Q&A: How to Win at Blackjack Without Card Counting
It is very rare to find a professional blackjack player whose very system does not rely on card counting. But such a man exists, and he is happy to share his winning strategy. He enjoys when players prove in real time that it works.
With the exception of walking around to follow the trends at multi-deck casino gaming tables, most of the same non-card-counting strategies that can be used in a casino can also be used online. But whether you play in the casino or at home, you’re probably sitting a lot, so it’s important to get up once in a while. Your health will thank you.
sportsquare.com spoke to someone who is an expert in both: George Pappadopoulos, author of “Blackjack’s Hidden Secrets, Win Without Counting,” is also the co-owner of Galloway Nutrition in Galloway, New Jersey.
sportsquare: What are some of the selling points of playing blackjack without counting cards?
Pappadopoulos: My system has five rules you need to know before you sit down and start playing, and four of them you can use online without counting cards or being in a physical casino: bankroll, basic strategy, money management and discipline.
No. 1 is bankroll. You need to know how much money to bring to the casino or online. You need to bring 40 times the table minimum. If you’re sitting at $5 table, you need to bring $200. At a $25 table, you need to bring $1,000.
You are looking to win 50 percent of your bankroll. In other words, if you bring to the table $1,000, you are looking to win $500. And, you also need a loss limit, which is your entire bankroll. If you lose your bankroll, clear your head, walk around, and wait until you have a new bankroll that you can afford to play with before returning to the table.
No. 2 is Strategy. You can find basic blackjack strategy in most blackjack books. I have a card in my book that tells you every single move there is in blackjack. You’re actually allowed to bring the card to the table with you at a casino, and, of course, you can use it at home when playing online. It’s important to follow basic strategy to have a winning percentage.
No. 3 is money management. Money management determines how much you will play each hand. For example, my system is the New York telephone number 212-3456. Now, let me explain that: If you’re sitting at a $10 table, your first bet is double the table minimum. So, at a $10 table, you would bet $20. If you win that hand, you pull back to half your original bet, and your second bet is $10. If you win that hand, you go back to your original $20 bet. Continue with the phone number strategy. If at any time you lose a hand, you go back to the original $20 bet and proceed. This strategy works for me, because I have found it is hard to consistently win two hands in a row.
The fourth rule that you can use online is discipline. Discipline is the hardest rule but the most important to follow in order to be a winner. If you win 50 percent of your bankroll, you must stop playing. If you lose your entire bankroll, you must stop playing. It is as simple as that. Don’t look to go in there with $100 to win $10,000. It’s not going to happen.
As co-owner of Galloway Nutrition, do you have any non-gaming advice for people who play blackjack online?
Pappadopoulos: My advice applies to people online and in the casino. Sitting and playing all day at anything is hazardous to your health. Winning at blackjack is great for making money, but, in excess, it’s not good for your health.
Here are some of my recommendations:
Don’t sit longer than one hour. Get up and walk around for 10-minute stretches. Drink a lot of water; being hydrated is very important for your health and mental clarity. Eat small regular meals of mostly protein (for example, yogurt, nuts, cheese) approximately every two or three hours.
The biggest winners are those who put money in their pockets and keep their bodies healthy.