Team Card Counting
As an individual player, you are limited to the number of hands you can play at one time. However, if you have a group of players looking to beat the house, your odds will go up dramatically.
Probably the most famous blackjack team to be discovered, was the M.I.T. blackjack students, who became the inspiration for the movie “21.”
Common team card counting strategies consist of having different players in the group, playing at different tables, or signaling the team players when to move in with the bigger bets. One advantage with team play is that it allows you to move in with a big bet only when the table is extremely favorable to the player. As a team player, you can hold back the big bets every now and then, although the table is favorable, because you know your other team players should be making money.
Of course, there are also downfalls to team play. With many players involved, there is a risk of getting caught, and winnings have to be split many ways.
CLASSIC TEAM STRUCTURE
This is the person who isn’t necessarily seated at a table. This person watches the tables from a distance and then will signal “The Gorilla” when to sit down at a table.
This person will actually be a player at a table, responsible for keeping an accurate card count at that table. Because the casinos are constantly looking for betting irregularities, The Spotter maintains minimum betting, but looks to signal The Gorilla or team manager when the deck becomes favorable.
This person moves from table to table, making maximum bets when the tables are extremely favorable for the player. Often The Gorilla will be quite boisterous and loud, acting like a high-roller who is willy-nilly throwing his money around.
The Big Player
This person has the job of keeping the rest of the team from getting detected. He will be a high roller, seated at a table, displaying expert blackjack strategy. This will attract casino personnel attention. Though it’s not illegal to employ perfect blackjack strategy, a person with a hefty bankroll (like The Gorilla) and game knowledge, will hopefully pull attention away from the rest of the team.
KEYS TO A SUCCESSFUL TEAM
- Dedication – Each member should be quite proficient in the art of card counting. One weak link can destroy a whole hour’s worth of profit.
- Trust – You want to be able to trust each member you’re working with. You want to know they won’t steal from you, as well as trust that they will play the game correctly.
- Sufficient Bankroll – Pooled resources allow you to generate more profits in a shorter period of time.
- Strong Management/Leadership – Any size team needs leadership people to make the many decisions and to keep the records.
- Fairness – As with almost any team, there will be times of divisiveness where fairness will be questioned. With a blackjack team, questions about how the bankroll will be split, how often each member will play, how profits will be split and so on. You don’t have to worry about fairness when you play by yourself, you get exactly what you played for.
Card counting as a team is not easy per se, it takes a lot of practice and dedication. However, if done correctly, as your team starts beating the house, it becomes worth it!