This week, we had the pleasure of interviewing a long-time BJA member, known as Eddie, about his experience as a card counter. Having been to two Blackjack Apprenticeship Bootcamps and counting cards for over 30 years, Eddie possesses extensive knowledge on the subject. Here’s what he had to say:
When asked how he got into card counting, Eddie revealed that he started playing cards from a young age, engaging in poker with his friends and later dealing blackjack. In 1981, he came across the book “Million Dollar Blackjack” by Ken Uston, which introduced him to the advanced Uston APC system. He emphasized that there was very little information about advantage play at the time, and this book served as a crucial tool for him.
Having been in the game since 1981, Eddie was asked how long it took him to trust his skills. He admitted that he was naive to think his skills were at a professional level, despite mastering the Uston APC system in about six months. He highlighted the importance of results in determining skill level, stating that making money over the long term is a true test of ability.
The conversation then shifted to the challenges Eddie faced as a card counter. He pointed out bankroll management as a critical hurdle, stressing the need for strict financial discipline to avoid ruin.
In terms of advice for aspiring card counters, Eddie stressed the importance of mastering skills before entering a casino. He also suggested taking a job as a dealer at a casino to gain insight into the industry.
When asked about the highlights of his career, Eddie recounted an incident in 2016 where he won $15,000 on a side bet called “Lucky Ladies” during a Blackjack Bootcamp in Las Vegas, where he also had the chance to meet Tommy Hyland.
Eddie’s favorite part of being a card counter lies in the opportunities he gets to take things from casinos, whether it be cash, free meals, or gift cards. He mentioned that card counting enables players to make as much money as they desire, but it requires a well-thought-out plan.
Reflecting on his highest winnings in a day, Eddie shared his largest winning session, where he ended up winning $17,000 after being down several thousand. He likened the feeling to that of running his own business.
Eddie concluded with a final thought, encouraging players to seek out the best games and conditions, to network with other players, and not to be afraid of traveling to find the most favorable opportunities.
This insight into Eddie’s journey as a card counter provides valuable advice and perspective for those interested in pursuing advantage play.