Ben Affleck Banned from Playing Blackjack

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You may have heard the celebrity-gossip story about Ben Affleck raiding the Hard Rock Cafe Casino in Vegas by using his superior Blackjack skills. He had, after all, won about $800,000 in the same joint during a previous visit.

Apparently, he was asked by security to play games other than Blackjack — the implication was that he used his telepathic powers to win. Just kidding — he was being accused of card-counting.

Not a Genius

Contrary to popular misconception among non-players of Blackjack-type games, card counting is not a feat of mental agility and memorization, requiring a photographic recall of all cards dealt. Wheww!

No, actually it is a mental technique where a player keeps a running count of one’s own evaluations of the cards shown, a kind of mental reference of the state of the deck.

More specifically, a player thereby can predict whether high value cards (better for the player) or low value cards (better for the dealer) are coming up in the round. That is very useful knowledge, and casinos know it. That’s why dealers shuffle hands more often for overly analytical players — or, you’re asked to leave.

Winning Without Broken Knuckles

So, how can you play at big casinos, and use strategy, but not get accused of counting cards? Honestly, why this is so frowned upon can only be greed — a casino should not be able to restrict a person’s thinking. Table manners, sure, or outright cheating, of course.

Otherwise, we think that whatever works for each player mentally should be fair game. Card-counting, by the way, is not a crime. It is not illegal.

Alas, you’ll have to be an awesome player — because only a stellar Blackjack hack can manage to be accused of card-counting, after all. You’ll have to be as agile with your cards and powers of perception as a great baller must be in order to drive down-court to dunk. You should not hesitate at all when you play.

How do you get that skilled at Blackjack? Play. Just play, play, play. Basically, to be a respectable winner you will have to bone up on all the qualities of a skilled player, the core skills such as proper betting.

If you use advanced strategy to decrease the house’s edge, you’ll want to take every opportunity to win your very dealer’s approval, by using correct ettiquette, tipping and not appearing to be an obvious card counter. When you do graduate to the ability to count cards, get ready to learn a slew of camouflage techniques.

Like a Spy

Like good spies, clever Blackjack players must not let anyone know about one’s true intent and thinking. It’s similar to a ‘poker face’ except that it should be a ‘Blackjack body’ — your body language must be absolutely loyal to your strategy, and not give away your observant mind.

You are in a position that has a movie-like quality, too — just think about how many movie scenes showing casinos you have watched. Not only that, you literally are being watched in a big way; a casino floor is one of the most surveiled atmospheres that exists (perhaps more than maximum security prisons).

That sets the scene for a high degree of suspense and excitement! If you think about it (especially knowing you have money on the line) then playing Blackjack is like the ultimate mind-body discipline. It could pay off, too, as it did for Ben Affleck.

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Winners Count

Do you still want to learn advanced Blackjack strategies? There are many methods of counting cards. But you know what? All this assumes that you know the game in and out, like the back of your hand, as they say. Are you that interested in this game — the most popular card game that exists?

In closing, now at least you know that card counting is not a way to avoid being a real player, nor does it require such mental power that only mathematically-minded people can do it. Neither is true.

The truth is that a card counter is both an excellent player who knows the game intimately, and, just someone who has become skilled at a way to mentally index and reference the state of the deck. The two qualities go together, you see.

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