Blackjack Action – Chapter 5

Blackjack Action – Chapter 5

“Sorry Sir, better luck next time,” was the consoling comments from the attractive dealer as Jimmy left the table having lost 8 hands out of 8 played. Steve had watched and analyzed every play Jimmy had made and could honestly find no fault with any of them. Beads of perspiration covered Steve’s forehead as he thought about the $40,000 of Mr. Ciau’s money that had just gone down the tubes in less than 5 minutes.

The team’s bankroll had been on a roller coaster ride for the past 2 weeks. It seemed as if they would struggle for 2 or 3 days and get up by a few thousand, then lose it all in one session as the coaster plummeted at break neck speed. After almost 3 weeks they had made very little money. And if they had another day like this one, they would be in serious trouble.

Add to this the fact that they really hadn’t had any good wins since Jimmy had taken over as anchor man. No one could really fault his play, except for Sam, but he rarely had anything good to say about anybody or anything. Yet, it was obviously time for changes to be made. The Slot Online team had been in a turmoil since their first session. Nothing had really gone according to plan. Steve knew it was time for him to take a firm hand of leadership and get things back on track. He needed to once again assume the roll of anchor man. Steve had made his decision. Tomorrow, they would go to Reno.

Steve saw Lisa with her head resting on her palms. Recognizing her signal he went over and sat down at the table where she obviously had caught the fancy of the male dealer. Six hands later, Steve’s $20,000 buy in was gone. “Man, can’t I catch anything but stiffs he thought?”

But this was just the beginning. Steve then got a signal from Mack and within a few more minutes he was out another $30,000. Twenty percent of their total bankroll was now gone in less than an hour’s play. Steve now wondered what in the world made him think he wanted to be a professional gambler and lead a blackjack team. The stress was beginning to take a toll.

Steve strolled the blackjack pit and gave a covert signal to all the team. This was his way of telling them that they should leave and try another casino.

Steve knew that casinos, like individual gamblers, have good days and bad days. Some days every craps table is hot and every blackjack dealer is cold, but on other occasions the casino couldn’t lose a bet if it wanted to. Strange how that works, but Steve had seen it happen too many times to ignore the phenomena.

Unfortunately, on this day, a change of venue didn’t help. Steve continued to lose 2 hands for every one win.

The kicker occurred when he was dealt a pair of 8’s against the dealer’s 7 up. Steve knew he had to split them and felt pretty good about his chances since the last card dealt before the dealer’s hole card was a 10, and so far this deck seemed to be clumping pretty well which meant that the dealer should have a 10 in the hole. Steve motioned for the dealer to give him another card. Another 8 was dealt. Once again Steve could feel his face reddening and perspiration popping out on his forehead. And he was also beginning to get that bad feeling in his gut that usually precedes a catastrophe. “Oh well,” he thought, “In for a penny, in for a pound.” Steve told the dealer he wanted to split that 8 as well. The dealer lined up the three 8’s to make three new hands, then dealt a card on top of the first 8. Unbelievable! It was another 8! “What is going on here?” Steve questioned himself. Now he had $20,000 at risk and was still trying to make the first hand. The dealer pulled another card from the shoe and plopped it on top of the first 8. It was a 3. Now Steve felt obligated to double down on the resulting total of 11, so he went to his pocket for another $5,000 having exhausted his buy in. When change was made, Steve held his breath as the dealer pulled another card from the shoe. A 7 appeared making the final total on the first hand 18. With $10,000 riding on that one hand alone, Steve hoped more than ever that the dealer’s hole card was a 10.

Now the dealer was ready to complete Steve’s second hand. He slid a 10 out of the shoe now giving Steve two hands totaling 18. The third hand was completed with an Ace for a 19. Steve was not a religious man, but now he found himself uttering an almost inadvertent prayer to lady luck or the gambling gods or to whomever would listen. “Please let him have a 7 in the hole.”

The next card out of the shoe was another 7 giving Steve a total of 15 on the fourth hand. Normally, it is a forgone conclusion that you hit a 15 against the dealer’s up card of 7. That is what Basic Strategy calls for. But according to the way the cards were running, and Steve knowing the count was high due to an abundance of high cards left in the deck, he was very tempted to stand on 15. But all Steve’s hopes rested upon the dealer having a 10 in the hole, so 15 wouldn’t help. Steve glanced at Jimmy who was sitting to his right in the first base slot. Jimmy never looked up from his cards, so the count was definitely still high. But Steve, thinking that he had a good shot at winning 3 of these hands, and one was a double down, decided to play it by the book and hit the 15. To his amazement, he drew a 5! “Hallelujah, I’ve got a chance,” Steve thought. I’ve got 4 very winnable hands.

After completing Steve’s last hand, the dealer mechanically went about his business and turned over his hole card. Steve’s momentary joy quickly turned to stone cold panic when he saw the 4. The dealer had 11, the count was high and a 10 was due. Steve wasn’t psychic, but this time he knew as well as he knew the sun was coming up tomorrow what the next card out of the shoe was going to be. When things start going badly, it usually gets worse before it ever gets better. Sure enough, the dealer pulled the king of clubs giving him 21.

Steve was devastated and left the table even though Jimmy had not yet given him the signal. No point in continuing to play here and throw good money after bad.

Later that evening the team congregated in a cheap motel room in Reno. This had been a day for the books. Steve was mentally flagellating himself for his poor handling of the situation. He knew very well that the best way to stop a losing streak was not to play, yet he had played on anyhow. As a result, the horrible losing streak they were in had consumed ALL their profits to this point plus $125,00 of their original $250,000 bankroll. Steve had allowed himself to get under pressure and even resorted to having the team play at higher limit tables so he could place larger bets. He knew “steaming” was wrong, in fact he knew many of the things he had done recently was wrong (including over playing his bankroll). Now half their stake was gone and Steve was going to be forced to play at a lower level. In order to decrease the chances that they would lose their whole bankroll, Steve knew he had to cut his bets to about $2000 instead of the $5,000 he had been betting. And that would make the hill they had to climb even more difficult because they would have to win twice as much as before to make up for the losses. But with the slight mathematical advantage that card counting afforded them, they should be able to get it back little by little. It would just take a lot more time, and sooner or later their luck had to change.

Steve began to address his associates, “Blackjack is a volatile game. We’ve had some terribly hard luck in the last few days, but it WILL change.” Steve tried to sound forceful and convincing as if this was all a common occurrence to him. “I think we all need a break since we’ve been at this without a day off for 3 weeks now. So, tomorrow is a free day. I want everyone to enjoy themselves and have some fun and relax. But Jimmy, you stay sober! We’ll meet here at 10:00 A.M. day after tomorrow.”

With that, everyone scattered like kids who had just gotten out for recess. No one but Steve knew how far behind they were. It was his problem to deal with and the burden was upon his shoulders. And there was one other thing Steve was keeping to himself. Mr. Ciau was on his way from Singapore to watch the team in action.


Share This


Wordpress (0)
Disqus ( )