After a couple of months practice it was finally the time for my first casino visit as a counter. I can count down a single deck in less than 30 seconds and have remembered all indices between -1 and +6.
I chose a casino at the Czech border (I live in Austria) where I had played before. I had not been to a casino for 10 months because I was pretty close to becoming an addicted gambler at that time. I have practiced for months and learned a lot about gambling and why I lost
This time was different. I did not feel the urge to run to the roulette table, which had always been my first stop in that place. I walked around a little and looked at the new games and the other people. I was happy to see that with the introduction of the Euro, the casino had changed their chips to red, green, and black. Since the min at BJ is �5, the only smaller denomination was �2,5, therefor you can only increase your bets by �5. They had also bought new tables and now offer the super7 sidebet at BJ, which is a total ripoff, since they only pay 3 for 1 instead of 3 to 1 for a seven. When I pointed this out to a ploppy who was going for it every round, he did not even care since he was playing it for the big bonuses only.
Finally me and a friend who just started learning BS sat down at the BJ table. We were the only players and played one spot each. At first I found it a little difficult to keep the count and maintain some cover, but after 3 or 4 shoes I got more relaxed and even started to chat with the dealers or the other players who joined us soon. I had brought �250 with me and played a 1-6 spread. The conditions were: 6 decks, S17, DOA, DAS, RS4, ES10, ENHC, penetration 75%. I am aware that neither the bankroll nor the spread were sufficient to beat this game and in fact I lost it all after 4 hours (those loosing max bets really kill you).
Although I lost my entire trip bankroll, I am very proud of me. I managed to keep the count and adjusted my bets strictly according to it. I also never felt the urge to play any other game. And the best of all is that I do not feel the need to return and win my losses back. It was a great experience and the price I paid was definetely worth it.
It may be a long time until I return to a casino since I first have to build up a bankroll of �5000 which will be big enough for my desired spread (�5-�50). But at least now I know that I can do it and even if I didn't get the cards I should have gotten, I did see that counting does work, since every time the count was high, all the high cards did come out, just not to my box.
However, I wrote this to let you take part in my experience and to thank you for everything I have learned from you people. I may not have been a regular contributor to this board, but I read it almost every day, and the knowledge you share is invaluable.