There's
a common misconception that card counters always win.
Over short periods, such as days, weeks, even a couple
of months, it's not a given that a skilled card counter
will be ahead. In fact, the card counter could be
well behind.
What's true is
that given sufficient time and a sufficient bankroll,
the card counter will eventually turn his fortune
around and show a profit. This becomes close to a
mathematical certainty the longer a counter plays.
Let's get back to short run, however, which is quite
another story.
Let's say we're
playing our 2deck game and spreading 1 to 5 units
(regardless of our current bankroll). We're using
the top 16 plays of the KO Preferred matrix for strategic
decisions, and we will play until either doubling
our bankroll or going broke. Not surprisingly. the
larger our bankroll, the more certain it is that we
will succeed.
which demonstrates
this effect. Notice that the risk of ruin drops substantially
as the initial bankroll increases. For example, with
a starting bankroll of 25 units (at the spread of
1 to 5 units), the chance of success is about 53%.
That is, if you sit down at a 2deck table, buy in
for $25, and spread $1 to $5 (or, alternatively, buy
in for $500 while spreading $20 to $100, etc.) while
using the Preferred system, you'll have about a 47%
chance of going broke before doubling your money.
On the other hand, if you start with 100 units, your
chance of failure falls to 3690. Indeed, it nosedives
to a mere 0.5% if you start with 1,000 units, and
nearly 0% for a bankroll greater than 1,500 units.

I
have a tell on a very famous player and he has a very
hard time with me, even though he's a better player
in the abstract. I usually know when he has a strong
hand, and so would rather see him at my table than
someone with a tenth of his talent. If you have consistent
trouble with someone, especially if he's someone you
can't ever bluff successfully and/or can't get to
"pay you off' when you have a big hand, there's
a good chance he has a tell on you.
There
is another class of clues that are easier to find
and more reliable than tells: betting patterns. They're
more reliable because they are based on logic and
to avoid logic a player must make mistakes earlier
in a hand.
