Many gamblers want to be professional blackjack players. It sure is a cool thing to outsmart casinos and take their money when the majorities of people are losing to them. But the reality is very few persons have what it takes to succeed in professional blackjack. Make no mistake about it: professional gambling of any kind is a tough business, but blackjack is even more so as it is a necessarily underground activity that cannot be practiced openly, and whose dynamics are always changing. In professional blackjack, unlike poker, sports gambling or video poker, you not only have to play and win the game itself, you're also trying to survive in a casino that is out to get you.
Requirements for Professional Blackjack
- Sufficient bankroll. Several thousands of dollars are needed to embark on a serous professional blackjack career.
- Knowledge of blackjack rules. No professional gambling can be done if one is not thoroughly familiar with all the different rules and game variations of blackjack. Blackjack rules vary from one casino to another, and these influence the house edge.
- Mastery of basic blackjack skills. The basics are basic strategy and card counting. You must know all the correct moves by heart. You must also be able to count cards quite fast (30 sec. or less per deck). This will let you play hands faster and thus make more money.
- Knowledge of gambling mathematics. House edge, expected return, standard deviation and risk of ruin are terms every professional blackjack player must know about. Only a solid grounding in math can lead you to making correct decisions.
- Mobility. A professional gambler is always on the go, looking for better casinos to play in. If you can't afford to travel long distances, it is unlikely you can last long as a pro player.
- Record-keeping. Always keep a record of your playing sessions, wins, losses, bankroll, etc. Detailed records let you see how you're making progress and where you need to make improvements.
- Camouflage. A professional blackjack player must be able to conceal his or her true activities from the eyes of casino personnel. One must disguise oneself as a friendly, average gambler who poses no threat to the house. One must also be able to perform card counting discreetly.
- Mental agility. The blackjack player must be able to do math calculations in his or her head quite easily. You will be counting cards all the time and adjusting your bets. Al this must be done without being "obvious."
- Obsession. Yes, unless you are truly DRIVEN to play and succeed in blackjack, it is unlikely you ever will. Blackjack is not a mainstream profession. It's for a renegade few who dare to wage war on the casino establishments. You must be willing to play long, long hours everyday, and endure financial setbacks and harassment from casin€o staff among other things. A passionate desire to succeed alone can give you that.
Professional blackjack can be a lucrative job, but it is a very challenging one. Make sure you have what it takes before you venture into this underground world.