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It's interesting to note that while many players "count," not all are, good enough to actually derive a positive expectation. Errors in counting, coupled with errors in play and timidity in employing a large betting spread, often conspire to make good players not quite good enough to come out ahead in the long run.

Casinos also know this. A common theme we've found, in speaking with casino executives, is that while analyzing a potential card counter, the key point is to determine whether or not the player is good enough to heat the casino. The player may be counting cards, yet still be playing- with an overall negative expectation. If the bosses decide that a player is not capable enough to pose a threat, the house may still deal to the player. (Strangely enough, some professional Online Blackjack Games players seem to almost need to be barred every so often-to validate their skills.)

To most, being barred is not an enjoyable experience. The reality that the "enemy' ' has now discovered you unnerves many counters. If you are barred (or just asked to leave), pick up all of your money and chips; these are yours. Don't just leave the table; leave the casino, too. In Nevada, casinos are still allowed to refuse the action of players who are "too good." This is no longer true in Atlantic City.

While technology today can assist the casino in identifying card counters, it's still too labor intensive to track everyone in this fashion. Thus, it's still typically left to the floor man to first suspect someone of counting, which, in turn, sets off the chain of events. The key to longevity, then, is to avoid this first pressure point. If possible, you should disguise your counting from the pit personnel.

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Tournament Tacticians Trump the Timid
Many players fantasize about catching an incredible run of cards right at a tournament's end, when the big money is on the line, and better still if they catch their super-strong hands when an opponent has a strong hand: If you make a full house when an opponent makes an ace-high flush, you're going to collect a lot more than if you're full and your opponent has a pair of twos.

People fantasize about winning the lottery, too, but wishing doesn't make it so. Consistent winners make their own luck at the end by employing a variety of tactics that don't rely on luck.
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