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* Learn how to constantly conceal your card counting skills when playing, to avoid being asked to leave.
* Play at odd hours – usually very late at night into early hours of morning, because it's best to play one-on-one with dealer or with as few other players as possible at table.
* Change tables and casinos frequently, to avoid being detected.
* Have a very large bankroll. As a professional, you will need about 300-500 times your average bet, to be able to take advantage of count by stepping up your bets dramatically and playing multiple hands, while also being able to weather wild swings in your bankroll that will frequently happen in short run. This translates to a working bankroll of about $30,000 - $50,000, based on average bets of $50 - $100, which is what you'll need to earn a full time living.
If you are indeed able to do all of above flawlessly, then congratulations! You are an expert card counter and you will make money in long term.
For 99% of us who are recreational players and unable - or unwilling - to make substantial effort required to count cards expertly, then playing Basic Strategy is next best thing. This will give a very low edge against you of about one half of one percent, while still providing chance to come away a winner in short term.
Learning perfect Blackjack Basic Strategy takes only a few hours and can be mastered by virtually everyone. You can play any table, any time, for as long as you like, without having to worry about being noticed by Pit Boss. In fact, Pit Bosses will welcome you with open arms. You'll still have lowest odds against you of any table game in casino and you'll have a fighting chance of beating casino with a good run of cards.
This is best way to play for casual, recreational players who want to have fun but not lose their shirts.
Don't get me wrong: bottom line is that if you want to be a serious, dedicated Blackjack player, who gets most thrill out of beating casino and is willing to work hard to do it, then by all means learn card counting.
However, for recreational player, Blackjack should be easy to learn and fun. With Basic Strategy, it is.
Tom is the webmaster at Blackjack For Everyone, which is a website dedicated to the recreational Blackjack player.