Bet Spreads

Watch your bet range, or spread. While everything mathematical tells us to jump our bet from, oh, $5 to $100 this is the surest way to get unwanted attention in the least and outright barring at the extreme. To survive we must unfortunately limit our spreads; the pits are not stupid – they basically know how counting works.

In pitch games this usually means spreading about 1-5 units; in shoe games we will get away with much larger spreads, say 1-8 or even two hands at 6 each. Generally counters step their bets up with the count: 1 unit at negative or 0, then incrementally up with the count. Read books like Stanford Wong’s Professional Blackjack and Don Schlesinger’s Blackjack Attack for more input in this area. In fact read everything you can find from these two authors as well as Snyder, Uston, and other accepted experts. Read, then read some more.

At this point it would be prudent to take it slow, and play at the lowest tables you can find. Fine-tune your game and act. There are still one-dollar tables in Nevada. Read the suggested authors – bankroll is very important. Even spreading 1 to 5 in silver a counter needs a bankroll in the hundreds. Never play under-financed – it’s self-defeating. Wild swings happen all the time in this game, and we don’t win consistently – the proficient counter wins in the long run.

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