..ranging from "Gee, thanks!" (after you've made the play) to "Who's money is this in this square, mine or yours?"
The real trick is to quickly size people up and say whatever will get them to shut up, leave you alone, and quit drawiing attention to you.
What works is quite different for different people. Some folks respond well to kindness and some will only respond to being "shot down in flames":
I once had a very polite lady tell me not to split something, (don't remember exactly what it was) and I politely said, something like "You know, I appreciate the advice, but I just like to play my cards my own way, thanks." She smiled and never offered any more advice.
But on another occasion, (I remember this one clearly!) a loud, tough looking "lady" drunk had been annoying the whole table with her unsolicited (and wrong) advice. When someone asked her to mind her own business, she just got louder.
Finally, when she chastized me for doubling on A,7 vs a weak card, ("Hell, you awlreddy got ah eighteeeen! Whadya wanna tayke uhnuther hit fer?") I said loudly "If I wanted to have an ugly old woman yell at me, I'd have stayed at home!" @^*
Everyone at the table laughed, and she stomped off. Mission accomplished.
BTW, I would have never said something like that to the first lady. I could tell she only needed a friendly reminder to mind her own business.
Use what works, but using a flame thrower just to get rid of a mosquito may draw unwanted pit attention.
My 2 cents worth.
your cover. That may have been what Boot meant in his reply.
Oftentimes after a BS guy catches my "error", I'll subsequently ask him what he'd do when a particular play comes up. Dealers/Pit often think this means you're playing hunches or unsure. this is particularly effective diversionary cover if you ask them if they'd double 10 vs 2 on a very negative shoe then you DON'T follow their advice and just hit it... it draws additional attention to a correct index deviation that looks stupid to most people and a ploppie can be used to amplify your apparent stupidity. I did this on 17 v Ace once and drew a nice response from the whole damn table.
Most of the power of cover comes from how you interract your camo with other players, in my opinion.
"I ALWAYS hit 12 v 3." Doesn't matter how outrageous the play... Once I said "I ALWAYS double 8 v 5." A few hands later I hit an 8 v 5. Same plop asked "Why didn't you double? You said before ... blah, blah, blah." Looked 'em straight in the eye and said "I NEVER double 8 v 5." "But, you said before ..." "I don't CARE what I said before. I NEVER double 8 v 5." I wonder why he left? ;);)
I sometimes engage pit bosses in discussions on "what should I do?" but with plopsters, I want to make it clear conversation is futile. Keep the game moving.
When a ploppy questions my play, I just shout the following at him/her:
"Screw you, ploppy! I'm a professional blackjack player and I'll play my hand however the hell I want! The effect you perceive my decision to have on the outcome of your $5 is of no consequence to me! In fact, I hope you lose! I wish you'd leave already, you're cutting into my EV with your idiocy, non-stop requests for more silver tokens and all-around sluggish play. Pick up a MF'ing book and read a little bit about blackjack sometime since you insist on wasting your hard-earned ploppy money on it!"
This approach usually solves the problem of the ploppy questioning your play. It can cause problems if the pit overhears you or if the dealer speaks English but, in general, it's one of the better solutions. A nice bonus of this approach is that the attention it draws tends to run off other counters and the tension it creates makes other ploppies feel unfomfortable and leave. With luck, and perhaps with a bit more aggression, you can run off the entire table and have deck after deck all to yourself. On top of it all, the dealer will then be too afraid of you to attempt to hustle you for tokes.
Books don't have parents. They have authors and publishers. Since it's more likely that the publisher does the screwing and the author gets screwed (with a notable GBC exception, apparently) we'll assume that the author plays the mother role. So it would be more accurate to say "Buy a Schlesinger-F***ing book".
Being a jerk at the table is a great way to get barred. While someone who counts and plays high stakes will inevitably get the ax, it will come sooner if the counter also happens to exhibit anti-social behavior along with his counting. It is so much easier to nail a rude, inconsiderate player than it is a player who is well-liked by players and pit.
Hard 8 picked up on it. You took my statement literally ("screaming at the top of my lungs".) I think that a display of emotion at the tables is the best camo that a counter (or any other type of smart player) can use to his advantage.
Hitting soft 18, even as a BS player, raises eyebrows. Doesn't hurt to tell the table that you're sure that the dealer has a face in the hole to match his up card.
I've seen a lot of counters in a lot of casinos, and the easiest way to recognize them is by their lack of emotion while either winning or losing.
Just my opinion.