There comes a time in many recreational blackjack players’ lives when they consider taking the game more seriously. While most will stick to blackjack as a hobby there are some players that are so pationate about the game that it’s all they want to focus on.
Some will consider swearing off the worst games entirely to take advantage of every profitable opportunity available. Becoming an advantage player can be a real side gig or just a way to take this hobby to a more serious level.
Other blackjack players will consider making the game their full-time job. Turning a hobby into a career is a big change when someone’s entire income is based on something previously done as a hobby.
Professional blackjack players and advantage players can be seen as the same. They have some similarities but they aren’t the same. There are plenty of advantage players (APs) just looking to maximize the value of their favorite casino game when they have the time.
Neither is easy but both are possible. Both of these blackjack players have to take the game more seriously than they did as recreational blackjack players.
Perfecting basic strategy is a recommendation for recreational blackjack players looking to maximize a visit to the casino. This is just the beginning and a must for players looking to maximize a small edge they can gain against the casino.
Let’s take a look at a few things that someone should be ready for if they want to become a professional or an advantage blackjack player.
Kiss Your Hobby Goodbye
APs and pros are only concerned with making money playing blackjack. They will only play the best blackjack games they can find.
The switch from being a recreational player to someone only concerned with making money from blackjack will change the experience. It’s helpful to understand that going in.
For these players, it makes sense to only play games where it’s possible to swing the advantage to their side if the goal is only to make money playing blackjack.
APs and pros will only play the best blackjack games wherever they can find them. Recreational blackjack players might be concerned with finding good odds but that’s often if the game is located where they want to play.
Sometimes the best blackjack games are in the less desirable casinos. The atmosphere at some of the casinos with the best blackjack games might be less than appealing.
On top of the game itself, players will likely have to give up drinking while playing. Being inebriated will lead to less than optimal blackjack play. Playing perfect basic strategy while drunk is difficult. Counting cards is nearly impossible. Both are required.
These are some of the reasons I never explored either. I value my gambling experience more than making money.
Casino Rewards May Become A Thing Of The Past
APs and pros like to stay off the radar of casinos. This often means not using a casino rewards card.
In turn, smart blackjack players could win enough money playing the game to make a living and afford to stay and eat wherever they’d like.
Keeping rewards isn’t impossible. There are advantage players who will find limits to keep their rewards while maximizing returns from playing blackjack.
Finding a balance between great odds and rewards can also be considered just smart gambling.
Always Play By The Book
In order to have the best chance at making money APs and pros will only play the best blackjack games using skills that have been practiced to perfection.
Learning basic strategy for every number of decks possibly in play is necessary. As a reminder, the basic strategy isn’t the same for all games.
Counting cards isn’t illegal but casinos don’t like counters. However, this is a must for anyone looking to maximize how much money they can make playing blackjack. Players will also use perfect beat spreading based on the count.
When the cards are in the player’s favor they will bet more than when it isn’t. There’s a skill to bet spreading to maximize wins and not being noticed by the pit bosses.
These casino employees know that perfect bet spreading is employed by players counting cards. If a player is found to be counting cards they could be asked to leave the casino.
Expect To Be Kicked Out Of Casinos
Casinos don’t like card counters. APs and pros will count cards.
Something’s gotta give.
APs and pros should expect to get caught using their skills playing blackjack. If this happens the casinos might ask – nicely or otherwise – the player to either stop playing blackjack or leave the casino entirely.
This could also have a larger impact if a player is at a casino chain. Sometimes being removed from one casino of a large corporation could mean not being allowed in any casinos operated by that company.
Again, this is part of moving on from blackjack as a hobby. It’s possible for players to lose rewards and access to their favorite casino.
APs and especially pros have to be financially disciplined in order to maximize making money when playing blackjack. In addition to bet spreading, these players must be on top of all expenses involved.
Finances include everything from proper blackjack bankroll management to monitoring expenses. Sometimes a great +EV blackjack game might not be worth a trip.
A player can estimate how much money they can win from a blackjack game and then subtract expenses to play that game. It’s possible the game isn’t worth the cost to play. This is an important part of maximizing income from playing blackjack.
Not all blackjack sessions are winners for recreational blackjack players, APs, and pros. It’s important to be prepared for the financial swings from gambling to make money.
This is one of the most difficult adjustments for players looking to maximize their earnings from playing blackjack.