Making a Living Through Blackjack (or Other Card Games) 

Is there any chance that could be done? 

Making a living from blackjack is doable, but the game is not for everyone… I worked as a professional card counter and utilized the money I earned to purchase my first home. Playing blackjack for a living is not, by any stretch of the imagination, impossible. We are living proof that it is possible to make a living counting card in blackjack, though it takes a great deal of effort, determination, and self-control (not to mention the 100 people we hang out with at the blackjack ball, half of which are millionaires thanks to the casinos). We were given the video clip below, which is an excerpt from a San Diego morning talk show. In it, a man named Oliver Galang promotes his book, “Card Counting: The Real Truth About Blackjack.” This is Colin’s answer to Oliver’s absurd assertion, which can be found below… 

Colin is at the table with the chips

The main point Oliver is attempting to convey is that you CAN NOT win in blackjack over time since the dealer has the same chance as you have of obtaining 20 or 21. Oliver brings up a good point. Have you forgotten that a player gets a 3:2 payoff on blackjacks (a total of 21 obtained with the first two cards)? If you get a 20 or a multiple cards 21, the trade with the dealer is even, but if you get a blackjack, you get paid out at a 50% higher rate than the dealer. I’ll trade an equal number of $100 blackjacks back and forth with the dealer all day because I know I earn $150 for each blackjack while the dealer only gets $100. This is because I know that at each blackjack, I make $150 while the dealer only receives $100. 

The fact that Oliver has no other choices is Oliver’s second line of defense. Oliver, it’s unfortunate that you lack the necessary ability, but you can’t declare that something is impossible simply because you don’t know how to accomplish it. There are a lot of people who claim to be able to “count cards,” but for several reasons, they never end up making any money at it…

They either do not follow the plan correctly, are unable to count flawlessly, do not have a winning bet spread, are unable to properly manage their money, give up any edge they do have, or play games that are impossible to beat. All of these factors contribute to their inability to win. No matter the specifics of the situation, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that Oliver possesses an excessive amount of a “gambling” attitude to be an efficient card counter.

The Barona Casino, which is located in San Diego, is the primary gambling establishment that he mentions. I would wager that there are more than thirty card counters who have visited the Barona Resort and Casino and that I am one of them. We were eventually warned about playing blackjack at that establishment (usually sooner). Even a Blackjack Hall of Fame can be found at Barona Resort and Casino. They can recognize a good card counter when they see one and can use it effectively. If Oliver had any skills at all, he never would have been able to make it through his time at Barona. One of his weaknesses is card counting, which is one of the reasons why he is having difficulty with his blackjack game rather than with card counting as a scientific endeavor. When you assert that firearms are incapable of killing people, you are acting in the same manner as a poor marksman who claims that his handgun does not kill people.

Oliver claims to have developed the “double up theory,” which holds that if you lose a bet, you should raise your stake to recoup your initial investment and come out even or ahead overall. This approach called a “progressive bet spread” or a “Martingale Bet System,” has been around as long as gambling has. While in college, I came across the concept of a progressive bet spread while researching how to win at roulette. 

Before I had ever participated in any form of gambling or attempted to count cards, a significant amount of time had passed. It ought to be clear to everybody why the such way of thinking is incorrect. If you are interested in doing so, you can read it here if you want to. However, I am not sure which of Oliver’s claims is more ridiculous: the fact that he uses it himself or the claim that he invented it. The fact that Oliver admitted that he still participates in gambling is the very last thing about the interview that delighted and interested me. Even though he has “lost it all” gambling, he continues to donate his money to casinos even after he has “lost it all.” This indicates that he is either so foolish or so hooked on gambling that he continues to gamble. If you are going to write a book on the dangers of gambling and how you lost everything, you should at least have the decency not to reveal that you are still participating in the activity to the same extent as you were in the past.


Oliver is just another gambler who tries to find reasons for his lack of self-control and compulsive behavior to make himself feel better about them. And he is making the most of his misfortune by turning it into a money-making opportunity by producing a book about it, so profiting on the ephemeral media attention brought on by the movie “21.” He cannot concede that he is not good enough at counting cards for his strategy to be successful; rather, he must argue that counting cards are inherently flawed. He cannot admit that he is not good enough at counting cards. That comes as a shock to not only me but also the other advantage players who, with some skill and consistency, may amass a fortune playing blackjack (or at the very least, supplement their income) (or at least supplement their income). Oh well… At the very least, it would prevent problem gamblers from squandering their money at blackjack tables.