Does a reformed card counter ever truly reform? Or does he always look for a way to cheat the system? While former card counter Bruce would say he only wants to go to the casino to enjoy spending time with his friends, casinos across South Africa have banned him for life because they feel that he will continue his illegal gaming.
How He Got Involved In Card Counting
More than 20 years ago, while Bruce was still in high school, he was recruited by a man he met while working at an Internet café and coffeehouse. The man, who displayed an amount of wealth Bruce had never seen before, told him he would teach him how to make money gambling if he agreed to work with him and followed his rules. Bruce agreed. His new boss had a plan in mind. He would never go to a casino himself, but he would allow people to play on his behalf and keep some of the money he won.
The ground rules the wealthy man used were not negotiable. Bruce had to visit a different casino each night on a rotating basis. The man would give the student money to play with, and Bruce kept $500 each night, no matter how much he won or lost. Whatever money he won, he had to turn it over to his boss, which meant Bruce was playing with $40,000 and $100,000 each night.
The older man told Bruce the objective was to win double or more than the amount of money he came in with. Gradually, his boss introduced him to the other players he had recruited. Bruce and the other boys were playing with up to $500,000 worth of cash in a single night. The boys had to pretend they did not know each other, even though there were nights when they ended up at the same table.
The man taught Bruce how to count cards and to watch dealers, and he soon became adept at playing and winning at blackjack. When Bruce and his friends began to win large amounts of money, they joined the VIP club. Of course, this meant they would be scrutinized more closely. Eventually, the group got too greedy and the casinos they played at most frequently banned them. Bruce estimates his crew took the casinos for more than $50 million over a period of five years.
Tricks He Says Still Work to Give Players an Edge
Bruce still has tricks he says will work to give players an edge at casinos. First, he listed many of the standard tricks that most card counters use, but with a couple of twists. It is difficult to count cards at blackjack now because many casinos use shuffle machines. These make it difficult to count cards because of their speed. However, Bruce said that if you watch dealers at casinos closely, as their shift wears on, they get lazy and they do not immediately put the cards into the machine. Instead, they choose to use the unshuffled decks more than once. Also, smaller casinos tend not to employ shuffling machines to the extent that large casinos do, and that makes it easier to count cards.
Bruce also said that if a gambler is winning, it is even easier to get distracted than if he or she is not winning. He cautions against letting the casino bribe a winning player with offers of free rooms and meals in an effort to break the player’s streak. He cautioned winners to play until they have reached their limit.
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