Every year or two a new blackjack book is published that purports to give players a sure-fire system for winning at blackjack without card counting. And every year, casinos remain safe in their profits despite the stampede of players arriving daily to deploy these new systems and head off to blissful early retirement.
Most of these “new” systems are variations on betting systems that have been around since cavemen started rolling bones over who would get the choicest cut of that day’s hunt. System sellers know that there are tens of thousands of blackjack players who have tried to learn to count cards, but didn’t have the time or dedication needed to master the strategy, and now are in the market for a simpler way to beat the game.
Is there no hope for the player who does not want to learn card counting?
Actually, there are quite a few professional blackjack players who make a great living at the game without counting. The easiest way professional gamblers win at blackjack without counting is by playing at casinos that offer gifts for playing. For example, some online casinos will give you free money (called a bonus) equal to the amount you’ve deposited to play on. You are typically required to put some action on their tables in order to withdraw the free money.
If you deposit $100 into one of these casinos, receive $100 free as a bonus, and must put $2000 in action on the casino’s blackjack tables at a house edge of 0.5 percent in order to withdraw the free money, the long-term cost to you of meeting the wagering requirement is $2000 times 0.5 percent, or $10. That is, although you may win more or less on any particular play, over …