why.
It is only natural that some people are skeptical of card counting.
Almost every game of chance has its share of quacks selling books with a secret system guaranteed to beat the house.
Unfortunately, they forgot to put the truth in the blurbs—that the only way they got rich was by selling suckers their book, not by using their anniversary date to beat the lottery.
I suggest you check out the credentials of anyone who wants to sell you a book showing how to win easy money.
My guess is few of their tax returns would measure up to their claims.
MEMORY I consistently won because blackjack is different from other casino games.
This quirk that allows people to exploit the game is best illustrated by two key words—dependent and independent.
They also have some applications in mathematics and show why the game of twenty-one differs markedly from other table games.
Craps and roulette are the best models to illustrate the concept of independent trial processes.
Simply put, it means each new roll or spin is totally independent of any previous results.
This is intuitive to most people, yet commonly ignored.
For example, a shooter may be hot as a pistol at the craps table.
Yet the odds against him throwing another seven on his next roll is exactly the same as when he started—5 to 1.
The dice have absolutely no memory, and the past does not affect the future.
A tourist may be monitoring the sequence of numbers that have hit over the last few hours at the wheel.
However, the odds again remain unchanged.
However, blackjack is different because the past does impact the future.
So the starting composition and ratios between high and low cards is constantly changing as cards are removed.
The easiest way to illustrate this principle is with aces, which give the player about click at this page 50 percent starting advantage to begin his hand.
The main reason for this monster edge is because every snapper you pull pays an extra bonus.
But the odds of receiving a blackjack can change dramatically each round.
For example, if half the cards are removed from a single deck and all four aces remain, your chances for starting a hand with an ace would now be about 1 in 7 rather than 1 in 13.
However, if all four aces are gone, then your odds of getting that coveted blackjack would be very easy to calculate—zero.
So here we have a game that offers astute players useful information from previous hands.
Blackjack is different from craps and roulette because it does have memory.
Skillful observers can track The Myths of Blackjack 9 the subtle changes in deck compositions and jump their bets when there is an excess of tens and aces in the remaining cards.
Sharp visit web page might question this concept since the dealer has the same chance of receiving great cards as the players.
That is true, but there are three main reasons why high counts tip the odds against the house in these situations.
I will normally use feminine terms to refer to dealers and masculine terms for players, not for any sexist reasons, but simply to make it clearer to follow.
Second, players have the ability to double down on their bets—an especially attractive option in positive counts when the remaining deck composition has a greater percentage of tens than normal while the dealer can only hit.
Last, the dealer is required to hit all her stiffs 12—16 and tends to bust those hands much more frequently in high counts because the deck is rich in big cards.
This should help explain why counting can create an edge over the house for smart players who pay close attention to what cards have been played.
The advantage primarily comes from correctly raising your bets during the high counts, since the remaining decks are loaded with more face cards and aces than normal.
While growing up in Maine, no one I knew considered professional gambling as a possible vocation.
At that time few casinos even existed outside Nevada.
Second, most frugal New Englanders frowned upon any conspicuous waste of their hardearned cash.
Though gambling no longer carried the same stigma previous generations attached to it, I had grown up in a church that frowned upon playing cards of any type, let alone gambling.
So I started out as one of the most unlikely candidates for a future career in card counting.
One day in the library, I took a break from some stimulating studies on ancient Near Eastern archaeology and browsed the magazine rack.
A story about gamblers in an old Beating the House 11 Sports Illustrated article caught my attention.
He had masterminded several card-counting teams that won millions from the casinos.
This was pretty much all the money I had at that time, but I expected my pauper days to end soon, so the trip seemed well worth the risk.
I learned a simple counting system on the plane, then mastered basic strategy on the boring ride from Reno to the state capital.
However, none of those dreams of the future included the next sequence of events.
As quickly as the pile of chips had grown in front of me, they vanished.
Soon, I not only lost all my winnings, but all my money.
It was embarrassing, to say the least.
I had foolishly told several of my friends how I intended to make my mark in the blackjack 12 Play Blackjack Like the Pros world.
Historically, gambling clubs have welcomed system players to their tables with open arms.
Dreams usually die slowly for most people, but Las Vegas has a way of speeding up that process.
Some players might get lucky, but casinos rest assured that no one will win over the long run.
This edge measures 1.
There are many decisions to make, and to a great extent you control your own destiny depending on whether you correctly decide to hit or stand.
Yet back in the days of the abacus, no one could be certain how each hand should be played.
Many gamblers before 1960 simply mimicked the dealer by hitting all hands until they reached a total of 17.
This technique sliced through a bankroll faster than a machete through a pineapple, and put players at a very stiff 5.
Edward Thorp saw that blackjack was different from other games in that the past could affect the future.
This unique characteristic sparked a revolution in the gambling industry.
There were rumors of a few intuitive individuals who deduced that the odds changed as cards were played.
Perhaps they just estimated how many face cards and aces remained near the end of a deck.
The best published playing strategy available at that time recommended splitting only aces and never doubling down, a very ill-advised tactic that placed players at a 3.
A group of four mathematicians changed all that in the 1950s, starting a chain of events that eventually rocked the entire gambling world.
THE COMPUTER AGE Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel, and James McDermott were four bright minds that fate brought together at the U.
All of them shared a passionate interest in the game of blackjack.
Evidently, they also shared a lot of free time, because over a three-year period, they painstakingly analyzed and dissected the nuances of their favorite card game.
This was before the advent of computers, and all their calculations had to be tediously worked out on desk calculators.
Their calculations showed an incredible progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace 14 Play Blackjack Like the Pros and reduced the hefty disadvantage from nearly 4 percent for those using what was previously considered to be the best-known strategy to only 0.
However, their message fell on deaf ears, even though later studies showed their strategy was far stronger than they thought and actually made players a slight favorite +0.
He then set out to devise a way to isolate those swings and turn them into lucrative betting opportunities.
He used a highspeed for that era IBM computer at MIT to prove his theory.
He then took his theories out of the classroom and tested them at the blackjack tables.
He published his conclusions, along with a few accounts of his casino adventures, in 1962.
Beat the Dealer quickly became a best seller.
Ironically, just the opposite happened.
Very few players were capable of mastering the complex Ten-Count system Thorp offered in his book.
Yet the public now knew that smart players could win, Beating the House 15 and many mistakenly judged themselves capable of beating the game.
The rules soon returned to normal as pit bosses realized how few would-be card counters could actually beat them in the long run.
Then he quietly moved on to more scholarly pursuits.
He had unlocked the key to the casino vaults by proving that blackjack could be beaten, but he felt no desire to go any further.
Instead, Thorp left those riches for future followers to chase.
However, the easy money most envisioned never materialized.
My blackjack career seemed just as likely to end up in the toilet.
Most at that point either gave up on card counting or quit blackjack altogether.
Yet I hated losing.
I was highly competitive, and it upset me to walk away like a spanked puppy.
So I tried to analyze where I might have gone wrong.
Eventually, I realized how comical that scenario sounded.
The odds had to change as cards were removed from the deck.
That simple fact elevated blackjack over any other game of chance.
All it took was one good book by Ken Uston to get me back in the game.
The previous text I had read painted too simplistic a portrait of how to beat blackjack.
More important, it clearly showed why I had failed.
I made the classic error of rushing in unprepared.
After gleaning wisdom from a few other authors, I decided to plunge back into the waters.
This time I knew I had to master correct strategy before I entered the casino.
Once you are inside, it is too late.
So for my second bite of the cherry I got very serious.
I wanted to be the favorite.
I wanted to win.
This time I practiced at home rather than at the school of hard knocks.
Experience taught me that casinos were expensive places to learn how to count.
TESTING ONE, TWO, THREE It is impossible to overstate how important proper preparation is.
Without it, your gambling adventures may end up like mine started.
Over the next month, I drilled the rudiments of blackjack into my brain and systematically counted down thousands of decks.
Perhaps the most important part of the process occurred every evening when I converted the dinette set into a blackjack table and dealt myself hands for a couple of hours.
I used chips to bet and meticulously recorded the results from each session.
That is exactly what happened.
My results showed two out of every three nights on average were winners.
So I knew it could be done—at least in the comfort of my own kitchen.
Many distractions bombard your senses in the casinos and I wanted to shield myself from their subtle attacks.
Most beginners are wisest in starting out with a one-level count where the individual card values are never higher than plus or minus 1but I wanted to get every available edge.
Also, I planned to play mostly single deck initially, and the more advanced counting systems are much stronger for those games.
One trick I could do at home was to always check my count at the end of the deck.
In a casino you may think you are counting correctly, but there is no way to know for sure since only a portion of the cards are ever seen.
I eventually got to the point where I rarely made a mistake.
I knew I could beat blackjack at home, but worried that my abilities might still come up short in the real world.
Two thin twenties folded neatly into my wallet.
At that time I lived in Oregon, and many towns had legalized social gaming in their taverns.
Encouraged, I decided to make a couple trips a week over the next few months.
My practice paid off this time and I continued winning.
Usually, bankrolls go up and down, but I never had to dip beyond that initial forty bucks.
That was all I started with and, despite being seriously undercapitalized, was surprisingly all I ever needed.
Besides receiving far more than my fair share of luck, I was also extremely fortunate to have numerous single-deck games within a short drive to play with no heat.
Living close kept my expenses down, and avoiding the scrutiny of pit bosses gave me an ideal transition into my new career.
I quickly decided this was my new vocation and not just a hobby.
I still made mistakes, even on my second go-round.
No book can turn you into a winner unless you are willing to master the https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/casino-single-deck-blackjack.html />It does take a lot read more hard work and tenacity.
Yet blackjack can be beaten, and anyone with an average aptitude and good discipline can become a winning player.
I have taught many players how to win at blackjack, so I know what works.
One of my earliest pupils was Alex Strickland, and I will use him as a model to show how beginning players should approach the game.
After many years of blackjack, I am very polished in the way I play, but, unfortunately, I also can only imagine the part about the supermodels.
But the rules and etiquette of blackjack are actually fairly easy to learn.
If you are not a novice and are already familiar with these terms, then I suggest you skip this chapter entirely and move right on to chapter 4.
The Rules of Blackjack 21 1.
Find an open spot, and then lay your cash on the felt.
The dealer will slide an equal amount of chips back across the felt to you.
If the game is one- or two-deck, the dealer will hold the cards in her hand and deal every player two cards face down.
Her hand will always start off with one card exposed and one card hidden, regardless of the number of decks.
On the felt in front of your chair is a betting circle or box.
You can change your bets from hand to hand, but you can never alter your wager once it is placed in the betting box.
Rules Blackjack rules are fairly standardized worldwide, with a few minor variations.
One variation is blackjack game the casino hits on soft 17 a soft hand is any hand that counts an ace as 11 rather than 1.
This is usually spelled out right on the felt.
However, other rule changes are harder to ascertain, swift blackjack as when you can double down.
In Vegas it is typically on any two cards, but in Reno, it might be restricted to just 10 or 11.
As a teacher once told me, there are no stupid questions, just a lot of inquisitive idiots.
Value of Cards Most cards are valued exactly the same as their pip number.
For example, a 7 is always worth 7 points.
Face cards jack, queen, and king all have the same value as a 10 10 pointsand individual suits clubs, hearts, spades, or diamonds make no difference whatsoever.
The ace is the only tricky card since it can be used either as 1 or 11, depending on the hand.
Decisions, Decisions The great appeal of blackjack lies in the many decisions available to players.
Each hand presents a wide range of choices.
You can hit take another card to improve your hand or stand if you are happy with the total you already have.
Other options are doubling down doubling your original bet and receiving only one more cardsplitting making two separate hands out of a pair by matching the original betsurrendering forfeiting one-half of your original bet and throwing in your handand insurance a hedge bet available when the dealer shows an ace as her upcard.
The Rules of Blackjack 23 7.
If you win, she pays even money on your bet.
If you have a lower total than the dealer or bust out exceed a point total of 21you lose and she takes your chips.
In the event of a tie, called a push, nobody wins and no money changes hands.
The object of the game is to have a higher total than the dealer without busting.
Examples You are playing at a table with two other gentlemen.
After a moment of hesitation, you decide to hit the 14.
In this case you and the two other players all draw face cards and bust exceed 21 and the dealer wins all bets without even having to play her cards.
Surprisingly, the main advantage for the house in blackjack lies in the simple fact that the dealer always acts last.
Your next hand is a 13.
The dealer now shows a 9 as her upcard.
You choose to stand this time, thus making sure you are still alive at the end.
Standing is signaled by waving over the top of your cards in a faceup game or tucking the cards under your chips in a handheld game.
Unfortunately, the dealer has a king in the hole and her 19 makes you a loser again.
Trying to outguess the dealer like this is ultimately a losing proposition.
Only by learning correct basic strategy can you have any realistic chance of moving from novice to expert.
Other options like doubling down and splitting involve putting more money into play, so it is critical to learn the correct strategy.
A good time to double down is when you 24 Play Blackjack Like the Pros have totals of 10 or 11 for your starting two cards.
This is because nearly a third of the time you will receive a 10 that includes all face cards for your double down giving a strong total of 20 or 21.
Each one of these unless starting with a pair of aces can be hit more than once unlike the double down.
Someone always wins and someone always loses.
In blackjack, you can decide which you want to be— the victor or the vanquished.
In every casino there is a massive redistribution of wealth going on with the rich the house usually getting richer.
Basic strategy for blackjack is the foundation for any future exploits in the world of card counting.
Unless you master basic strategy, you are unlikely to ever beat blackjack in the long run.
It is very common for seasoned gamblers to assume they already play their hands correctly and to think they know the answers to all the questions.
Yet there is an exact and correct way to play each and every hand.
This is not 26 Play Blackjack Like the Pros some secret I have conjured up or just my opinion—it is a fact beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Basic strategy was determined from years of research and by running literally billions of hands through computer simulators.
There really is no debate over the optimal way to play blackjack if you want to achieve the highest return for your gambling dollar.
However, some superstitious gamblers still play their hands differently, depending on how hot or cold the table is running.
In the short run, going by your gut may seem to work; but over the long run, every time that you deviate from established basic strategy will cost you money.
Perhaps the idea of progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace basic strategy still seems a little intimidating.
Basic strategy is actually just that—fairly basic.
I honestly think that almost anyone can learn the optimal way to play each and every hand within a short period of time—some have within a few hours.
The gain for that one afternoon of memorization is immense, as I will show shortly.
However, if you are still apprehensive and looking for something less demanding, let me start with a stripped-down version.
This will reduce the house advantage to less than 1 percent and can be mastered in a minimal amount of time.
On 10, double against a 2—9, otherwise hit.
On 9, double against a 3—6, otherwise hit.
Never split 5s or 10s.
Soft 17 or less, always hit.
There are three simple rules that will cover a majority of the hands you will be dealt.
Number one is always standing read article hard 17 or above pat progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace />These three rules can be mastered by anyone during a TV commercial and cover the majority of your playing decisions.
Next come the nerve-racking double downs.
The only other double is 9 against 3—6 when the dealer is weak and most likely to bust.
For hard totals of 8 or less, you simply hit.
Pair splits tend to disconcert some casino patrons.
Do you feel lucky?
There are a couple of easy tricks to help you remember these two groups.
The rationale for not splitting these two combos is that a pair of 5s gives you a total of 10, which is better to double or hit than to split.
And a pair of face cards is a solid starting hand of 20.
The strategy for soft hands, though often confusing to many, is reduced to a very simple form here.
If you have soft 18 or more, you stand; otherwise you hit.
Yet even this shortened version will make you a stronger player than almost everyone else in the casino.
You will be playing a game that will return more money to your pocket than craps, baccarat, and most slot machines.
However, I still think it is worth the effort to take the next step and learn the complete version of basic strategy.
You are giving up a lot if you only eat frozen turkey potpies nuked in the microwave every night for dinner rather than gourmet meals prepared leisurely over a hot stove.
The extra gain will be worth the effort, and I highly recommend you take the time to progress to the next level.
With that in mind, here is a generic basic strategy.
Basic Strategy 29 Basic Strategy Hard Hands Playing Strategy 8 or less Always hit.
Pair Splits Playing Strategy A-A Always split.
Stand vs 7, 10, A.
Soft Hands Playing Strategy A-2 Double vs 5—6.
A-3 Double vs 5—6.
A-4 Double vs 4—6.
A-5 Double vs 4—6.
A-6 Double vs 3—6.
A-7 Double vs 3—6.
Stand vs 2, 7, 8.
Hit vs 9, 10, A.
A-8 or A-9 Always stand.
Despite the sincere advice of most dealers, pit bosses, and seasoned gamblers, you never make the insurance bet if you are a basic strategy player.
Many will swear this is the best bet in the entire casino—the only sure thing.
It does guarantee that you will receive at least some payoff for your snapper.
It is not all that common a rule, but is offered at many of the bigger casinos around the world.
This helps immensely on those nights when it seems like every other hand is a stiff.
The mathematics are actually quite simple—you surrender when you expect to win less than one out of four hands.
This certainly is far from the case.
Basic Strategy 31 Here is the correct strategy for surrender in a six-deck shoe.
If not, then you would hit.
Also on some hands, the correct play might be to double or surrender on your original two cards, but the correct play becomes hit when you have a three-card or more hand since those other options are no longer available.
The actual gain from surrender is fairly small about 0.
Also, it goes from being a marginal rule to a tremendous one when card counting is added to the equation.
A skilled player who knows the rough composition of the remaining cards can utilize the full power of the surrender rule and add immensely to his bottom line.
HARD HANDS Whether to hit or stand is the most common decision confronting blackjack players.
The vast majority of hands fall into this category.
Approximately 85 percent of the money you lose at the table comes from being dealt hard 12—17 as your starting hands.
So it is critical that these frequently occurring combinations are played correctly.
They pick up their cards, hesitate for a moment, then grit their teeth and hang on for the ride.
The chart on page 29 shows the exact way to play each and every blackjack hand you will ever receive, and most of it is not that different from the Microwave strategy.
For example, playing the hard hands is nearly identical.
The general theory here is that the dealer is often pat has a total of 17 or greater when showing a big upcard and the best course of action is to hit or surrender stiffs to reduce your losses.
However, remember to distinguish between hard hands and pairs.
For example, two 7s should be played differently than a hard 14, and the correct strategy for splitting will be explained shortly.
Here is a summary of the hard-hand strategy in chart form.
The only difference here comes when you have a 12 and the dealer has a 2 or a 3 showing.
The correct play is to hit on totals of hard 12 or less and stand on hard 13 or more, which is a minor change from the Microwave version.
These can be real moneymakers, and the entire trip often comes down to whether you win or lose these big hands.
The strategy for them is actually fairly elementary, especially for multiple decks.
This is so simple even a dog could learn it without going to obedience school.
There are three hard hands 9, 10, or 11 where you double down, and the correct time to do this is exactly the same as in the Microwave strategy.
However, one of the hardest plays to make is pushing out a couple more chips to double on your 11 when the dealer shows a face card.
What scares most players away from this venture is the fear that the dealer might already have 20.
But the 34 Play Blackjack Like the Pros odds favor the brave in this scenario, and you will make more money over the long run by taking the extra risk and doubling down against her 10.
It never means you will win if you hit rather than stand.
It just gives you the optimal play to make.
Sometimes it prompts you to be aggressive by instructing you to double down rather than hit.
Other times it takes on a defensive posture and minimizes your losses with the weaker hands.
Both the offensive and the defensive components of basic strategy are displayed in pair splits.
A pair of 7s best illustrates this.
However, if the 14 consists of two 7s, then you also have the option of splitting rather than just standing or hitting.
And splitting the 7s turns a big underdog approximately 17 percent into a heavy favorite against a 5 or 6.
You also split for defensive reasons.
Getting dealt 16 against a face card is your worst starting hand.
You are dead in the water no matter how you play it.
Yet if the 16 is two 8s, splitting reduces your overall loss considerably from either of the normal choices of hitting versus standing.
It is the lesser of two evils, but easily the smartest way to salvage some money from a losing position.
Most hands, however, are split when the dealer is weakest.
This is also true for double downs—when you are fortunate enough to be playing against a 4, 5, or 6 upcard you typically want to go gangbusters, and get as much money into play as possible.
Against the bigger upcards 7—A you tend to split and double down much less often.
These are extremely important principles to keep in mind and will greatly aid your comprehension of basic strategy.
This might be a little more confusing to memorize, but you can divide them into more manageable groups.
You still always split aces and 8s and never split 5s and 10s.
The way you play any of the following pairs—2, 3, 6, or 7—is virtually identical: all will get split against any dealer upcard of 2—7 except for 6-6 versus 7, which is hit.
So that only leaves two hands—4s and 9s.
A pair of 4s is actually fairly simple to play and is split just against a 5 or 6 and only when the rules allow you to double down after you split.
Figuring out how to play a pair of 9s is a little trickier—you are supposed to split against 2—6 when the dealer is in troubleand also against an 8 or 9.
The logic here is that when the dealer has a 7 up they often have 17, and your two 9s already total 18 and will usually beat her.
Splitting the 9s against another 9 is a cost-saving defensive play, while standing against a face card or an ace is wisest because you will lose even more money by splitting against such power.
But there is no reason to be intimidated or any need to consult higher powers.
The main rule from the Microwave strategy stated that you always hit soft 17 or less.
Staying on your A—5 is not going to win for you very often or make you many friends at the tables.
Again, the principle is to get more money out when there is the greatest chance the dealer will bust 4, 5, or 6.
Also, you might notice that you never double a soft hand against a deuce.
Doubling down with soft hands often will cause Basic Strategy 37 someone in the casino to raise their eyebrows.
But hitting your soft 18 may bring a look of disbelief from a fellow player or a sincere question from the dealer over whether your cigarette contains only tobacco.
The reason you hit A-7 is to cut your losses.
Though many players are happy as a clam when they reach a total of 18, it is still a losing hand against a 9, 10, or ace.
Remember that there is no way to bust a soft hand and many ways to improve it.
source early blackjack authors like Lawrence Revere made a big deal about precision live casino stream the importance of never making mistakes.
His impeccable high standards scared many students into thinking they could never win at blackjack if they made any errors.
I totally agree with Revere that everyone should strive for the highest degree of accuracy possible in his play.
But the truth is that some miscues are really not very important.
There are several plays that are nearly toss-ups—it hardly matters what you do.
For example, 12 versus 4 will yield almost the same result whether you hit or stand.
However, hitting a 14 against the same 4 would be a big mistake.
Hitting a 16 versus 4 is a colossal blunder, and hitting an 18 against the same 4 a total disaster.
So not all aspects of basic strategy are created equal.
Just like in Animal Farm, some are more equal than others.
That is why the Microwave strategy is so brief on pair splits and soft hands.
These combinations tend to come up much less frequently than the hard hands, and how you play them will have a smaller impact on your overall edge.
The strategy outlined in the previous pages is a generic basic strategy based on the most common casino conditions where six- 38 Play Blackjack Like the Pros deck shoes are used and where the dealer stands on soft 17.
There is actually only one correct strategy for each different set of rules.
You typically only give up 0.
This translates to less than a hundred bucks a year for most recreational players.
However, if you do want to play as accurately as possible and I doit is not that hard to adjust your strategy for new games.
Kenneth Smith runs a great Web site at www.
I am much better at remembering what I read or see visually.
If it is auditory, I often miss key components.
A lot of good intentions crumble when you get thrown into the fast-paced casino environment.
There are several ways to learn this entire strategy.
You can do it by rows, such as the matrix charts starting on page 31, or you can condense it into a written version, like the chart on page 29.
Today there are very sophisticated modern methods of learning from computer software.
The industry standard is Casino Vérité Blackjack, a truly amazing program that has a myriad of tools for both beginners and pros.
Simply dealing cards to yourself on the kitchen table will not aid you in memorizing some of the obscure situations that rarely come up such as A-A versus A.
Therefore, the next chapter will contain a practice chart that incorporates every hand, no matter how remote.
I cannot overemphasize how critical it is to master the fundamentals before you step inside the doors of the casino.
Having said all that, I do want to reiterate an earlier point.
It is okay to make mistakes.
I made my share of boneheaded plays over the years and still was extremely successful.
In kindergarten I happily colored Santa Claus with a green crayon, completely unaware that I was color-blind.
My teacher thought she had another backwoods moron on her hands and demoted me to the remedial reading class.
But once I accidentally pushed out a big chip on a minus count a negative situation that favored the house.
The colors of the tokens in that casino were very unusual, and I thought I was making a small bet.
The rest of the day I was especially careful to grab the correct denomination before I made my bets.
Anyone can become a winning player.
And deep down, I think all of us want to win rather than lose.
Instead of being the victim, there is a way to turn the tables.
Blackjack offers everyone that opportunity if they are willing to put in a little work.
I told all my friends about card counting, expecting them to join me on the road to wealth.
However, most of them failed to share my zeal for the game, and their halfhearted attempts to become winners soon died out.
Eventually, I quit trying to spread my newfound gospel and decided to keep my rather unique vocation to myself.
Yet occasionally some people still discovered my secretive life.
Once, an old college friend, Alex Strickland, approached me to teach him the tricks of the trade.
Nevertheless, I gave him a copy of basic strategy and some practice charts to learn the obscure and unusual hands.
These charts are important tools because many card combinations will rarely come up in normal play and are easy to forget.
Following are some practice charts I devised for Alex.
The correct action in this example is for the player to hit.
The proper way to use a practice chart is by mentally or verbally giving the correct response for each problem as quickly as possible.
A random chart like this mixes up the situations and is more similar to actual casino conditions.
Hopefully, after many repetitions with this chart, basic strategy will become much more automatic.
Hit, Stand, or Surrender?
Many hands offer several choices, and some options take precedence over others.
Sixteen versus 9 is a good example to show the sequence of thinking.
Likewise for A-3 versus 6.
The initial decision here is whether to double yes.
Then, instead of reciting the correct basic strategy decision, you will give the true count number needed to deviate on that particular play.
For example, 16 versus 10 becomes stand on any positive count and hit on any negative number.
YOUR BEST BET Alex surprised me with his focus and commitment.
He quickly learned basic strategy, displaying an intense seriousness that had failed to surface during his entire four years at college.
After practicing at home for a while, we decided to make the short drive to one of the local blackjack games.
However, Alex was still an underdog, despite his newly acquired The Intermediate Player 45 blackjack knowledge.
Playing perfect basic strategy is roughly equivalent to winning 99 out of 200 bets.
This is close to even odds but still puts players at a slight disadvantage against the house.
Yet this is far better than other casino options.
The typical player trying to guess in which color the ball will land wins about 95 out of 200 bets.
Still, most people go to the casino to win and not just reduce their losses, and there are some additional techniques that can further shave the small remaining edge approximately 0.
They may look like regular blackjack but have unusual and quirky rules that dramatically increase the house edge like paying only 6 to 5 when you are dealt a blackjack.
Make sure you know exactly what you are playing before sitting down.
There are a couple progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace services available that offer updated information on current rules and blackjack conditions across the country.
With the proper knowledge, you can slice the house edge in half just by being picky about where you play.
That may not sound like much, but it really adds up over time.
A typical recreational player might make four gambling trips per year.
Finding games that offer the best rules is the most concrete way to improve your bottom line, but there are some slightly more abstract methods.
If you are fortunate enough to play at clubs that still deal single-deck blackjack, there are some additional ways to increase your edge without actually counting.
There should be an average of one face card seen this includes all 10s, jacks, queens, and kings for each player at the table not counting the dealer.
You could also reduce your bet on the next hand when you have seen more tens than normal eight in a six-spot game, for example.
This is a simple technique, yet potentially strong enough to make you a slight favorite overall.
The Intermediate Player 47 Surprisingly, many clubs still offer single-deck blackjack games.
The same principle can be applied to shoe games, but the gain is drastically reduced.
He then jumped in only when several players had split or doubled down and very few face cards were on the felt.
The information from this one round could theoretically bring him close to dead even, but it is not very practical because six decks greatly dilutes the value of each small card.
But is that possible without counting cards?
It can be if we add one more element to the equation— comps.
But for every player who knows how to work the system, there are a dozen people willing to burn through hundreds of dollars in their pursuit of a monogrammed T-shirt or a free hat.
Frugal individuals may not consider a comp to a fancy gourmet restaurant worthwhile because the tip for their free meal could cost them more than the entire price of a regular dinner.
But to others such perks are like the MasterCard commercial—the comp is priceless.
For them, the 48 Play Blackjack Like the Pros value of the comp far exceeds their actual losses which are easily forgotten.
In essence, he could take a few mini vacations per year with almost all expenses paid—if he played his cards right.
He suggests that you look for full tables and play as slow as possible.
The comp formulas most casinos use are based on hands per hour, and if you play fewer hands than the norm you are putting a lot less money at risk for the same gain in comp dollars.
This tends to make them overestimate your average bet.
Add in a few strategic bathroom breaks, and it is possible for a basic-strategy player to receive far more in comps than he should expect to lose in dollars.
However, a great example of a place where you can incorporate several of the tactics I previously discussed—and greatly increase your odds as well—is the Nugget in Sparks, Nevada, just outside Reno.
This casino has traditionally always had excellent single-deck games with good rules.
It The Intermediate Player 49 is also extremely generous with its comps and has a superb collection of restaurants.
The food and service always rate high in local surveys, and it is a very well-run, friendly club.
Norwegian Cruise Line has an outstanding comp program and offers one of the best and most relaxed casinos on the seven seas.
ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT Alex Strickland eagerly received this message of free food and expressed a willingness to milk the comp system like a Rocky Mountain goat.
Yet Alex was like most of us—he still wanted more.
There is certainly no disgrace in playing just basic strategy and merely breaking even.
By doing so you are far ahead of most everyone else in the casino.
Alex had a high IQ but struggled with high school geometry.
He assumed only someone with a mutant brain would be able to memorize every card as the dealer removed them from play.
I explained how card counting only approximated the distribution of high cards to low cards and assured him that almost anyone with the proper motivation could master it.
The idea that card counting must somehow be illegal is a fairly common myth, and is kept alive by some in the gaming 50 Play Blackjack Like the Pros community who want the public to believe card counters are common thieves or cheats.
This is far from the truth.
As I explained earlier, card counting is simply using your brain in the casino.
The very reason blackjack is the most popular table game is because people know it can be beaten by smart individuals.
Instead of keeping track of complicated ratios, he devised a counting system that was very simple to grasp.
He assigned a value of plus 1 to all the low cards 2—6 and a value of minus 1 to all the high cards 7—A.
This count was christened the High-Low hereafter referred to as Hi-Lo.
All of a sudden the lucrative gates to the world of blackjack swung wide open, even for those of average intelligence.
Since almost all the edge at least in shoe games gained from card counting is derived from raising your bets at the right times, the Hi-Lo seemed like the ideal system.
However, some diehards wanted to squeeze the maximum gain from the tables and intuitively saw that more advanced counts could be created and higher edges obtained.
This was because not all cards have the same importance when they are taken out of article source deck.
Hi-Lo lumped all the small cards together 2—6but there is a considerable difference between them.
Some have much greater impact when they are removed from play.
The following table reprinted from Knock-Out Blackjack, by Olaf Vaneura and Ken Fuchs shows the approximate gain or loss each card has when it is removed from single-deck blackjack.
Card Effect of Removal 2 0.
The strongest counting system would need to incorporate these subtle differences into their numbers because removing a 5 has more than twice the impact as pulling a 7 out of the deck.
More advanced systems are called multilevel counts because the cards have individual values higher than one.
The Zen Count level 2the Uston APC level 3 and the Revere APC level 4 have been some of the more popular multilevel systems.
In the following chart, you will see several examples of various counts from level 1 to level 4.
Another thing you might recognize is that several systems count the ace as zero.
Yet because an ace never busts any hand, it is hardly a factor for playing decisions deviating from basic strategy according to deck composition.
Therefore, the strongest systems are called multiparameter since they keep two counts—one for most of the cards and a separate one for aces.
UNBALANCED COUNTS Most counting systems are called balanced counts.
That means positive numbers are equal to negative numbers.
If you counted down a deck using the Hi-Lo system, you would start with zero and end up with zero.
The KO count is the best known of what are called unbalanced counts.
This imbalance is deliberately created to eliminate the need to make true count conversions in blackjack.
The KO methodology is explained in detail in the excellent book Knock-Out Blackjack, by Olaf Vancura and Ken Fuchs.
Their premise is a very sound one— the authors feel it is mentally too taxing for most players to convert back and forth between running counts and true counts.
These terms will be explained more fully later in this chapter.
There is a lot to be said for unbalanced counts, and sometimes less is more.
The question is how much money are you giving up for something that is easier to learn and play?
However, losing less is still losing, and learning to blackjack odds of cards is the best way to reverse this negative cycle and make you a winner.
This amount increases slightly with the Hi-Lo count, but the difference between Hi-Lo and the KO count is negligible for most part-time blackjack players.
If you only learn basic strategy, you will still be far ahead of most blackjack players.
When I taught Alex Strickland how to count, I started him right off in the big leagues with Hi-Opt II because that was what I used.
This is a two-level, multiparameter count that requires a strong commitment to learn.
Today, if an aspiring card counter approached me, I probably would recommend a different route.
The reason is twofold.
Unless a player is going to make blackjack his passion, the extra work for higher systems is often unwarranted.
Also, many casinos now offer only shoe games, and recent research has shown that the simpler counts like KO and Hi-Lo are nearly as effective as the advanced counts for six- and eight-deck blackjack.
The best counting system for you depends on several factors, including the kind of blackjack games you play, how much you bet, and how many hours a year you expect to work.
I would consider all these circumstances before recommending any one count.
Remember how Alex Strickland always liked shortcuts?
Finally, out of exasperation, he suggested an alternative plan.
Rather than learning to count, he proposed following me around from table to table and simply betting higher on his spot whenever I increased my wagers.
The trick, of course, is identifying a good card counter.
Practically speaking, if you can determine that, you can probably count on your own.
However, some card counters have a certain look that sets them apart from the crowd.
The Advanced Player 57 Hi-Lo is easy to learn.
The twenty small cards 2—6 are counted as plus 1 when they are removed from the deck.
The twelve middle cards 7—9 are considered the neutral cards and have no value.
The twenty big cards 10—ace are counted as minus 1.
Conversely, if the big cards win the tug-of-war, the odds shift back to the house, and there is no betting advantage for the players.
This is best illustrated with the roulette wheel, which contains 38 numbers.
In such a game, neither the players nor the house have any edge on straight bets on either color—it is dead even.
However, suppose after each number was hit, that number was removed from the wheel.
Now you have a whole different proposition.
However, black moves up to become a 60 percent favorite with 18 spots left in the remaining 30 numbers.
As cards are removed from 58 Play Blackjack Like the Pros play, they forever change the remaining deck composition.
But whenever an excess of small more info +1 are removed, the odds slowly climb past the 50 percent mark and will give astute players a chance to beat the house.
Once you feel comfortable with that task, you can start keeping a running count hereafter called RC of all cards in the deck.
This is done by starting off with a count of zero.
Your brain would process this information into an RC of +1, +2, +2, +1, +1, +2.
Each card is added to the RC in the order you see it.
A small card adds 1 to the overall number, while a big card subtracts 1 from the total.
If you have an aversion to negative numbers, here is a graph to show how this works.
Next, go through the deck two cards at a time.
The reason is that many card combinations will cancel each other out in Hi-Lo.
Here are several examples of cancellation at work.
ᅑᆸ ᆵᆶ ᆻᆽ ᅓᆹ All of the two-card combos shown click to see more can essentially be ignored when counting since their total value is zero.
For instance, if you ended up with a RC of minus 1, the last card the one you had set aside has to be a small card in order to bring the overall count back to zero.
If it was any other card, then you made an error or two somewhere along the way.
Once you get comfortable, start keeping a tally of your results.
Your journal should show your time for each deck and whether the count was correct at the end.
The important thing is to not give up.
It gets much easier after a little experience.
It is actually good to have some distractions since that helps simulate the hustle and bustle of casino conditions.
I surprised myself by correctly counting down three decks in a row, clocking in at 21, 18, and 18 seconds.
My aptitude in math pales compared to some of the true geniuses of blackjack, like my buddy Mickey Weinberg, who graduated from Cornell.
I cite this example to show how simple this elegant little count really is.
Once you master the basics and understand the principles, Hi-Lo is quite easy to play.
PRACTICE CHART Lawrence Revere recommended that players carry a small practice sheet with them to learn counting.
Below is the one that I made and use.
It can also be tucked into your wallet or shirt pocket.
The Advanced Player please click for source A-6 7-T 3-6 2-7 61 2-6 A-2 5-7 4-9 T-T A-6 5-T 3-5 8-9 7-T A-9 A-3 8-T T-T 2-9 A-4 5-6 5-T 4-8 T-T 2-3 6-9 3-T 3-9 T-T A-9 6-T 7-9 T-T 5-9 3-T A-T 4-T A-5 4-6 6-T 5-6 7-T 3-7 2-2 2-7 A-9 T-T 2-T 8-T 7-7 T-T 2-8 8-T 3-7 T-T 6-5 T-T 9-T 4-5 6-7 4-9 5-8 2-5 3-5 6-8 A-4 8-T A-8 T-T 9-T 3-T 8-9 8-T 4-T 5-7 here T-T 3-8 4-7 3-5 3-T A-6 6-8 4-T 7-T 6-9 T-T 3-4 4-T A-7 T-T 2-7 3-6 T-T 2-6 A-T 2-4 2-7 A-2 2-T 2-7 A-5 T-T 4-T 4-5 5-T T-T 8-T 2-3 3-T T-T 5-T A-6 3-T 3-4 4-6 2-8 7-8 3-T 7-T 5-T 8-9 2-5 9-T 6-7 A-T 2-3 T-T A-5 8-T 4-9 5-9 6-T T-9 3-T 4-7 9-T 4-T 4-8 9-T 6-T T-T 7-8 A-8 5-T 2-5 T-T A-4 A-T 2-9 A-2 RUNNING COUNT Nearly all the advantage a card counter gains over the house in a shoe game six- or eight-deck comes from betting.
Play decisions matter very little comparatively.
It is possible to glean most of this gain without reading much farther.
If you have more or less than this amount, just adjust the numbers accordingly.
What every skilled blackjack player is looking for is a high plus count.
That indicates there is an excess of big cards 10—ace left in the remainder of the shoe, which will favor the players rather than the house.
A crude betting strategy to take advantage of these positive counts would be to hike 62 Play Blackjack Like the Pros up your bet during the high counts and stick with your minimum bet the rest of the time.
Stick with this bet any time the RC is +4 or less this includes all negative numbers.
Doing this will make overall winners out of disciplined players.
If you go up or down from there, you will rarely dip into negative digits, and if you do, that might be a good time to leave the table anyway.
The Advanced Player 63 I never had any problems adding or subtracting negative integers, although I know some players who do.
TRUE COUNT The only reason I expect to have more winning days than losing ones is because I raise my bets during positive counts.
This would also be the simplest betting scheme.
A smarter approach is to modify your bets so they are in proportion to the actual edge you have on any given hand.
A rule of thumb is that the higher the count goes into the positive numbers, the larger your edge.
This is why the chart shows incremental increases in your bets based on how high the RC rises.
However, most counters never base their bets just on the RC because the value of the count changes depending on how many cards remain to be played.
Yet you would need to remove six 4s out of a six-deck shoe to cause the same shift in the house advantage.
Here is a great way to illustrate that principle.
But if you were to add only one teaspoon of sugar to the entire pitcher of lemonade, the sweetener would be greatly diluted.
It would take six teaspoons if there were six glasses of lemonade in the pitcher to accomplish a similar effect.
The same concept applies to the true count, as the effect of each individual card value is diluted depend- 64 Play Blackjack Like the Pros ing on how many decks are used.
The bigger the pitcher or shoe, the less effect each teaspoon of sugar or small card will have.
Therefore, the only way to know the proper proportion and correct odds is with a true count hereafter called TC.
This conversion process scares off many players, but it can be learned with a little practice.
This TC provides a much more accurate gauge for the proportions of high cards to low cards over the remainder of the shoe than an RC.
To calculate a TC, it does not matter how many decks you started with, just how many are left to https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/3-hand-blackjack-strategy.html />Each number in the TC is called a true point and is worth about 0.
In other words, every time the TC rises one point, your edge goes up 0.
In most games, a TC of +1 brings you back to about even or slightly ahead of the house, and every positive number over that increases your advantage.
For example, a TC of +3 yields about a 1 percent edge and a TC of +5 close to 2 percent.
Here is how the thought process to determine that number works: The TC of +5 is multiplied times 0.
This gives a total of 2.
That leaves a total of approximately 2 percent for your edge.
You can readily see how this more precise information allows you to bet correctly.
However, you must be able to convert the RC to the TC to take advantage of this data.
The Advanced Player 65 TRUE-COUNT ADJUSTMENTS There are several training techniques to learn TC adjustments for shoes.
With practice, I became adept at eyeballing the different packs so that I could readily recognize how many half-decks sat in the discard rack.
Today, I would recommend only adjusting by whole decks rather than half-decks.
There is not a lot of gain from the additional precision, and it is much easier to estimate the cards in the discard rack to the closest deck.
The previous example would then look like this: the RC of +9 divided by 4 yields a TC of +2 actually 2.
However, I still suggest you buy a few decks and perhaps even a discard rack for practice.
Here is a great way to learn estimates for the six-deck shoe.
You want to use casino cards because the thickness of regular store-bought decks is often markedly different.
Once you get home, take out a permanent marker and number each card sequentially from 1 to 260.
At this point you need to be careful to always keep them in this order.
The exact card number for two decks in the discard rack is 104 number written by the Magic Marker.
Anything reasonably close to that is accurate enough for TC conversions.
However, if you guessed two decks were in the rack and the card number read 140, you were well off—it was much closer to three decks 156 cards than to two decks 104 cards.
This technique can be used whether you decide to round to the nearest deck or half-deck.
TRUE-COUNT CONVERSION You can also mix in TC conversion practice by adding in another separate deck it is smart to purchase a different color to avoid confusion and comingling.
This represents an imaginary RC number for practice.
Say you turned over the 8 of clubs.
So 8 the RC needs to be divided by 4, which gives a TC of 2.
You can do this with several different cards, one after another, to practice this conversion before moving on to a different number of decks in the discard rack.
You can also use red cards hearts and diamonds to imitate minus numbers and black spades and clubs for positive.
Decks Remaining CF 8.
This is easier than it sounds.
If you ignored the decimal point for a moment, most of the time in shoe games you multiply by 1, 2, or 3, which is very easy.
This is when many close decisions come into play and much more of your money is risked.
Here are the conversion factors for what is generally the last deck dealt out of a shoe.
Decks Remaining CF 2.
The reason I list.
PLAY DECISIONS Determining the TC will help in two ways.
The main advantage is in being able to bet the correct amounts at the right times.
One important thing to remember is that a negative RC always equals a negative TC.
So if you are calculating a TC only to determine your bet, you can save yourself the effort on any negative number because you will never change your bet with the Hi-Lo system until the RC rises over into the positive side.
The other reason you need a TC rather than just a RC is so you can vary your play decisions from basic strategy according to the count.
It may sound stupid, after I took so much time explaining the importance of basic strategy, to tell you now that there are occasions when you throw it out the window.
But there are very good reasons for these exceptions.
When an excess of face cards are left in the shoe, it is sometimes wiser to stand on your stiffs and let the dealer bust.
The correct time to deviate from basic strategy is determined by a matrix number.
However, you still play basic strategy on the vast majority of your hands.
Don Schlesinger, the gifted author of Blackjack Attack, determined the most important hands for changing your play from basic strategy.
Eliot Jacobson for six-deck shoes to use during those critical situations.
For example, now there are times when it is correct to stand with your 15 versus a face card TC of +5 or higher even though that is contrary to basic strategy.
Taking advantage of this additional information derived from the count to alter some of your plays will increase your edge over the house.
You always want to round the TC down for playing decisions, and you only deviate from basic strategy if the TC equals or exceeds that number.
Another tip is that in shoe games the TC is almost always less than the RC.
A conversion is never required unless the RC is at least higher than the matrix number you need.
Any fraction of +5 will be less than +5.
The best way to resolve such close calls is to go with basic strategy and err on the side of safety.
TACKLING THE TABLES This chapter contains all the basics for you to become an overall winner at the casinos.
Disciplined players who adhere to the proper strategies will win far more often than those who play blackjack by the seat of their pants.
The important principle is to only use what you are able to master.
A little knowledge sometimes can be a dangerous thing, and every time good information is dispersed to the gaming public it usually creates more losing players than winners.
However, it is very important not to rush this process.
Practice should be done at remarkable, double betting in blackjack the, not at the casinos.
The cost of your education in the real world can be very high.
It is blackjack specialist to start slow and work your way up to higher chip levels.
However, more chips wait for you at each additional rung of the ladder.
The higher you are willing to climb, the larger the gain.
And those chosen few who are diligent and serious about their blackjack game can join the ranks of the true upper class in blackjack—the pros.
The HiLo system is more than adequate for most players and situations.
However, there are scenarios in which it is wiser to use a more advanced count.
It hinges on three variables—bankroll, number of hours played, and quality of games selected.
Anyone who expects to bet big at the tables should seriously consider learning a more complicated system.
A level 2 count will win close to 10 percent more per hour in shoe games than the Hi-Lo.
But if you increase either the average bet or hours played, that little bit extra can become a huge gain.
The other factor to take into consideration is the quality of the blackjack games you click here />Card counters should always seek out the best conditions and rules.
The next chapter will give some of my criteria for choosing the cream of the crop, but a general rule of thumb is this: the better the game, the more important your counting system, since advantageous rules or deeper penetration yields greater gain with an advanced counting system.
This is most notable in handheld blackjack games.
The difference can be huge in single-deck blackjack when playing with an advanced count as opposed to Hi-Lo.
For this reason, I recommend that anyone who plans on playing big money, serious hours, or a lot of handheld blackjack study a stronger count.
But there is an additional learning curve, and these systems will only increase your bottom line if you are able to use them in the casino without overtaxing your brain.
Most computer simulations show that the Hi-Opt II count is the top-rated system although there is little actual difference between the best multilevel counts.
Hi-Opt II is what I use, and I would never consider tackling the best games using only Hi-Lo.
Most of the juicy, single-deck blackjack games are now becoming a thing of the past—almost as dead as the dinosaurs.
But many authors have prematurely predicted the demise of great conditions The Professional Player 73 before.
Other high-stakes players gave up on handheld blackjack and only played shoes, but I won over a million dollars playing just single- and double-deck blackjack.
Consequently, most of this chapter will show you how to exploit those blackjack games.
The future of handheld blackjack at times does look bleak, and if you live anywhere in the Boston-toBaltimore corridor, it free blackjack game online multiplayer seem like modern blackjack is only played with six or eight decks.
ADVANCED SYSTEMS There are two well-known counts in the Hi-Opt system.
Here are the respective card values for each system.
The only differences are the 2 and the ace.
The deuce is left out of HiOpt I because it is the least important of the small cards in the HiLo system.
The ace is not actually dropped, but is counted separately.
This is the secret weapon of multiparameter advanced counts, because it allows experts to play their hands much more accurately.
These are called ace-neutralized counts as opposed to acereckoned counts such as the Hi-Lo.
But let me explain the process, and you can determine whether it is worth the extra labor.
Either Hi-Opt count can be learned in the same fashion as HiLo.
Obviously, the individual values for some cards are different, but the practice drills will work in an identical manner.
However, it is helpful training to use a pack of cards with four extra aces a loaded deck to help prepare you for side-counting aces in a double deck game.
The second step is learning how to keep track of those allimportant aces, since your count no longer compensates for them.
Many players simply keep two counts going in their head, such as +5 and 2, meaning an RC of +5 with two aces gone.
I think a better version of that is to use letters at least with single and double decks.
The previous example would instead be 5 B, meaning an RC of +5 and two aces B being the second letter in the alphabet.
This trick works pretty well except for those who missed Sesame Street the week it covered the alphabet.
However, I feel the best approach is to not fry your brain trying to manage two counts simultaneously in your mind.
I employed the Uston method from Million Dollar Blackjack and counted them on my feet.
Here is a table to show how that works.
The footwork required to perform this side count can be a little tricky to learn.
Once you have learned a method that works well for you, you need to know how progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace process the information.
This is actually the hard part.
ACE ADJUSTMENTS Normally, one ace should be seen for every thirteen cards.
If there is any disparity from the usual number, the RC needs to be adjusted.
This is generally only done for betting situations, and then only when the adjustment might make a difference on the amount you will wager.
This may sound a little complicated, so let me give you a few examples to show how it works.
If you were playing in a double-deck game and approximately half a deck twenty-six cards had been played, you should have seen two aces.
However, if only one ace had appeared, you have a situation in which the remaining cards are slightly ace rich by one ace.
You then need to adjust the RC up or down by the excess or shortage of aces.
In this case you would add either +1 for Hi-Opt I or +2 for Hi-Opt II to the RC before making your TC conversion.
The chart that follows gives a few more examples of this process using Hi-Opt I.
The column for aces shows how many aces were actually played, with the number in parentheses representing the number of aces that should have been seen at that point.
The column ADJ adjustment shows how much of an adjustment depending on the disparity of aces needs to be made on the RC.
You should have seen one ace, but instead, two have already come out.
This difference of one ace needs to be subtracted ADJ from the RC +5 to get an ARC adjusted running count of +4.
In this example, the excess ace reduced the count slightly.
The ARC is then multiplied by the CF to give the correct TC for betting +4 ×.
After this is done, you revert back to the original RC.
These numbers are for Hi-Opt I, in which you adjust 1 for every ace.
The same principles from the double-deck chart could be used to adjust for aces in a single-deck game, except the number of normal aces would be different.
This means that it is only necessary to make TC calculations on close decisions.
Often, the number needed to stand or to increase your bet will be evident without having to go through the several The Professional Player 77 steps of adjusting the RC.
Playing single deck at full tables where they deal two rounds is especially a snap because you only need to make one TC decision per deck for betting between each round.
I will explain the technique I use, although the important thing is not so much the methodology, but its consistency.
Never count cards in a random manner because you will inevitably miss a few or count some twice.
Once again, consistency is the key here.
Then I count my hand and any other hand that I can see every time.
After that I 78 Play Blackjack Like the Pros count all the other cards as they are exposed—hits, busts, double downs.
However, there are occasions where I do change my methodology, because sometimes gleaning a little extra information can change the play and save a big hand.
The most common time to do this is on the second round at a full table.
If you have a close decision to resolve, try to view as many cards as possible.
Let me give you a couple of additional examples of proper times to break procedure.
And in a one-deck game, there is actually a much stronger technique to take advantage of this edge.
If your insurance count reaches zero, the proportion of nonface cards to face cards will be exactly 2 to 1 32 to 16, for instance, instead of 36 to 16, which is the starting point in a 52-card deck and insurance would be a break-even bet.
Any positive number indicates that you have an edge and should take insurance.
Immediately after making the insurance decision, you should revert to your normal count and use that for the rest of the deck.
ESTIMATING On particularly close decisions, I obviously try to see as many cards as possible, and a few tricks help you increase your knowledge.
One way is to show your hand to another player whose cards are hidden from your view.
Doing this may encourage him to commiserate with The Professional Player 79 you and show his hand in return.
Remember, blackjack is radically different than poker because all players battle against the dealer and not each other.
This is done by observing how someone normally plays his cards.
A borderline insurance bet offers a good example.
Therefore, it is reasonable to shift my decision based on this information.
Seeing another 6 might change the correct play to stand.
CARD EATING Another tactic that works particularly well is a technique called card eating.
Some blackjack authors recommend spreading to two hands on high plus counts.
The theory, obviously, is to get as much money into play as check this out during advantageous situations.
However, experience has led me to disagree with this advice for two reasons.
Many pit bosses have been conditioned over the years to view players who frequently raise their bets with suspicion.
The other reason is related to the fact that I normally prefer to play alone or with as few other players as possible.
In that setting, spreading to multiple hands will greatly reduce the number of rounds you will receive overall.
In other progressive betting systems in blackjack are flawed peace, spreading horizontally may not put that much more money into action.
I learned early on from Ken Uston that the best strategy is to spread vertically, not horizontally.
So when I raise my bet, I stick to one spot, increasing the stack higher, rather than going sideways.
Ironically, the only time I go horizontal other than sleeping is when the count falls into the negative numbers.
This is called card eating.
This tactic can increase a 1 to 3 spread to the equivalent of 1 to 4 or more, depending on the number of players.
However, it is unwise to employ too much precision in betting.
Same story on the top end.
Mixing together several colors can confuse the pit.
The Professional Player 81 PREFERENTIAL SHUFFLING Since single- and double-deck blackjack are so easy to beat, you probably wonder why anyone would ever play shoes.
There are three reasons for this.
First, not as many handheld games are left out there, since most casinos have gone exclusively to shoes.
Many highstakes pros avoid one or two-deck games solely for this reason.
There is just too much scrutiny.
This is a losing game.
Some paranoid clubs routinely instruct their dealers to do this whenever a player triples his previous bet.
What constitutes adequate penetration can vary depending on the game, the rules, and the amount of bet spread you use.
If penetration is usually 70 percent, but drops to 50 percent on the high plus counts, you are facing an uphill battle even with great rules.
For this reason, I always count the number of rounds whenever I 82 Play Blackjack Like the Pros play any handheld blackjack game.
Below is a chart listing the CF conversion factors I use for each round of a single-deck game.
Some numbers are slightly rounded since a small difference between the play and bet decisions occurs each round.
I then multiply the CF times the RC running count to get the correct TC true count.
The second number after the slash is to show how many aces should have been seen at that point blackjack netnet the deck.
Suppose you are playing a single-deck game with two other players three players total.
With Hi-Opt II, the RC is then adjusted by plus or minus 2 to compensate for any disparity of aces from the normal amount.
Since there should have been one ace seen at this point, you add +2 to the RC +3the ARC is now +5.
The CF to use after round one in a three-player game is 1.
This is multiplied times the ARC of +5 to give a TC of +6.
You make a max bet.
This is multiplied times the CF of 1.
You make a medium- to large-size bet.
The third round is the last one dealt at this club, so you no longer The Professional Player 83 make any conversions calculation blackjack betting.
However, you may still have a play in which you need to make a TC calculation for your play decision.
In this case, the CF of 2.
One of the best ways to learn these numbers is to deal hands to yourself at home.
The easiest category to start on is the four-player game, since the conversion factors are very straightforward for that combination.
Also, remember to adjust differently plus or minus 1 for each ace if you play Hi-Opt I instead of Hi-Opt II.
However, here are the numbers for those seeking greater precision.
You can use the other foot to keep track of 84 Play Blackjack Like the Pros the rounds.
I use the exact same order, and if I need to go beyond eight rounds double deckI simply start over.
The bare minimum number of rounds that constitute a fair single-deck game are shown in the following table.
Players Rounds 1 5 2 4 3 3 4 3 6 2 7 2 Some of click the following article combinations are better than others, but all fall within the rule of 6.
That rule refers to the sum derived when the number of spots and the number of rounds are added together.
For example, 2 players and 4 rounds totals 6, while 4 players and 3 rounds totals 7 which is obviously stronger than 6but the best games are rarely seen anymore.
You will notice that there are typically no good 5-spot single-deck blackjack games.
As I stated previously, I always biloxi $3 blackjack playing alone against the dealer and have often found single-deck games that dealt out six to eight rounds consistently.
This is a very strong game, and playing heads-up yields the most hands per hour.
Higher-limit tables keep away most tourists, but additional tactics help you avoid crowded tables.
One trick is to use props.
However, many players will only have shoes available.
By now, you can see how much work is involved.
There is a reasonably good compromise to this dilemma.
The solution is to play a multiparameter ace-neutralized system for handheld games and an ace-reckoned count for shoes.
Here is how it works.
If you want to play Hi-Opt I at a single-deck game, then you alter your count slightly and play Hi-Lo in shoes.
Only two cards are different in each count, and you could even get by using the same matrix numbers although it is better to use separate ones.
Here are the Hi-Opt I single-deck matrix numbers for the Illustrious 18 as calculated by Dr.
The Zen Count is extremely strong against shoes and is only slightly different than Hi-Opt II.
All you need to change is the 6 and the ace.
COMFORT ZONE If you are a serious player, you may eventually view the Hi-Lo count as you would white bread—it will certainly work for making a sandwich, but there are far better alternatives.
That is why I recommend the Hi-Opt systems, which I consider the Cadillacs of the cardcounting world.
If you are lucky enough to play a juicy single-deck game on a regular basis, then stepping up to a higher system is usually a smart move.
Otherwise, it may end up executing you.
Although blackjack is offered in nearly every casino around the globe, not all games are the same.
Playing at a casino simply because you like its decor or enjoy the pirate theme can potentially be devastating to your blackjack demo career.
A true pro seeks out only the very best games if he wants to become a winner rather than just another sucker donating the contents of his wallet.
Determining where you can win the most money takes a certain level of expertise, as there are a number of factors that separate one casino from another.
So let me show you some of the criteria I used in blazing my path through the maze.
Obviously, the easiest place to play is whatever club blackjack strategie karten zählen to be closest to your front door.
But if you live in some remote region, your options might be severely limited.
Perhaps there is only one 88 Play Blackjack Like the Pros joint offering blackjack within a hundred miles.
So you are left with a choice—either play in an inferior game or hit the road.
You fear that the escapist excitement your hobby currently provides will evaporate if you have to treat it like a job.
Here is a table listing the positive or negative consequences of some common rule changes.
Positive Effects Double down after splits +.
All of the changes are measured against a benchmark singledeck game with Las Vegas Strip rules, which was an essentially break-even proposition for basic strategy players it actually offered a slight advantage of.
Unfortunately, this Finding the Best Games 89 game is pretty much extinct now, but it remains a good yardstick to measure all other blackjack variations.
The number in the top far right of each table shows how much you would win or lose by playing basic strategy against that particular combination rules and number of decks.
However, none of the previous tables factor card counting into the equation.
mystic blackjack a basic-strategy player, the best game would simply be the one with the lowest house advantage.
But rules are only one of the criteria for expert players.
GAME SELECTION Being able to evaluate all the different variables is one of the most important skills for anyone wishing to make their living at the blackjack tables.
The fewer decks being used, the better.
In other words, one deck is easier to beat than two, and two decks is much stronger than six.
Eight decks should be avoided as much as a visit to your mother-in-law.
The second guideline is to always seek out the best rules.
Options such as surrender, double any two cards, or double down after a split always favor the players.
In my mind, this is the most important of the three main criteria.
Stanford Wong was one of the earliest authors to point out how critical this factor was to card counting.
Reno is a great example of this.
Many clubs commonly allow doubling down on only 10 or 11 and then make it even worse by hitting on soft 17.
Both of these restrictions hurt the players, yet the combination of singledeck blackjack with deep penetration can potentially become a very strong game, despite the bad rules.
So with those three principles number of decks, rules, and penetration in mind, let me explain how I decide where to play.
I typically go wherever I can achieve the highest return per hour of blackjack play.
The best rules normally are found wherever a glut of casinos provides plenty of competition.
This forces owners to offer more favorable options in order to grab their share of the gaming market, because many gamblers are surprisingly astute about what they want in a blackjack game and will vote with their feet if a casino has bad rules.
Historically, Las Vegas and Atlantic City have been good picks for basic-strategy players who are looking for the clubs with the thinnest house edge.
They normally stand on soft 17 and allow players to double on any two cards.
Other clubs around the world also imitate these big boys, but there are many variations.
In less-frequented Nevada border towns like Laughlin or Jean, they usually hit on soft 17.
Mississippi is split into two sectors much the same way as Nevada, with the Gulf Coast typically using Strip rules like Las Vegas and the northern part of the state hitting on soft 17 like Reno.
While it is true that many small-town casinos are a waste of time, occasionally a gem 92 Play Blackjack Like the Pros arises out of the desert sand.
Wendover on the Utah border is a challenge to get to, but has rewarded its adventuresome explorers with one of the strongest single-deck games on the planet over the last two decades.
Common sense would assume that pros only visit the clubs with the very best rules, as the difference can be half a percent or more.
That axiom would be accurate for basic-strategy players.
Yet as stated earlier, there are other factors besides good rules for card counters.
The trick comes in learning how to juggle all three variables penetration, number of decks, and rules to size up the best opportunity for your blackjack buck.
With experience comes better judgment and discernment on this issue.
I feel one of the biggest reasons novice card counters fail to win any serious money is because they play inferior games.
You absolutely have to be ruthless in this category if you want to succeed.
BETTING SPREADS I stated earlier that the simplest betting strategy would be to jump immediately from your minimum bet to the maximum bet on any advantageous count.
However, this is unwise for several reasons.
One is that such a betting technique attracts undue attention from the pit, and the other is that it would severely strain the limits of your bankroll.
In the next chapter, on money management, I will cover optimal betting, but the basic premise is to keep your bets in proportion to your advantage.
Otherwise you face the very real possibility of tapping out and heading home broke.
The secret to beating the house at blackjack generally hinges on one fact: you have to bet more when there is a high count—and less when it is negative.
However, if you do want to be a strong favorite over Finding the Best Games 93 the house, then a spread of 1 to 4 will provide a powerful edge in most situations.
Since there are more max-bet opportunities in the handheld games, it sometimes is wiser to reduce the risk by having more than a hundred top bets for single or double deck.
Each bet consists of exactly four chips, and every bet is always capped by a red chip.
This could confuse the eye in the sky into thinking you are always wagering the same amount.
Casinos will carefully watch anyone who tends to change his bets frequently.
Most gamblers tend to stick with the same amount on each hand, and the few players who spread their bets up and down are often suspected of being card counters.
That is because I suggest you use a online blackjack on facebook large spread.
I accomplish this by being extremely selective about the games I play and employing large betting spreads.
Here is my personal take on this issue.
Far too many counters worry about casino barrings and never really get an edge over the house.
Some players get so rattled they come apart like a cheap watch whenever a pit boss comes near.
Shoe games are harder to beat, but they do contain several interesting quirks that can be exploited.
If your only available option is to sit through all six or eight decks, then a gigantic bet spread is often necessary to make it worthwhile.
This is because the house will have an advantage on approximately 80 percent of the hands in a shoe game.
However, starting off with the same small bet every time is often a dead giveaway that you are a card counter.
In those cases it is usually better to leave the table rather than drop way down.
In its purest form, you only place bets on positive counts and simply walk away or refuse to bet when the house has the edge.
Variations of this abound, the most common is to combine a healthy bet spread with the propensity to leave on negative counts.
But if you are in a club for a while, you might notice another person always raising his bets at your table at exactly the right times.
If you feel he is pretty accurate, then you can use him as a back counter for future shoes.
For example, say later in the day you are wandering around looking for a spot to play.
KEY CHARACTERISTICS OF CARD COUNTERS Another important quality a professional blackjack player needs is drive.
To stay under the radar of casino surveillance, I constantly moved around.
My bread and butter came from aggressively pursuing the very best games anywhere in the world.
While most pros habitually returned to Las Vegas, I visited small towns far off the beaten path.
Once, I drove all night to take advantage of a 2-to-1 promotion on blackjacks.
If you want to make a living at blackjack, you have to have a strong desire to play only optimal games—wherever they may be found.
Card counters need a great deal of perseverance and persistence to overcome the many obstacles facing them.
Currently, tribal casinos offer some of the best blackjack games, and their number is https://pink-stuf.com/blackjack/what-hands-are-blackjack.html exploding, especially in the state of California.
However, some players are hesitant to play in any unregulated site.
I have one high-stakes friend who absolutely refuses to play on any Indian reservation since they lack the oversight of a gaming commission.
He fears there would be no recourse if he were mistreated.
While some large tribal casinos, such as the two in Connecticut, certainly rival or exceed the big dogs on the strip, the smaller ones are the most enjoyable to me.
They often have a rural American feel to them and are much warmer and friendlier than the megaresorts of Las Vegas or the sterile environment of Atlantic City.
This is the one area where more would-be card counters fail than any other.
Casinos can absorb virtually any negative swing, but many players are wiped out with one bad run of cards and never return to the tables.
If you doubt this concept, just try betting one-half of your bankroll on every high positive count and see how long you last.
My guess is the game will be over well before the fat lady sings.
Why do otherwise smart gamblers occasionally overbet?
The main reason is that most of us live in a very nearsighted manner.
We look mainly at the dot the present point in time rather than the longer line of our existence.
If you want to be successful in the casinos, this myopic form of gambling is a dangerous habit you must absolutely purge out of your system.
The only thing that matters in blackjack is whether you win overall.
War provides a reasonably good analogy for this concept.
And your goal as a card counter is to win the war, not each individual battle.
And desperate people do foolish things.
If you are inclined to have this mind-set, here is a startling secret—the casino will still be open tomorrow.
It is critical to have strict guidelines for betting and to always adhere to prearranged maximum wagers.
If you ever bet more than you should out of a desire to get even, it is very unlikely you will be successful in blackjack.
Part of the fallacy for overly aggressive betting comes from the logical belief that a good card counter is supposed to win.
Accepting losses is an important ingredient to becoming a world-class blackjack player.
Whenever I speak to others about my vocation, they invariably make comments about what an easy job I have.
Or how nice it must be bet365 casino blackjack review just hop over to a casino anytime the allure of materialism bites and I need to make a major purchase.
Now, large casinos can easily absorb a loss like that, but they got to be big by plugging all the leaks.
And it would be bad business for them to allow hordes of card counters to descend on their tables like locusts looking for easy pickings.
Hence, there has evolved a cat-and-mouse battle between skilled players and the house.
The casinos tolerate a certain amount of damage to their castle walls, but the boiling oil is sure to come out if you try and scale too high.
This creates certain limitations on how much money individual card counters can scurry off with.
Practically speaking, it is hard for solo players to get in long days at the tables.
A full-time pro might only work three hundred hours over a twelve-month period.
So instead of raking in a million a year and spending his vacations on a yacht in the Mediterranean, his expected return each year drops down to a much more pedestrian number.
Therefore, many card counters are destined to spend their summers on the Allagash River in a canoe shooing away pesky mosquitoes rather than on a boat in the French Riviera fending off amorous Scandinavian blondes.
This is roughly read more you will average per hour of play.
Hardly enough to quit the day job.
Yet thirty bucks an hour is still attractive enough to entice many people, especially when a few comped meals and shows are thrown in.
If you desire a greater return for your labors, there is a simple solution to push you into a higher wage bracket—just start with a bigger bankroll and bet more.
Your actual return will vary dramatically from your expected value EV.
Here is an example to explain SD.
One SD would range from 45 tails to 55 tails a difference of 5 either way from the average.
This would occur 68.
Two standard deviations would range from 40 tails to 60 tails a difference of 10 from the average.
This covers 95 percent of all tests.
A wild swing of three standard deviations would give us between 35 tails and 65 tails a difference of 15 Money Management 103 from the average.
This range covers nearly every situation and occurs 99.
The same principles apply to blackjack.
In the short run, there will be a wide range of results up or down from that number the mean.
All these are possible ranges during that short ten hours of play.
Baseball provides an excellent parallel to the swings a professional gambler will experience.
The New York Yankees traditionally are the best team in baseball.
Some days their mighty juggernaut would still taste defeat against vastly inferior teams.
Even with that powerful lineup, the men in pinstripes would still endure some losing days.
There would be some sequences of innings where they would be outscored, but over time their superior strength texas craps in virtually guarantee victory.
The life of a card counter is somewhat similar.
Even so, many days will test your sanity with devastating drains on your bankroll.
Even the best players still lose about one out of every three short trips.
This statistic surprises many who assume that once they acquire the magic secret code of advanced blackjack strategy card counting, they can treat casinos like an ATM machine.
However, reality is far different than fantasy, and the only way to 104 Play Blackjack Like the Pros prepare for these negative swings is to make sure you have adequate resources at your disposal.
YIELD PER HOUR OF DIFFERENT GAMES Earlier, I gave a rough formula for estimating how much you could expect to win per hour at blackjack depending on the size of your bankroll.
Throughout this book I will mostly focus on the big picture.
Consequently, some of the numbers will be more approximations than precise, hairsplitting fractions.
I feel it is extremely important to give players more of a general feel for how the game works.
Far too many blackjack books get lost in the minutiae of details and leave readers hopelessly lost on where to begin.
He has charts and graphs to cover nearly every nuance of the questions asked by the more technically inclined.