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Big to Beat

You may find that jumping into the middle of a shoe: with a big bet draws attention, even if you flat bet. If that is so, try to find the point at which attention starts. For example, the attention may start at $100 and become more intense with higher bets. The attention of noncounting bosses might be a plus of course, since it can result in comps. However, if you want to jump into a positive count and bet big, but with as little attention as possible, you might be better off starting with a bet that will not attract attention, for example, a bet under 5100. You might find that jumping into a shoe with a bet sequence of S50-$100-$150 draws less heat than with $100-$100-$100. Even if the dealer calls out "checks play," the pit boss may not come to the table if the checks belong to a person who is already playing at that table.

If you can play but do not want to make big bets yourself, you can hire an assistant and use a technique that has come to be called "play calling." You bet small and count the cards, and on good counts you call in your assistant to make big bets. Your assistant should be some-one unknown to the casino, but the assistant need not be a card counter. However, to simplify the information-transfer procedure, your assistant should know basic strategy. Then you need signals for only three messages:

1. The count is high, so bet your money.
2. The count went down, so leave the table.
3. Deviate from basic strategy on this play.

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I'm Better Than You Are!
One of the most common phenomena in almost all forms of gambling that involve a mixture of luck and skill is for players to overrate their own abilities and to underrate their opponents' skills and it's not because gamblers are delusional (many of them are delusional, but that's not the operative reason here).

Most complex games, like poker, backgammon, and gin, require a wide variety of skills to be mastered before one can be considered a great player. Sticking with poker for our example, the number of skills required for greatness might be 50 or it might be 500, depending on how narrowly we want to define "skills." Let's define the term narrowly and say that there are exactly 500 different skills available to master in poker.
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