Saturday, February 25, 2017

What Happens in Vegas

By Carl Van Eton

Image courtesy of en.wikipedia,org
With casinos being available in every state in the lower 48 with the exception of Utah, you would think that Las Vegas would have lost some of its luster.  But that’s not the case.  Of course, when you think about it, there are more casinos in Las Vegas than in the rest of the country combined.  If you count all the bars, stores and other places that offer slots, there are currently more than 1,700 licensed gambling establishments in the greater Las Vegas area.  You will find it hard to sit down at a bar that doesn’t have a video poker machine built into it there.  Some tourists have been known to drop their bankroll before ever getting out of McCarran Airport, since it too offers slot machines.

My point is that most people treat Vegas like Disneyland, a place where fantasies come true.  Who can blame them.  Where the Strip and Downtown were once the province for die hard gamblers, since the 1990’s Vegas has become more family friendly.  Offering every amenity from amusement park rides at the casinos, to celebrity chefs and headline entertainment, is it any wonder why millions of people are sucked in by the Vegas glitz?   It’s only after these same tourists board their plane for their flight home that they come to find out the hard way what the town is really all about.

Let’s look at the numbers:

Like it or not, winning and losing in any casino comes down to the numbers. 

A slot player on a quarter machine set at only a 7% house edge is looking at an average loss of $120 per hour.  Even if your slot of choice is video poker set at just 5%, your average loss per hour is going to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $60.

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Table game players don’t fare much better.  A roulette player at a $5 table using an American wheel can expect to drop anywhere from $80-$135 per hour depending upon the number of spins.  Pass Line bettors on a $5 craps table are looking at an average loss of $30 per hour.  If they add the field bet, this alone adds an additional $60 loss on average.  Throw in a few prop bets and you could be looking at donating hundreds more to the casino coffers. 

Think baccarat is better?  Think again.  Bet on Banker at a $10 table (if you can find a $10 table) and you are looking at an average loss of $70 an hour.  Bet on Player and it goes up to nearly $90 an hour.  Where’s James Bond when you need him?

Even blackjack is not without a few thorns.  A hunch player on a $5 table could easily drop $100 or more in any given hour.  Even a player using perfect basic strategy on a 6-deck game can expect to part with an average of $25 per hour.  The only way to turn house edge on its head in blackjack is to learn how to count cards.  Card counters can earn anywhere from $25 - $100 per hour at this game depending upon their system and their skill.

So, why don’t more people count cards?  Especially in Vegas where there are hundreds of casinos, you’d think it would be like a candy store to card counters.  The problem with card counting is that the casinos have most people bamboozled into thinking that learning how to count is only slightly less complicated than nuclear physics.  This is not the case.  In fact, learning a simple card counting system is actually easier than learning basic strategy.    If you can add 1 and subtract 1 or 2, then you can learn how to count with a few hours practice.

Mission Impossible?

Many people have heard that card counting is illegal.  This is patently untrue.  I have yet to see acasino sport a sign at their door that tells all those who enter to “Please check your brain at the door.”  While it takes a little training and practice to be able to employ card counting in a casino, it is hardly the Mission Impossible that casino management would have you believe. 

That being said, the casinos don’t like it when the public does to them what they do to everyone else, which is extract an income from the game.  This means that casinos reserve the right to evict a player for any reason from their establishment.  In some cases, a player will be barred from reentry.  This means that he or she will have their photo taken as they are escorted to the cashier’s cage, then out the front door.  If they player returns to that casino again, they can be arrested for trespassing.

While that sounds kind of extreme, bear in mind that in more than 20 years of counting cards at a professional level, I have never been barred from play.  The secret to being a success at counting is being able to get away with it.  This is something you won’t find in books.

In both our Blackjack Express and Big Game Blackjack card counting courses, we not only show you how to successfully employ card counting in any casino, we also show you how to camouflage your ability from the pit boss.  Contrary to popular opinion, 99% of pit bosses don’t know how to count cards.  What management teaches any pit boss is to look for certain telltale signals that indicate a counter is present.

Image courtesy of Big Game Blackjack
For instance, most card counters will go from say a $5 bet to $50 or more when the count is plus, then back to the table minimum when the count is minus.  If this occurs, the pit boss will call upstairs to have the suspicious player watched.  A member of casino security who does know how to count cards will then monitor the suspected player’s progress for the next couple of shoes.  If the player continues to raise their bet when the count is plus and go back to table minimum when the count is minus, appropriate measures will be taken.

Therefore, the trick to getting away with counting is not to look like a typical card counter.  Card counters typically never talk or drink when they are seated at the table.  Their eyes follow each and every card as it hits the table.  They never ask for a comp. These are some serious dudes.  They are also easy to spot.  What we teach our students is how to play like a counter and look like a typical sucker.  This involves a number of tactics that include counting the comeout in 1 calculation, instead of having to count every card.  We also teach them how to hide in plain sight and look like a progression player, which casino management loves, as opposed to a card counter that every pit boss hates.  Learning these skills is as important as learning how to count, especially if you want to make money for years on end. (Fill out the form below and I will send you a free Winner in Training eBook, as well as 2 free videos.)

We also teach our students how to maximize their comp potential.  If you are going to travel on a junket and stay in expensive hotels, eating at high priced restaurants, why pay for the privilege when they are giving the stuff away to rated players.  Having made my living by playing blackjack in casinos around the world, I can tell you with authority that if you really want to start enjoying your casino trips, you need to start learning how the casinos really work.  The last place you are going to do this is in a casino. Keep playing into the casinos hands and you will be forever relegated to visiting your money. Now you know what they really mean when they say, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

Learn more from Carl Van Eton by going to  There you will find free videos and much more.

1 comment:

  1. I have heard the phrase what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, so do you teach in Vegas?