GENERIC BASIC STRATEGY
THE HIGH-LOW SYSTEM
HOW TO WIN WITHOUT GETTING KICKED OUT
Do not worry if a pit boss camps at your table. In many casinos this is the customary procedure at any table with big bets. The only problem with having a pit boss assigned to your table is almost all dealer errors will be caught.
When a new pit boss comes to relieve the old one, the exiting pit boss generally tells the new one how much each player has bought in for. If you think they are talking about you, you are right, but fear not. The bosses keep track of how much you buy in for and how many chips you walk away with, but I have never seen the information put to any use except to decide whether to offer you a free meal.
Blackjack By Country
The Casino Pit Boss
Sometimes a boss will grab a handful of discards and examine them. Sometimes the backs will be examined, sometimes the fronts, and sometimes the sides. Generally the boss is looking for marks. Maybe he is checking to see if the cards have been used enough and should be replaced. It is rare that a pit boss will examine the discards to find the count.
The reason is that while the cards were out of your sight they might have been replaced by a like number of small cards, and thus aces and 10s will be scarce after the next shuffle. This is cheating and it is rare, but it can happen. No pit boss should ever remove cards from your sight. Even if a card is torn and must be replaced, everything should be done openly.
What do you do when a boss recognizes you from a previous trip and calls you by name? Smile, and act happy to be recognized. Act like the boss is your friend. Act like you want him to pay for your dinner. Come to think of it, that might be a good way to act toward pit bosses even if they do not recognize you.
The best attitude to exhibit is that you are a gambler out to have a good time. Act like you are trying to win, but act as if winning is less important than enjoying yourself.
Suppose you are playing blackjack in a casino that cannot bar you. Can you then be open about being a card counter?
Even if you cannot be barred, there might be countermeasures taken against you. For example, if you are identified as a card counter you might find the cut card moved up at every table you play. So it pays to hide your ability at blackjack.
Talking at the Table
Try to interact with the other players at the table. This is particularly true when you are playing for long hours at the same table. When you are engaged in conversation with other players, the bosses seem to ignore you as if you could not possibly be playing a winning game.
One time a player asked me to stop talking so he could think. And he was not even a card counter. He just had to add his fifteen points and decide whether to hit or stand. I wonder if he would have believed me if ltold him that while I was talking with him I was counting cards and playing my own hand according to the count.
I do not talk to a pit boss unless I am spoken to first. I do not want to make myself anymore memorable than I need to. But then, I seldom seek comps.
Masking Your Intelligence
Chances are, you are way above average in intelligence. Most card counters are. So work on looking smart enough to have made the money you bring to the table, but not smart enough to know how to make money at blackjack. An example is eye contact. Though you can see things at a glance, when you play blackjack you may want to look at everything twice as long as you need to. You want to give the impression you are thinking half as fast as you are. And though you may know in an instant how you want to play a particular hand, pause as if you are thinking about every decision. Also, you might consider masking your intenseness and your competitive nature.
Masking Your Experience
One problem with having played thousands of hours of blackjack is you become adept at handling cards and chips. Picking up your cards quickly helps speed up the game, but it also marks you as a person who has spent a good deal of time with cards in your hand. So try to fumble a bit when picking up your cards. Same with chips. Keep them in stacks, but not neat stacks.
I am trying to break myself of the habit of nonchalantly playing with small stacks of chips. If my fingers playfully interweave two stacks of six chips each to make one stack of twelve chips, anyone who is watching me knows I have had chips in my hands a lot.
Using an Alias
One problem you might have in using an alias is forgetting who you said you were. And even when you remember who you are supposed to be, you sometimes might be slow in responding to someone calling you by name.
A person ought to know his name well enough to be able to recognize it immediately if someone uses it.
A solution is to use only names of relatives and good friends.
You can use the same few names over and over. Generally I use the name of my grandfather on my mother's side, a brother-in-law, or a neighbor; Now I never forget who I am supposed to be.
There is not much communication between casinos. You can use a different name in each casino if you want. If you do, you should keep track of which name you have given to whom, so you can be consistent. The only problem you might run into is there is some movement of pit bosses from casino to casino. It might be awkward if two pit bosses in your pit each know you by a different name.
Sometimes I am two different people in the same casino. I use different names for day shift and swing shift. During the time of shift change when both sets of pit bosses are present together, I will not be there. I will be eating a meal and changing clothes. If I wear out my welcome on one shift it will not automatically carry over to the other shift.
Some books on blackjack advise you to dress differently in different Las Vegas casinos. They advise wearing fancier clothes on the Strip than in downtown casinos. Well, I dress for comfort. I wear the same clothes downtown as on the Strip, and have never had a problem with it.
On a few occasions I have had casino pit bosses look down at my shoes. I suspect that the reason for the shoe inspection is not fetishes, but hidden computers. The hidden computers I have seen and heard about require the user to input information by moving his toes up and down to activate switches in his shoes. So I suspect the bosses look at my shoes to see if l could be using a hidden computer to aid my blackjack play.
My shoes have always passed their inspection. If your shoes seem to attract special attention, then you might change shoes. Or wear shorts, because the hidden computers I know about have wires leading from the shoes to the power source and output device else where on the body.
By the way do not use a hidden computer to play blackjack. In some jurisdictions, notably Nevada, use of such a device at a casino game is a felony; as illegal as cheating.
Some pros report that a short play at a game other than blackjack provides good cover. Some like to carry a keno ticket to a blackjack table. They hope the pit bosses think that anyone foolish enough to play keno cannot possibly play blackjack well enough to have an edge. You do not need to play keno yourself to sport a keno ticket in your pocket; you can recycle someone else's losing ticket.
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