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Can You Play Blackjack for a Living? Here’s the Lowdown

Playing Blackjack for a living… that’s the ultimate dream, right? I mean, how many of us have wished we could make a career out of something we truly love. If you’re reading this blog, chances are that something is Blackjack.

You’ll find lots of info out there on how to make money playing Blackjack. But I think we need to talk about the potential of Blackjack becoming your main source of income. Is it possible? Is it something you should even consider doing? Hopefully, this blog post will settle all the myths and misconceptions surrounding the question can you make a living playing Blackjack?

But first let’s define what making a living playing Blackjack actually means. To me, that means pulling a stable income from playing Blackjack. And the crucial term here is stable. If you’re up 20,000 dollars one night, then down 20,000 the next night, that is not stable. You could say you’re still playing with more money than casual players, but that’s not a good blueprint for financial stability. And to be sure, I’ve met lots of so-called “professional” Blackjack players with heaps of unpaid bills and hardly any money left in their bank accounts.

So, stability is a must. You need to be able to earn money consistently to keep up with your regular bills and expenses. And now we go back to the original question: is it possible to make a living? The answer is heck, yes!

I am living proof that it can be done. For about a decade, I’ve been a professional Blackjack player in the truest sense of the word: this was my job. My house, my car, my family vacations, heck, even my daughter’s wedding – these were all paid using my Blackjack earnings. And yes, there were a few lean times, but the same could be said for more traditional careers. Overall, my earnings were pretty consistent. (I only “retired” from pro Blackjack to start my own internet marketing business)

playing blackjack for a living

Making Money Playing Blackjack

If you want to make a living playing Blackjack, you need to be observant, hard-working, determined to the point of obsessed… basically, all the qualities you’ll need with any other business. Most important of all, you need to be disciplined. That isn’t something aspiring Blackjack players expect to hear. But it’s true. Being a pro Blackjack player isn’t about throwing caution to the wind and blowing all your money on single hands. If anything, all legit pro Blackjack players I know are super-disciplined. So much that they could come across as boring old accountants sometimes!

Being a pro Blackjack player means knowing how to mitigate risk, and how to grab the opportunity when it comes. You absolutely need both of these.

Making Money Playing Blackjack

How NOT to Make Money Blackjack

In line with the stuff I’ve written above, I want to show you an interview with a guy named Oliver Galang. The dude wrote a book entitled “Card Counting: the Real Truth in Blackjack” and claims that Blackjack isn’t a viable source of regular income.

I am living proof that that is not true. But let’s check out the interview first to see what he has to say:

So yeah, remember when I said legit Blackjack players were disciplined and knew how to mitigate risk? This guy is not one of those players. The guy is undisciplined, and honestly, I’m amazed he still made it out with the shirt on his back.

blackjack card counting

My Reactions

Okay, let me refute the stuff he said by offering some of my hot takes:

The dude is obviously addicted to gambling. And, dear readers, that is totally different from being a professional player. Being pro means you’re more calculating and disciplined. That guy is simply addicted to gambling, and got lucky enough at the beginning to think he’s a pro. Also, I find it strange that he wrote a book about losing everything to gambling… and yet he still continues to gamble. Not the type of person you’d want giving you pro Blackjack advice.

The dude says he created a betting technique called the “double up theory.” Basically, this involves doubling your bet after losing. That way, you recoup your initial loss with the chance of gaining some extra money. This is such a crappy betting technique, but before we get to that, I need to point out that he didn’t invent this betting technique. This is called “progressive bet spread” or the “Martingale Bet System” and they’re well-known betting systems.

Whatever the name of the technique, I’m not a fan of it. Because doubling your bet is a surefire way to end up in a net negative. It’s like seeing your house is burning, and to stop it, you toss more gasoline into the fire.

Oliver claims to be a card-counter. My personal opinion is that if he did count cards, he was really bad at it. He was nowhere near the level of a professional card counter. Not even in the same planetary system, actually. Saying you count cards doesn’t automatically make you a good player. I know people who count cards, but aren’t really successful at the game. I think Oliver is one of those people. He doesn’t know how to strategize and handle his betting. Basically, I think this guy is your garden-variety gambler… not a professional Blackjack player.

Oliver says you can’t win in the long-term because the house has the same chance of getting 20 or 21 as you. But here’s the thing: players earn more on hands with Blackjacks (or a total of 21 on the first two cards). Basically, the dealer is earning about half what you’re making. Basically, the dealer gets $100 for a Blackjack hand while I can stand to make $150 with a similar hand.

addicted to gambling

My Hot Take

This guy needs to own up to what he is: a crappy, impulsive gambler. Basically, if you’re looking to become a professional Blackjack player, this guy is the last one you should emulate. But believe me, you can make a living playing Blackjack!

blackjack players

One Comment
  1. Ken David January 31, 2019

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