Our next step is to start dealing two, then three hands, playing all of them as above and keeping an accurate count. Take your time and build it to this point. Now we’ve arrived! Well, no… we haven’t. Casinos offer much in the way of distraction, so we must account for that, too. Cocktail waitresses will be interrupting every 2.875 minutes, dealers get chatty, players get obnoxious, slot bells are ringing, the craps table goes berserk, etc.
Begin with a radio playing nearby and continue dealing out multiple hands, playing and paying, until you are exactly on the count every time. Then add a television along with the radio. If you happen to have a couple of small children nearby this is even better. Each individual will differ in the ability to overcome these distractions, but 20 hours of practice should do it. When none of the above disrupts your counting ability and accuracy we’re ready for the next step: talking.
You will invariably need to talk and interact with other people at the table in the casino. You don’t want to appear to be an individual locked deeply in concentration with a furrowed brow, staring at the cards. So, with the radio and TV going have a friend or (hopefully supportive) spouse deal with you. Carry on normal small talk. Look around. Be loose at the table. You’ll get this in real life, so practice it: “So, where you from?” and “Are you in town on business?” and so on. You will need to be able to think and respond while keeping the count without looking like you’re doing so.
People develop very individualistic methods for “holding” the count while carrying on an in-depth conversation – others are fortunate enough to be able to put the count in an area of the brain where they can retrieve it instantly. Some folks place x number of fingertips on their thigh under the table, some employ knuckle joints on top of the table, some use chips to indicate the count. However you accomplish it, you must remember the count! Perhaps another 20 hours will gain this goal with the friend dealing with multiple hands to you in the above scenario. In building our game we cannot practice too much; the results will be readily apparent at the tables if we don’t.