True, as it is also true that variance and fluctuation, in their most natural forms are, well, quite natural and normal occurrences.
No fun without encountering nature's flux son, and when Cat Stevens sang--once upon a time-- " where will the children play? " I believe he was lamenting the fact that repetitive consistency was fast becoming the numbing gestalt of our modern, authority loving--and oh so serious--age.
Remember this insight kid: play ends where ownership begins, and the giving oneself away--into play--is to give up one's ( own ) self into the unexpected inconsistency of the moment. The moment is where the the fun begins, providing you give yourself away to it, and its blessed inconsistency. BJ, and it's mind boggling inconsistency, is merely one way of encountering this.
Their is a telling ambivilence which I have taken note of since I began perusing this board many moons ago. The ambivilence is that Blackjack is a game to-be-played ( which we all know--right? ) yet so many poster's here are so completely obsessed with belonging to " the BJ 21 debate club " that they remind one of so many mideivel clergymen contesting how many angels can fit on the point of a needle.
Surely these posters are ambivilent and insecure, for they seek a kind of perverse ego fullfiment in their various arguments here, as they claim to have ownership over some bit of BJ esoterica which they simply have to share again...and again...and again. Or maybe they just like to argue " the finer point. " YUK!!
Consistency is the hobgobblin of small gonads kid, and the goal in Blackjack, as in life, should be to throw one's self into play much more, and to bark out proclamations much less. BJ and its very inconsistency is why I have fun playing it--how else should it be?
But I like rollercoaster rides....always have. Keep it Simple wanted a no frills climb up Magic Mountain. I go for the Grizzly complete with rickety boards, clattering wheels, and stomach churning drops and rises. And I will jump out of the car, run right back up that ramp and take the ride again. If that makes me a 'kid', so be it.
I liked your "BJ 21 debate club" equals the mediaeval clergy analogy. I am reminded of the Copernican vs Ptolemic universe debates led by Galileo during the 16th century. Natural phenomena observed by newly developed technology showed the clergy that the Bible might have been wrong about the center of the solar system being the Earth. The heretics were hounded and imprisoned but the cat was out of the bag. Controlling this game is like trying to stuff a tornado into your lawn-sized Hefty. The internet is filled with hot air like a constantly expanding balloon. The elasticity is infinite, like the universe itself.
We play because we are children at heart. We want our chance to be a winner. We observe and voice opinions based on our experiences of the world and are often victims of our own preconceptions. We step up to the batter's box because it is our nature to believe we can hit a home run instead of striking out. Practice makes it more likely we can 'see the ball' and 'make good contact.' Blackjack is a game of inches and statistics, like baseball. All I am saying is when you are at the plate, put some pine tar on the bat, get a good grip, and swing away. If you have diligently worked on your fundamentals during spring training, you stand a better chance of finding that gap in the defense and making a hit. Of course, you could just strike out again, too. But I think, you, like many of us, didn't come to the park to lay down a bunt with the bases loaded. To me, counting gives us a chance to double in a couple of runs with men on base in the late innings when it really counts.
Enough with the sports metaphors. Well, maybe one more... Awful disappointing when your long fly ball is caught on the warning track, but you gave it a good whack, right?
Playing is F** because of the variance. ETF will have my head on a platter for this statement but, what the hey....it's only words in thin air on an internet forum, you know what I mean?
"But I like rollercoaster rides....always have. Keep it Simple wanted a no frills climb up Magic Mountain."
I'm going to assume you meant this along the lines of I seek little pain and modest gain. Your assessment is correct. I'd like to minimize losses and come out profitable without sitting at the tables for 12 hours per day.
I don't get a thrill from the action - I'm more content to sample some buffet and catch a couple shows and order drinks at the pool than mindlessly pump five-dollar bills into computer-controlled slots or lay out black across the felt of the craps table. And I become mildly distressed when I see honest people rifling through purse or wallet for one last chance at a sure thing (read: certain loss). I think we've all had that feeling, namely, "I've got to get the hell away from here," because you get sick of good people getting taken.
This mild disdain for the casinos is increasing, however, as I read about the goings-on concerning decreased blackjack payouts, shuffle machines, ill treatment, and the like. If this trend continues, I will no longer frequent Vegas, and vacation elsewhere.
Hence, my goal is to learn all I can from the good people here and extract a small profit on my infrequent trips to Vegas, winning a few dollars along the way. I still am not certain if it is still possible in this environment, but some of the posts have been encouraging. If I enjoyed the action more, as you and others seem to, I think I'd be more inclined to give it my all at blackjack.
I think, that even with all the abstractive digressions, what is pertinent is that counting will give you a chance to beat the casino advantage. You have to choose good games and avoid the rest. There are fanatic moments here, but you will get good advice, generally speaking. Your goals are clear and reasonable.
" I think we've all had that feeling, namely, "I've got to get the hell away from here," because you get sick of good people getting taken. "
You have already recognized a cardinal rule. If for any reason you feel uncomfortable playing, now is not too soon to leave.
Not every game at every casino is completely set up to take advantage of the suckers. There are still some excellent games in Vegas. You are discriminating, just apply that good judgement to when, where, and how you play. Most gamblers love the action and get in over their heads. You seem to be smarter than most. Remember to define your risk/reward ratio before you begin.....Obviously you have different ideas about this game than someone who will play twelve hours because he has a perceived advantage. Vegas has much to offer in terms of entertainment beyond blackjack, as you have already observed. Even Pai Gow and Baccarat can be enjoyed with minimum risk to your wallet, if you are prudent. Obviously there are many attractions away from the gaming tables.
When you decide to visit Vegas, there will be plenty of good people here to help you decide how to find the best games. I am no authority about Vegas....or for that matter anything about this game. I just felt like responding to some of my buddies here and hopefully in the process let you know what is involved in advantage play. I think what you are beginning to understand is that luck is stronger than skill, but skill will definitely help the long run. Since you have no long term plans for this game, keep the bets in a comfortable range and use what you can to diminish the casino edge. I leave the rest to your judgement and the good advice of more knowledgeable players than myself.