This is sometimes the hardest page to write about and keep your interest. Green Screen Games was created out of an addiction! And before any judgement is passed, let us all acknowledge everyone has certain things they are passionate or borderline obsessive about.
I started playing Black Jack in 1997. In the summer of 97′, my wife and I got married in New Jersey on the tail end of my first Active Duty assignment in the Air Force. My next orders were to Los Angeles Air Force Base in sunny California. Shortly after our Norwegian honeymoon cruise to Bermuda, we packed our belonging and began the drive to Los Angeles. We stopped in Ohio to see my parents…then on to St Louis for the day…got halfway through Kansas the next leg…then stopped in Vail to see the in-laws…I think we stayed in Vail for a couple of days and initially planned on driving all the way to Redondo Beach for our final leg. About 11 hours into the trip, our optimistic plans began to fade. It was about 102 degrees and we were traveling in my wife’s 1987 Honda Accord…no air conditioning! It was pretty bad that we found it cooler to keep the windows up and ride than have the blistering heat blow inside the car. As we endured into our 15th hour of driving, we got our first real glimpse of Las Vegas. And because we had been bombarded by billboards for the previous two hours describing how Las Vegas was the land of paradise, we took inventory of our cash position and decided to stay if, and only if we could find a room for under $100. Otherwise, we would suffer on.
As I pulled onto the strip, my exhaustion turned into pure fascination at how beautiful and opulent this place appeared. We turned into Treasure Island, preparing ourselves for an overnight price tag that would force us to move on. My wife stayed in the car and waited…there was a theatrical pirate battle being waged with large ships, fireworks, beautiful people, etc…it screamed “this hotel is out of your league.” As I entered, a wave of cool air energized my body. And as luck would have it, they had a military discount price of $99 to stay and play. We did not gamble…we went straight to our rooms and rested. The next morning, we got up and finished the rest of the trip.
Why didn’t I gamble? Well, I was first exposed to real gambling in our year spent in New Jersey. As a Cadet at the Air Force Academy I would hardly call my one and only trip to Cripple Creek in Colorado gambling. And when your a broke college kid like I was, $20 was my limit in losses. That was a lot of beer money wasted. Once I graduated and got stationed in Burlington, New Jersey, we went down to Atlantic City a few times to have fun and party with friends.
A few things about me:
1)Don’t mistake my casual attitude for non competitiveness. I hate to lose…at anything.
2)Because I hate to lose, I like to prepare myself for the unknown.
3)Money is something to be valued, not squandered.
I purchased…who am I kidding…I went to The Library (this is a place where the poor go in search of answers) and photocopied a basic Black Jack strategy card. I brought it to Atlantic City and broke even. The downside was we went with someone who I watched lose $500. It hurt me more than it hurt him. All the things I could have done with the money!!!
Breaking even served its purpose in Atlantic City and in Vegas up until two years ago. I was able to have fun and most times, I did not lose any money. Atlantic City and Las Vegas are unbelievable places. The popular saying is that “Vegas looks the way it does for a reason”. It was built on the backs of gamblers…those willing to stake or risk money on the outcome involving something of chance.
Over the past couple of years, I began to play online poker in preparation to enter the World Series of Poker…a life long dream I still have not tried. In between breaks of triumph and frustration in Poker, I would go back to Black Jack. I’ve always viewed it as a mindless game of chance with the best odds, next to Craps (if you really know how to play Craps…most don’t). Much like my wife plays Solitary, I would play a few hands of online Black Jack out of boredom. What I slowly began to discover was that I was a much better Black Jack player than Poker player. I noticed my online bankroll (not real money) began to grow whenever I spent more time playing Black Jack. Soooo….I decided to get serious about the game.
I began to question whether the book on Black Jack strategy was really helping or hurting the average player. I began to experiment with different strategies and noticed there were some small nuances in the game, if noticed, could be more beneficial than wrote memorization of Black Jack laws. I practiced for a full year online before I went to Vegas to play…and my strategies worked! They began to work so well, I started going to Vegas every two weeks…and I won every time for 8 straight months.
As with any successful professional, I began to tweak my strategy to a point where I lost the balance of risk and reward. I grew numb to four figure winning sessions in search of tens of thousands of dollars. Greed is not always good! And once I turned my strategy into one night of winning over $100,000, I lost my way. I was in constant search of trying to duplicate this night…this attempt made me reckless and careless. I began to take on too much risk. It took me 6 months of losing with this far too aggressive strategy to realize, I was lost.
Back to the drawing board. I am happy to say I have learned my lesson and am back on track. Successful and most important, CONTENT.
I would now like to pass on the knowledge I have acquired to anyone interested in learning how to be a successful, dare I say it, professional Black Jack player.