Colin Jones (S1 E8): Mail Bag – Gambling With An Edge

In this episode of my N-portion sequence wanting at Colin Jones’s
guide, The 21st-Century Card Counter, I’m just likely to briefly
remark on numerous phrases and sentences that caught my eye. This is like the “Mail
Bag” episodes of Gambling with an Edge, or the Potpourri classification on

[p. 26] “I’m not likely to argue whether people need to or
really should not gamble for entertainment (however it is my opinion that gambling is a
extremely significant-chance low-reward variety of it).” From shelling out so a great deal time in locals
casinos, I’d say that the percentage of gamblers who are trouble gamblers—by pretty much
any definition of the term—is a lot, substantially bigger than the sector would acknowledge. As
a resort location, Vegas is a distinctive animal. But locals casinos are developed
on degenerate gambling. That stated, I think there is a purpose for recreational
gambling, and CJ underestimates how pleasurable it is for some. CJ is a bit
jaded, simply because blackjack (and baccarat) are not inherently entertaining games (you
would not play them for no cash), and mainly because card counting as a dwelling can take
the entertaining out of the match! One particular of my old pals came to Vegas with me, and afterwards
claimed, “You’ve ruined Las Vegas for me,” due to the fact he could never again see the
working experience in the carefree, oblivious way that gamblers do. I turned it into
get the job done.

[p. 27] “Since I went professional, my overall hourly win level has
been $432.” I feel this may possibly describe CJ’s in general optimism for counting playing cards,
and the criticism he has been given for producing it audio like a way to effortless riches
(I don’t imagine that these criticism is precise or truthful, but whoever stated the
World wide web is fair?). I have no information of the games CJ was actively playing or the
several hours, but $432/hour sounds above EV to me for a counter in his first number of a long time
creating a bankroll.

[p. 27] “Sure, it can be thrilling. But it can also be
exhausting, monotonous, disheartening, hugely stress filled, and an emotional
rollercoaster as opposed to just about anything else you are going to ever expertise.” That is extra like

[p. 29] “Apophenia is the time period neurologists use to define the truth that people are universally seeking for patterns in random facts.” Fantastic to know. Apophenia is just about everywhere. I could place a bunch of random digits in a glossary and people would feel it suggests one thing!

[p. 30] “Here’s a laptop or computer simulation …” Thank you for limiting
the chart to a solitary site.

[p. 32] “Casinos know this. That’s why they are not concerned if a gambler wins on any specified night time.” This is a person of the handful of details in the reserve I disagree with. Some casinos really don’t sweat it, but many casinos and hundreds of bosses be expecting to acquire each time, in opposition to each player, and acquire it individually if the player beats the casino. Casinos are babies. Slimy, crap-creating, whiny infants. But I adore children.

[p. 33] “You’d be stunned how a lot of people inform me that they imagine the casino is cheating them. The casino doesn’t have to!” This is a incredibly, incredibly weak argument in opposition to the possibility of dishonest. The casinos really do not have to assault gamers, but they do. The casinos do not have to rig jackpots, but it has took place (Venetian). Casinos really do not have to ban mobile telephones or restrict you to one hand on carnival games, but most of them do. CJ is building some sensible argument, or possibly an moral just one, indicating that casinos earn “enough” the authorized way that dishonest is not required and they wouldn’t do it. To a on line casino, there is no “enough”—ever! That explained, I am the 1st to say that some loser whining on the Net about being cheated did NOT get cheated. No, you didn’t operate into a seconds dealer in northern Nevada, or at the Plaza in Vegas, or the Flamingo. Did not take place, sorry. The card counter should get accountability for actively playing a weak game. Shedding happens—a good deal. If a casino is to cheat these days, by considerably the most widespread method is basically stiffing the participant or cost-free-rolling versus a participant. It is definitely a variation of the ol’ heads-I-earn-tails-you-get rid of trick that we uncovered as small children, but scaled to the eight-figure stage. Casinos are even bolstering authorized support for the shift.

[p. 36] “Other players have a enormous affect on a card-counter’s
gain-rate. How? They sluggish down the recreation.” Notify him what he’s gained! The
implications of this are much-achieving. The cause most players really don’t like to
participate in heads-up is because they drop as well quickly. This is the foundation for the myth
that blackjack is a “team sport.” Gamblers’ own working experience is that when
they participate in by itself, they nearly generally shed. (And they have no scapegoat.) For APs,
discovering rapidly problems is very worthwhile, and enjoying more quickly is a single of the
most important skills of an expert playcaller. In a game where the spotter can grind
out a modest but worthwhile profit, an exiting BP will occasionally lock his spots
to stop civilians from sitting down down, hence gifting the spotter a more rapidly game
all through cleanup. If an AP group intends to just take above a deadspread, all crew
associates ought to be completely ready to pounce, for the reason that the first player to sit down will
shill up the match, and civilians will out of the blue materialize and sit down, even
however the desk was deadspread for 50 % an hour before that.

[p. 37] “(simulation by Cartwright)”—sniff, sniff.

[p. 40] “$500 to the participant who won the most over the earlier three months, $500 to the participant who missing the most.” The thought is that receiving in several hours and betting massive in accordance to the crew gameplan will produce EV and swings, so swings beneficial and negative are to be rewarded as a proxy for EV technology. I’ll assume that recent workforce standings are not posted, so that no a single is gaming the program by deliberately losing if they are in 2nd-to-least expensive placement. Even so, I’m not guaranteed how very good an concept this is. Gratifying losses is unnerving to me, simply because I have constantly advocated for bettering one’s sport in reaction to any reduction. CJ’s plan is almost certainly very good for boosting the morale of a participant who takes place to be dropping through no fault of his have (that comes about more seldom than people today admit). I have noticed players get emotionally connected to the effects on their individual spot, having irritated by an unique loss, when they ought to experience happy to present a decline to the pit with an combination group acquire. As a spotter, I adore bleeding out though my BP wins! Bloodletting will help me live longer! Worthwhile swings would not be feasible on BP-spotter teams, or groups which target games with wildly unique edges. I’m curious how effectively CJ’s reward composition labored out, considering the fact that it’s an appealing thought. The MIT teams also anticipated to see swings from any participant appropriately executing the gameplan.

[p. 48] “[quoting Breaking Bad] I did it for me. I appreciated it.
I was great at it, and I was definitely alive.” That is the issue about on line casino
gambling. It works by using, as Max Rubin would contact it, “funds hard cash.” Getting rid of
digital money in the marketplaces or real estate is one particular point, but funds money feels
a large amount additional real. We after had a billionaire (properly, the heir to a billionaire)
bet the money for us on a transient engage in. We lost $5000, his share of which was
$1000, and he appeared a bit shaken by it. A little something about laying out those people
Benjamins on the desk felt extremely genuine in a way that individuals in most firms
hardly ever feel. Winning or dropping $5000 in minutes actively playing a card video game is not
standard! For most counters, nevertheless, feeling “alive” indicates the chance of
experience “dead” as nicely. To emotionally survive the swings of counting playing cards
needs some detachment. The prosperous counter turns the activity into a monotony
of preserving the count, creating the guess, building the EV. Worshipping at the
altar of EV could safeguard a player’s psyche from a decline, but it means that the
wins turn into empty as very well. Success eradicates the “alive” experience, and the most
thriving counters develop into drones, placing in the several hours, disregarding the
back again-offs, grinding out that EV. For the author, sensation “alive” all over again needed
going on to a new challenge, this sort of as creating a blackjack educating program.


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