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The hand that should have been

20 January 2018

[The following is an excerpted chapter from the book You’ve Got Heat – The Vegas Card Counting Adventures of LV Pro. The book chronicles the true story of a low roller named Barfarkel (pseudonym), who set a goal of increasing his playing bankroll from $2,000 to $10,000 by becoming an advantage blackjack player. Over the course of four years, Barfarkel made 26 trips to Las Vegas, and on each trip he describes real people, real places and real incidents with amazing attention to detail. You’ve Got Heat is a fascinating glimpse at the life of a card counter and it shows how it’s possible for an average guy to take on the casinos at their game while enjoying free Las Vegas vacations. For more information on the book, go to www.youvegotheat.com.]


Once again the hour arrived to start my drive for a five-day blackjack trip to Las Vegas. I was meeting the Grifter and some temporary investor/players he’d lined up for a joint-bankroll team.

Grif was already in town and I hooked up with him shortly after arriving and unpacking, only to learn that the others wouldn’t be coming for a few days. So it was just the two of us to start the week, each of us putting up $6k for a combined $12k two-man team.

I like driving up after work on Saturday night because the roads are clear and the crowded weekend conditions are almost over. By the time I arrive at 2 a.m. the Saturday night crowds are waning, and good, uncrowded blackjack conditions can usually be found.

We agreed to keep the spread at one to six, and our unit size at $25. However, Grif cautioned me to ramp up faster in plus counts, and wong-out or just sit out hands frequently in minus counts. If at a $5 or $10 table, we could bet reds in neutral or negative counts. That way our minimum bet could actually be a “low bet range,” varying between $10 and $30.

This would allow us to appear as though we were chipping up after winning a hand, like most gamblers do, even though the count was still negative. He reminded me that fooling the pit and the Eye was “the game within the game.” We’d still wong-out during really negative counts with the usual bathroom breaks and fake cell phone calls.

Our bet scheme was to bet one unit at plus one, two units at plus two, three units at plus three, four units at plus four, and at plus five, bet either six units on one hand, or two hands of four units each.

With top bets of $150 to $200, we had 60 to 80 max bets in our bankroll.

Speaking about those top bets, one of the things I discovered on this trip was how dramatically the outcome of just a few big hands can determine the overall results.

I played the $25 double-deck table at Bellagio while the Grifter took the tram to Monte Carlo, since he’s been barred from the Bellagio and cannot play there, especially on swing. I lost $500 in an hour and trammed it over to Monte Carlo to pick him up.

We walked through Bally’s where there were no good uncrowded games this time of night. We then walked across the street to Flamingo where I stopped to play, while Grif told me to meet him in an hour at Imperial Palace where he’d be playing.

The Flamingo is one of those places where I’ve never had much luck. I think I must have lost my last five or six sessions there. The Grifter kept telling me I was due for a big win there, as the prior losses must eventually even out, even though we both know that your expectation going forward is always the same, regardless of what came before. Nothing is destined to even out. Each session has no memory of what has transpired in the past, and is just like the first session you’ve ever played, EV-wise. I knew Grif was just trying to inspire me.

(Part Two in three weeks!)
Recent Articles
Best of Henry Tamburin
Henry Tamburin

Henry Tamburin is the author of the best-selling book, Blackjack: Take The Money and Run, editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, and Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course. For a free 3-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter with full membership privileges, visit www.bjinsider.com/free. For details on the Golden Touch Blackjack course visit www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 866/WIN-BJ21. For a free copy of his casino gambling catalog featuring over 50 products call 888/353-3234 or visit the Internet store at www.smartgaming.com.

Henry Tamburin Websites:

www.smartgaming.com

Books by Henry Tamburin:

Winning Baccarat Strategies

> More Books By Henry Tamburin

Henry Tamburin
Henry Tamburin is the author of the best-selling book, Blackjack: Take The Money and Run, editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter, and Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course. For a free 3-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter with full membership privileges, visit www.bjinsider.com/free. For details on the Golden Touch Blackjack course visit www.goldentouchblackjack.com or call 866/WIN-BJ21. For a free copy of his casino gambling catalog featuring over 50 products call 888/353-3234 or visit the Internet store at www.smartgaming.com.

Henry Tamburin Websites:

www.smartgaming.com

Books by Henry Tamburin:

> More Books By Henry Tamburin