Annoying traits of some card counters


I've seen a lot of inept card counters in my day. One annoying thing they do is look at everyone else's hand, especially on a close insurance decision. With multiple such counters at the table, they all show each other their cards. If I am trying for some reason to get in good with some local high-roller (loser), I do that; otherwise, I never do. Why not? Because:

  1. I don't want any casino heat for asking or showing. Many stupid casinos freak out about the information sharing, on blackjack and other beatable games. The fact that many double-deck games are dealt face up is lost on them.
  2. I don't want the dealer to be made uncomfortable by the info sharing.
  3. Seeing how terrible the riffraff counters look pulling this move, I don't want to look anything like them. It's a really bad tell.
  4. I want to lay cover so counters don't pick me off. I know the riffraff counters are thinking, "This moron ploppy is so annoying -- he won't show me his cards! These idiots never learn."
  5. I don't want to create any table camaraderie. If we're all playing "as a team," these people will tend to stay at the table longer. I want them to leave; the sooner the better. And, the same gamblers who like to show each other their cards like to complain loudly when what they think is a bad play "causes" the table to lose, so I don't like to be social with them.

Showing cards in a counting context doesn't have much benefit, certainly not enough to offset the negatives above.

As primarily a hole-card player, I have observed many counters in the wild, and to put it nicely, I am not impressed. The level of tunnel vision, carelessness, and laziness is astounding. Counters complain about conditions or the difficulty in finding opportunities like hole-carding, but I've seen time and time again that they're just not looking! It's ridiculous. On top of that, virtually all of them have the same annoying table habits and make the same rookie mistakes that have been posted and written about ad nauseam. You know how many times I have hole-carded with counters on the adjacent table or at my table? They are oblivious.

They refuse to follow advice in books and on Green Chip, inexplicably preferring to make the mistakes themselves.

They spend endless amounts of time debating tired topics that have so little to do with their failures -- what count system to use, how many standard deviations of bad luck did I just have? Geez, are you kidding, man? If these are the permanent topics, you'd better find a better game! When highly-respected counters can have a losing year, what does that say? Well, many have.

Perhaps you could label the following as pet peeves, but when you see them over and over and over again, in what regard would you hold these counters?

Here are the top five mistakes that riffraff counters make, despite advice in many books and Green Chip posts:

  1. They play under real name/ID, even early in their careers when the comps from red-chip play are garbage (you're going to give up your name for a buffet?).
  2. They stay where they play, then complain about getting backed off and locked out of their rooms. Lazy. (I walked about nine miles to get to our hotel after a play that we thought might have triggered heat. About eight miles into the walk, I ran into my teammate--who also had decided to walk, though we had no communication regarding the rendezvous!)
  3. They talk too much at the table, over-acting when it is totally unnecessary, making themselves more memorable and slowing down the game.
  4. They get backed off and then head straight for the cashier's cage. Just say no!
  5. They play crappy conditions with a crappy edge, lose, then speculate that they were cheated. Pathetic.

Originally published on Green Chip, edited for this format.


November 4, 2020 7:16 pm
I would rather you admit this to be an article of your "Observations And Conclusions"

It is SOOOOO difficult to look at an "Inadequate" Card Counter" and immediately surmise that you know exactly what mistakes he is making.
The truth is some of your article is true
..... HOWEVER I have witnessed so many "Bad Counters" Making mistakes only to learn later they were exploiting a Game in a completely different way.
Sounds like YOUR being the annoying, whining counter in this article.
"after all only Fools make Conclusions".

I really thank you for your post, we can all learn from each other :D

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