Card Counter Characteristics 
Image source: Scott Nazelrod via Wikimedia Commons

Obsessed with Details

In blackjack the margin of error is minuscule. There’s no such thing as “good enough”. Missing a single payout error can wipe out hours of diligent work. With just one basic strategy mistake or a single counting error and you’ll suddenly find yourself losing the game. That’s why you need to be obsessive about any decision making. If you lack this quality, then maybe turning pro is not gonna be your thing.

Likewise, if you get easily put off. If the pit boss starts up a conversation, will you lose your place in the count? Or do you have the capacity to shut him out until you’re sure you have the number in your head? If a slot machine goes off behind you and there’s a huge commotion can you remain calm and focused? If you get a blackjack on a $1,000 bet will you jump up and start raving? Or will you quietly subtract 2 from your running count for the Ace and the face card before to celebrate your win? Keeping your emotions in check is of utmost importance. Anyhow, if you are looking for some practice, you can always head the online jackpot sites to prepare for the real action.

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Card Counter Characteristics: Discipline

With the game of poker, there isn’t really a perfect style. Some play very aggressively, whilst others are more conservative. Likewise, some plat “tight” meaning very few hands, and conversely others play “loose” with many hands. Since the name of the game is to beat the competition, then you’re always looking for a means of extracting more value out of your opponent, then they are trying to extract out of you.

Card counting relies on mathematical precision. There’s only one right move. Essentially you’re playing against the dealer, and he has to make the same decisions in all given situations. If you follow basic strategy, then you’ll know what the exact necessary move will be. In the same manner, there’s only one running count. Your job is to get this right, never deviate, and then with this information, betting correctly. If you deviate but even the tiniest amount from basic strategy, then all is lost.

card counter characteristics 
As a card counter, you must avoid attention


To that end, you need the card counter characteristics of a high level of discipline in your playing. There’s absolutely no way you’ll ever be a successful card counter otherwise. And that discipline needs to be imbibed within all your playing actions whilst seated at the games table. Do you keep detailed records of all wins and losses? Are you ever tempted to bet a little less if you’re up by a lot of cash, just because you don’t want to lose it all back? Do you implement a precise bet spread even if you’ve just lost nine hands in a row? Will you hit a 15 against a 9, even though in the back of your mind you know that you’re likely to bust? Do you have a system in place for keeping track of your cash and your chips?

So one of many prime card counter characteristics is to play like a computer, cold, calculating, and without any trace of emotion. Emotions are fine, but not at the games table. Emotions will impose on your concentration and lead to errors. And as we said, anyone single error for a card counter playing basic strategy can be fatal.

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Card Counter Characteristics: Handle Conflict Well

We all know a casino’s attitude towards card counters isn’t going to be the most welcoming. Both the casino management and the card counter are playing a perverse game of cat and mouse. Eventually, you will fall and receive a stern back-off. And if you do, the mark of a cool and collected player will come to the fore. Many players lose their nerve at this point and quit playing. You need a big pair of balls to go into any casino, sit yourself down at the blackjack table, and start to count cards. And whilst you’re at it, why not call the pit boss over and ask for a comped dinner.

The point we’re trying to make is that one of the most important card counter characteristics is that you have to master your fear of being found out. Whatever happens, you can’t allow yourself to be intimidated as their lots of opportunities for that to happen. Believe us when we say that dealers will hate you, simply because they can see through your mask and know that you are actually screwing the whole table. And every once in awhile, you’ll have the hand of the pit boss on your shoulder telling you that your evening’s entertainment is now over. And on top of these, you’ll also experience huge wins, coupled with huge losses.

Dealing With Stress

If you find all or any of these factors too stressful for you, then card counting at the casino is not for you. Some people just feel guilty without reason, so if they’re counting cards, then they’re gonna be super nervous. If you find yourself watching the pit bosses more than the table in front of you, maybe you’re in the wrong game. Remember that counting cards are perfectly legal. You’re doing nothing wrong. The worst that can happen is you get backed-off and have to leave or play each shoe with a fixed bet. It’s not the end of the world.

card counter characteristics 
Card Counting is exhausting

Won’t Get Ground Down by the Casino Environment

This card counter characteristic is more about mental attitude. There are many players who gave had very successful runs in casinos over the years, who just wake up one day and declare that they can’t go into a casino another time. We get it. After hours and hours in a windowless and timeless environment of flashing artificial lights. Surrounded by old people in oxygen masks pouring their pensions into slots machines, you’ve just had enough. Just swimming in a sea of gamblers, all wearing their hopes and dreams on their sleeves, can grind you down.

The bottom line is that casinos are not the perfect environment for everyone. Ceiling mirrors and cigarette smoke coupled with watered-down drinks and fake smiles can feel like a shit dystopian future reality. There are many players who simply tire of all of this. They are the one’s who tend to enjoy meeting up at the casino but then playing blackjack back at their hotel. But if you’re gonna be a serious contender when it comes to learning and improving your card counting, then we’re afraid that you’re going to have to learn to deal with many hours spent in plastic hell.

Card Counter Characteristics: Bankrolled

If you’re going to count cards at the casino, then there are essentially just two requirements: your brain and a bankroll. You need to have mastered the ability to make perfect choices in order to play the perfect basic strategy. But you are nothing without a bankroll. Now there are some players new to the game who swear that they need $5,000 just to get started. That’s not true, but on the other hand, $500 is going to be too little. If you can muster up $2,000 then you can get yourself off the ground and slowly grow your bankroll. In fact, we tend to favor the approach of starting our relatively small and slowly growing your investment.

So, are you the type of person that can even save up this small bankroll? It all comes back to one of the card counter characteristics of discipline. Obviously, the greater the bankroll you have with you at the blackjack table, the greater the possibility to weather any untoward storms that might come your way. It’s really like any other investment opportunity, you’ll be needing some funds in order to get a start.

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