Colin Jones (S1 E8): Mail Bag

In this episode of my N-section collection searching at Colin Jones’s
book, The 21st-Century Card Counter, I’m just going to briefly
comment on several 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 no matter if folks need to or
need to not gamble for leisure (nevertheless it is my viewpoint that gambling is a
extremely higher-possibility reduced-reward sort of it).” From investing so a lot time in locals
casinos, I’d say that the percentage of gamblers who are problem gamblers—by pretty much
any definition of the term—is substantially, significantly larger than the field would confess. As
a vacation resort desired destination, Vegas is a distinct animal. But locals casinos are crafted
on degenerate gambling. That mentioned, I consider there is a function for leisure
gambling, and CJ underestimates how fulfilling it is for some. CJ is a bit
jaded, simply because blackjack (and baccarat) are not inherently enjoyment games (you
would not engage in them for no dollars), and since card counting as a living will take
the exciting out of the activity! One of my outdated friends arrived to Vegas with me, and afterwards
said, “You’ve ruined Las Vegas for me,” due to the fact he could never ever once 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 gain level has
been $432.” I think this may make clear CJ’s overall optimism for counting playing cards,
and the criticism he has obtained for creating it sound like a way to simple riches
(I really do not think that these types of criticism is accurate or fair, but whoever mentioned the
World wide web is good?). I have no information of the online games CJ was actively playing or the
hrs, but $432/hour seems higher than EV to me for a counter in his first few yrs
building a bankroll.

[p. 27] “Sure, it can be thrilling. But it can also be
exhausting, monotonous, aggravating, extremely nerve-racking, and an emotional
rollercoaster contrary to nearly anything else you’ll ever practical experience.” Which is much more like

[p. 29] “Apophenia is the term neurologists use to outline the truth that individuals are universally on the lookout for patterns in random information and facts.” Very good to know. Apophenia is almost everywhere. I could set a bunch of random digits in a glossary and folks would think it signifies one thing!

[p. 30] “Here’s a pc simulation …” Thank you for limiting
the chart to a solitary website page.

[p. 32] “Casinos know this. Which is why they aren’t anxious if a gambler wins on any specified night.” This is one of the few points in the reserve I disagree with. Some casinos don’t sweat it, but a lot of casinos and hundreds of bosses hope to get each individual time, from every participant, and get it individually if the player beats the on line casino. Casinos are toddlers. Slimy, crap-producing, whiny toddlers. But I enjoy kids.

[p. 33] “You’d be astonished how lots of folks notify me that they consider the casino is cheating them. The casino does not have to!” This is a pretty, incredibly weak argument in opposition to the chance of cheating. The casinos do not have to assault players, but they do. The casinos really do not have to rig jackpots, but it has occurred (Venetian). Casinos do not have to ban cell telephones or limit you to just one hand on carnival game titles, but most of them do. CJ is generating some reasonable argument, or it’s possible an ethical a single, indicating that casinos earn “enough” the lawful way that dishonest isn’t required and they would not do it. To a on line casino, there is no “enough”—ever! That claimed, I am the to start with to say that some loser whining on the Web about getting cheated did NOT get cheated. No, you did not run into a seconds dealer in northern Nevada, or at the Plaza in Vegas, or the Flamingo. Didn’t come about, sorry. The card counter will have to just take accountability for enjoying a weak game. Dropping happens—a good deal. If a casino is to cheat these times, by far the most prevalent technique is simply just stiffing the participant or cost-free-rolling against a participant. It’s truly a variation of the ol’ heads-I-earn-tails-you-shed trick that we learned as kids, but scaled to the 8-figure level. Casinos are even bolstering lawful aid for the move.

[p. 36] “Other players have a big affect on a card-counter’s
win-rate. How? They gradual down the video game.” Inform him what he’s received! The
implications of this are far-reaching. The cause most gamers really do not like to
perform heads-up is since they reduce as well quickly. This is the foundation for the fantasy
that blackjack is a “team match.” Gamblers’ private expertise is that when
they perform by itself, they nearly constantly shed. (And they have no scapegoat.) For APs,
acquiring rapid ailments is fairly useful, and actively playing quicker is a person of the
most important abilities of an qualified playcaller. In a match exactly where the spotter can grind
out a modest but worthwhile profit, an exiting BP will sometimes lock his places
to avert civilians from sitting down down, as a result gifting the spotter a quicker video game
all through cleanup. If an AP staff intends to acquire around a deadspread, all workforce
customers ought to be all set to pounce, simply because the to start with player to sit down will
shill up the match, and civilians will abruptly materialize and sit down, even
nevertheless the desk was deadspread for 50 % an hour ahead of that.

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

[p. 40] “$500 to the player who won the most about the earlier three months, $500 to the player who missing the most.” The notion is that having in hours and betting huge according to the workforce gameplan will deliver EV and swings, so swings positive and detrimental are to be rewarded as a proxy for EV generation. I’ll think that current crew standings are not posted, so that no a single is gaming the program by intentionally shedding if they are in 2nd-to-cheapest posture. Yet, I’m not certain how excellent an idea this is. Gratifying losses is unnerving to me, due to the fact I’ve constantly advocated for improving one’s recreation in reaction to any loss. CJ’s coverage is in all probability very good for boosting the morale of a participant who happens to be dropping through no fault of his possess (that takes place far more almost never than persons confess). I have noticed gamers get emotionally hooked up to the final results on their have spot, having irritated by an individual loss, when they really should experience happy to demonstrate a reduction to the pit with an aggregate group gain. As a spotter, I like bleeding out even though my BP wins! Bloodletting helps me stay lengthier! Rewarding swings wouldn’t be feasible on BP-spotter groups, or teams which focus on games with wildly distinctive edges. I’m curious how well CJ’s reward construction labored out, considering that it is an attention-grabbing notion. The MIT groups also expected to see swings from any player effectively executing the gameplan.

[p. 48] “[quoting Breaking Bad] I did it for me. I favored it.
I was superior at it, and I was actually alive.” Which is the matter about on line casino
gambling. It utilizes, as Max Rubin would get in touch with it, “funds income.” Getting rid of
digital money in the markets or true estate is just one thing, but money income feels
a ton much more real. We once had a billionaire (effectively, the heir to a billionaire)
wager the cash for us on a temporary perform. We lost $5000, his share of which was
$1000, and he appeared a bit shaken by it. A thing about laying out those people
Benjamins on the table felt quite true in a way that folks in most enterprises
never truly feel. Winning or getting rid of $5000 in minutes enjoying a card sport is not
standard! For most counters, nevertheless, experience “alive” indicates the probability of
feeling “dead” as very well. To emotionally survive the swings of counting cards
requires some detachment. The productive counter turns the sport into a monotony
of holding the rely, creating the guess, generating the EV. Worshipping at the
altar of EV could possibly guard a player’s psyche from a reduction, but it means that the
wins turn out to be empty as effectively. Accomplishment eradicates the “alive” experience, and the most
effective counters turn into drones, placing in the hours, disregarding the
back again-offs, grinding out that EV. For the writer, experience “alive” yet again essential
transferring on to a new problem, this sort of as making a blackjack training method.