The only game with anywhere close to decent odds in a casino is blackjack. If you know how to play basic strategic blackjack perfectly, the house only has a .5% better chance than you do, a virtual coinflip. The odds fluctuate a tiny, tiny bit depending on whether or not the casinos let you double down on a split hand, split a hand that’s already beeb split, or if the dealer has to hit on soft seventeen or not.
Even if you can count cards flawlessly, unless you can ALSO play flawless strategic blackjack, you don’t improve your chances very much. But if you CAN count cards and play with perfect strategy, then you can tilt the odds in your favor and have as much as a 2.5% advantage over the house.
But counting cards without being noticed usually requires two people, like in “21”. I know how to count cards pretty well, but it’s very tough to do that and play perfect strategy at a multiple deck table, which is where the real high deck counts in your favor are most likely to occur. I’ve actually made a lot of money at dogshit Indian casinos before since they’re always a lot slower to spot a counter there, but even then I eventually drew a crowd by betting the table maximum for several hands at a time.
If you want a foolproof way to make money at a casino, there isn’t one. But the best chances you have are by counting cards while playing with flawless strategy at blackjack. If you Wikipedia Blackjack, there’s a chart that shows you every possible situation you can face in blackjack based on your hand and the dealer’s faceup card. It shows you when the best odds are to split, double down, hit or stay.
Counting cards is not illegal. You watch too many movies. Certain betting patterns may draw their attention, at max table stakes, but you aint getting thrown out. For every guy that can really count successfully and beat the house, there are 100s that think they can, and lose.
Your very best odds in the casino are poker. It’s not a house game. You only pay rake.
You’re right, counting cards is not illegal. That being said, I have been thrown out of a casino twice specifically for counting cards, and I have also been told that I am welcome to play any game BUT blackjack, also for counting cards. It’s called reserving the right to refuse service. The Peppermill and the Atlantis in Reno have booted me.
But you don’t know a fucking thing apparently. Since you play poker against random people and not the house, there are no chances of beating the casino. Your odds are often 50/50 against a random hand, but they can also be 95/1. If you play blackjack correctly and count cards, your odds over the course of six full decks is 50.5/49.50 no matter what. You can never say that about poker.
I’ve been in the casinos before I was old enough to be there legally. Blackjack was my first game, I was capable of playing perfect strategy and counting a little. So, apparently, you don’t know a fucking thing. Tell me, are you retired with all your blackjack winnings? And if you a poker player is “50/50 against a random hand, but they can also be 95/1. If you play blackjack correctly and count cards, your odds over the course of six full decks is 50.5/49.50 no matter what. You can never say that about poker” - can you explain to me those that make a living playing it? No, forget them. Can you explain that with + return over a large sample? And the return is larger than a mere point genius.
It takes a ton of skill to be able to make money playing poker and despite popular opinion, only a small handful of poker pros are truly successful. It also takes years and years and perhaps thousands of dollars lost before someone develops the skill to win consistently at poker. And then of course, there is the skill of the other players to take into account as well. In blackjack, there is little skill involved; it’s a very mechanical game and the only skill is really just memorizing the different situations to hit, fold, split or double down in along with learning how to count cards. The house has no “skill” in blackjack and once you have nailed the strategy and counting methods down pat, there are zero outside factors that can influence your success.
But in poker, there are a limitless amount of circumstances that can effect the outcome of a hand, which is why it is not uncommon to see players with the best hands fold and players with horrible hands win. If your hand is played against a full table (eight other players) and they all see the flop (which is rare, but even if only half of them do, which is common in a cash game) you rarely have better than a 50/50 chance of winning, even with a huge hand. Anybody who knows how to count cards and play perfect strategy can walk into a casino with a virtual coinflip’s chance of winning, whereas only a small handful of poker players can walk into a casino and say that, and the list is virtually non-existent if that poker player is playing with other top pros. If you’re not a legit poker pro living in Vegas and doing nothing but playing poker for a source of income, you’d be a fool to think you’re going to make money over the long haul; if you really were that good, you’d be a pro. You’re exactly who the pros want to play with.
As for my bankroll, I actually did have a pretty decent-sized one for a while (roughly25K) but I blew it all gambling on sports. I used to have a pretty serious gambling problem so I rarely gamble at all anymore, but I live about 30 minutes from a couple of Indian casinos and I’ll go there a couple times a year and play blackjack at a 5-100$ table and make a couple hundred bucks more often than not. I consider myself to be an above average poker player too, but I’m probably several grand in the hole playing poker.