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Best of Bootlegger

Gaming Guru

 

Gee, It's Great to be Here

13 June 1999

It's a real thrill to have been asked to contribute a regular column to Frank Scoblete's Gaming Pages at RGT Online. Unlike most of the other contributors here, I'm not an author with a published book, nor am I a particular expert in casino games. I do not stand in the same field as many of the theorists in the game today. I'm just sitting in the stands, watching them at their work, often amazed at their erudite analyses of the games we play.

I am a fair to middlin' blackjack player who enjoys the game and manages to eke some small profits from time to time. I count cards, but I don't do it for a living. I'll be the first to tell you that the few professional gamblers I am privileged to know can play rings around me. I go to the casinos to relax, get away from the humdrum of regular life and make a few bucks, if Dame Fortune is so kind as to smile at me.

But I do take my gambling seriously. I first became interested in gambling when I visited Las Vegas several years ago to attend a convention. My wife and I stayed at the newly-opened Mirage for a week. We didn't touch a table or a machine for the first five days. As we wandered around the casino, I saw the money changing hands and was actually fascinated by what I called the little "money trains," those little carts loaded down with money that you see going through the casinos accompanied by several large, rough-looking fellows. I thought it would be nice to figure out how to bring some of that dough home with me. Toward the end of the trip, we played a few nickel slots, but it didn't take long to come to the conclusion that the money lay elsewhere in the casino.

When I got home from that trip, I began to study the games. I read every book I could find on the subject of gambling. I studied system after system. Some of them I tried out at the kitchen table and on the living room floor, dealing cards to myself, rolling dice and tossing coins well into the night, learning about the games and the probabilities that went with them. I even sent away for some of those mail-order systems that promised big wins on the slots or at the roulette tables. Sometimes, I went into the casinos and tried these systems out for real, losing real money on them. Along the way, I learned a lot about what not to do in a casino.

I also learned a few things about what to do to get the most bang for the buck. I learned how to count cards and how to get away with it. I learned how a small bettor can play the comp game and win. I discovered some great sites on the Internet, such as Stanford Wong's bj21 site, Michael Dalton's BJRnet and, of course, Rolling Good Times itself. It has paid off for me. For the last seven years, my wife and I have enjoyed great vacations and weekend getaways, all at the expense of the casinos. Each one of those years has ended in a profit at the tables on top of all the goodies and freebies. We are having a ball.

I'll be passing along what I have learned from my experiences here. It's not an expert opinion and I can be as wrongheaded as anybody every now and then. That said, if you want to hear about the games from a player's point of view, from a fellow who likes to get in the trenches and slug it out with the casinos and who scores the occasional knock-out punch, then I hope you'll stop in for a visit. I'll put on the coffee and maybe you can stay awhile.

Bootlegger
Bootlegger is a frequent contributor to various gaming web pages on the
worldwide web. His intelligent, insightful opinions and analyses have gained him quite a reputation in cyberspace as an expert who knows the games and understands the gambler.
Bootlegger
Bootlegger is a frequent contributor to various gaming web pages on the
worldwide web. His intelligent, insightful opinions and analyses have gained him quite a reputation in cyberspace as an expert who knows the games and understands the gambler.