A "100" Counting Base

Because of that, I always begin my count off the top of a new pack at "100". When that 9 was the first card out, my running count would go to "99", (meaning negative 1). Now, when those same next six cards were played, my count would run: 101, 99, 100, 101, 99, 98

I simply count forward and backward from 100. I never have to fool with "minuses" and there's no risk of accidentally changing signs between hands. This has been my method for twenty-five years. I find it to be smoother and less error-prone. Just be aware that a count of "92" really means "-8"! In multi-deck play, the running count will sometimes get very far from "even". When this happens, you need to be comfortable with the idea that a count of

"68" is actually "-32". But don't worry, even with eight decks you will hardly ever reach the ambiguous count of "50" in either direction.

After a short while, you'll feel comfortable dropping the "hundred" off a "one-o four" count, and simply count "4, 3, 2, l, 0, 99, 98, etc.". If you don't think this is easier, then stick to the conventional method of starting at "zero" and going into minus running counts. But either way, you must be able to count down a full single deck in 30 seconds maximum, or you're not ready.

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Tilt Is Doom in Pinball and Poker

It's entirely possible for a highly skilled player to have long-term results that are far worse than someone whose technical skills are inferior, if the technically skilled player is vulnerable to tilt. One bad session can wipe out results from dozens of good ones. It's difficult to learn emotional control from a book, but if you ever find yourself at a poker table and hear the words "I don't care" echoing in your head, you're probably on tilt; the smartest thing you can do is take your loss and get out of the game as quickly as possible.