BlackjackGuru's Blog

For Smart Women Only: Make Blackjack Pay

Blackjack – How Much Money Can I Make?

Posted by blackjackguru on July 19, 2009

casino_chipsFor me the most important question before getting into blackjack seriously was “how much money can I make?”.

The first book I read said that the average card-counting Advantage Player earns between one and one-and-a-half times her minimum bet, per hour. So if you are a $10 player, you should expect $10 – $15 per hour. If you are a bigger bettor, your hourly expectation will likely increase.  Stanford Wong’s Professional Blackjack
says to expect 10% – 50% of your Big Bet per hour. For example, if your big bet is $100, then you can expect about $16 per hour.

There are ways to win more of course, such as:

1. Find a casino with better house rules. For instance, dealer stands on soft 17, player may double after split, surrender, are all good rules for players.

2. Learn a better card counting system. For instance, Stanford Wong says the Halves system he developed earns more per hour than Hi-Lo.

3. Learn back-counting. Play only when players have the advantage, and leave the table when the advantage reverts back to the house.

4. Find a dealer that provides better Penetration. That is, cutting off as few cards as possible, allowing players to play as much of the available cards as possible.

5. Use a greater bet spread. You will win more spreading 1 to 12 units than spreading 1 to 8 units.

To appreciate the variability of hourly win rates, Don Schlesinger’s Blackjack Attack: Playing the Pros’ Way
says the Card Counter’s hourly expectation can vary from as low as $0.99 – that’s right, ninety-nine cents per hour, at an 8-deck game played through the whole shoe at a soft17 table and 5.5 out of 8 decks played and a bet spread of 1 to 8 units, to as much as $153.26 per hour, for the 6-deck game with dealer stands on soft 17, double after split, late surrender, with 5.5 out of 6 decks played, and a 1-12 bet spread, back-counted and played only when the player has the advantage.

Professional players speak about hourly win rates as Expected Values or EV. They are always considering how to raise their EV and so should you.  I will show you specifically how to raise your EV in upcoming articles.

But before we leave this matter, you must respect that the hourly win rate is only an average.  Blackjack is a game of wild swings, and you will experience a variety of day-to-day results from great wins to great losses. The rock concert of standard deviation always drowns out the metronome of the win rate trajectory.

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