So -2.8SD Losing Years Are A Real Thing… How Many Have You Experienced?

Howdy everybody

BJ21 is not really worth the membership fee anymore, and it appears as though this is the most active bj forum on the internet.

First time posting here, started learning how to play in 2015.

For you longer time, well seasoned players- how many losing YEARS have you had on the books?

I play 200-500 hours a year, depending on how busy my business is. I’m in the wedding/event industry, so if I do 4 a month I’m pretty happy. I have lots of travel time.

My first year of bj was a loser as I was still learning, but the second year I won back my losses plus expenses for essentially a wash.

Then I got better and cut out dealer tokes almost 100%, and upped my win rate to around $24/hr for year 3, then $53/hr for year 4. Grew the bank from $10k to $40k. I was still at about a third of expectation, but room/food/booze comps via mailers (so I don’t have to fudge with hosts) and making 50% of my wedding revenue anytime I wanted was pretty cool.

Enter 2020. I know -2.8 is on the bell curve, but I never imagined myself there. Maybe the stars were just not aligned for anyone in any endeavor last year?

With no weddings, I couldn’t work, so when casinos opened up and the comp gates overflowed, I decided to get some play in.

I spent a total of 13 weeks in Vegas across 3 different trips since the reopen. All room nights comped, maybe 50% of my food. Flights covered with miles (I get lots of credit card sign up bonuses). Biggest expense was a rental car for 4 weeks at a time ($650ish). Bought a $10 coffee maker so I didn’t have to buy $5 starbucks twice a day haha.

I played mostly $10/$15/$25 DD H17 DOA games with a 30 card cut or BETTER (a couple dealers cut maybe 5 cards for me! I toked them a $1 rider for sure!). Played maybe 5% $5/$10 6D with a 1 deck cut, some with surrender and some without. About 10% of my play was SD in the non-Reno areas of NV, where I got 4 rounds to 2 spots or better (7-8 rounds to one spot with a few!). I use Hi-Lo indices from -5 to +15, and count aces on one hand for SD/DD and raise/lower my bet accordingly.

I got down 372 hours total of mostly heads up play (max one other player), only a handful of mostly polite backoffs (Except one where I was followed to my rental car by security). My spread is 2xTC in green chips, up to a max of 2x$300 at TC 8, just like CVCX displays. RoR is .2% on my current $30k bank (had to dip into savings during Covid). N0 of 4600-7000 depending on the game. End result was -$6300.

However, I got a crap load of freeplay from a couple plays I made last year under various aliases, and won about $5k total from that. Plus I hit my first progressive royal flush ever- $2k on a .25 cent 9/5 JoB and was stoked about that, played 6 hours straight. So essentially my year was a wash, however I’m pretty disappointed to be down 2.8 SD. CVCX says only .27% of years could be worse! Wish I was +2.8 SD and hit $100K over that period! Even -2SD would have left me with $20k bj profit, which I would gladly accept. The best trip I’ve ever had I was at -1SD.

This game really is a grind after awhile, especially such a long period of losing.

I’m wondering if counting is even worth it- maybe I should just focus on generating big comps for me and player 2 (and maybe my parents too!). $200-$500 freeplay a month times 10 casino chains times 2 people is $4k-$10k/mo, plus RFB mailers and invites to soft tourneys. And much less risk of backoff.

I’ve also found some progressive slots where wilds remain, and have made a few hundred off those. So I’m doing other things besides count. I’ve tried to network with other counters I see in the wild and have met two- a 40yo novice with a small $5k bankroll, and a 30yo novice with a $70k bankroll. We share data on heat and conditions and other things.

I’ve seen several flashing dealers too (when they check for bj on 10/A), but since I’m tall I find that anytime I slouch enough to see they tighten up. My counter friend with the bigger bank looks down upon holecarding and won’t partner with me on it, so maybe I can train my P2 who already knows how to count.

Any words of wisdom or encouraging stories of past triumphs over periods of total blackjack bullshit?

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.


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