How to Make a Successful Blackjack Team


If you’re interested in blackjack, then we’re sure you will have seen the 2008 movie, “21”, starring Kevin Spacey and Laurence Fishburne. This tells the amazing story of the “MIT Blackjack Team” and their lucrative adventures in Atlantic City Casinos. After leaving the cinema, how many of you have considered the fantasy, and thought about putting your own cool team together, and taking on the casinos of Las Vegas or Macau with style and panache? It’s certainly tempting. So today, let’s have a deeper dive into why it’s a good idea to play as part of a blackjack team as well as the important factors to keep in mind when doing so.

A Successful Blackjack Team: Shared Bankroll

This just makes for common sense. The larger the bankroll the more you can play. Keep in mind that you’re playing the long game and one of the most important factors is to have enough cash to last the whole stretch. If your team has five players and you each put $5,000 into the shared kitty, that $25,000 is going to last a lot longer than if you stuck with your initial individual amounts. Not only is there less risk, but you are all able to generate a much larger “expected value” than if you were each playing solo.

Accelerating The Long Run

According to the latest blackjack new, updates and stories, the thing that most of the general public get wrong about card counting, is that they imagine the card counter winning huge pots of cash at the end of each round. Nothing could be further from the truth. Due to the game’s “variance”, you’ll only be successful counting cards over a long period of time. This can be literally hundreds of hours of concentrated play. On the other hand if you and your team of four other players were all playing the same amount of time with that $25,000 bankroll, then it would be the mathematical equivalent of one person playing five times as quickly. This means that you all can accelerate the long term and that all that yummy goodness happens faster than when you’re all playing alone. In other words, you’re all assured of winning at a much faster rate.

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Buddies in Crime

The truth is that blackjack is a lonely game. Whilst you are receiving and playing your cards, you don’t speak with the other players or the dealer. Even when you’re playing in blackjack tournaments. No one knows what you’re thinking. You can alienate your own family, as you’re going to be spending countless hours at the casino games table. It’s a long and hard, lonely grind. So, if you can have a group of buddies who are going through the same daily process as you, with all the ups and downs, then it’ll make the whole experience that much more bearable. 

What is interesting, is that you might imagine that you’d play your best game of blackjack alone. After all, it’s really about just two players, you and the dealer. It appears to be obvious that you are in the best place to make vital decisions about the game play, as it’s your bankroll on the line every time you place a wager. And you’re the one with the blackjack education and knowledge of perfect blackjack strategy and certainly know how to win at blackjack. But you’d be wrong. Time and time again, it’s been shown that by playing as part of a team, then the better your own results. As to why, we’ll, there are a number of important factors at play, and you should consider each one carefully when you’re thinking of either starting or joining a blackjack team. 

Levels of Trust

The very foundation of any blackjack team is trust. It’s not just the trust needed that they’ll run off with 3 times their annual salary when handed a bankroll to play with. It’s something much deeper that revolves around having faith that every team player will do the right thing for the team, and not just for themselves. It’s about good judgement. On a practical level, there are certain things that need to be acted on without fail, every time you all play together. These can include keeping accurate game play records, handling the bankroll with honesty and respect, preventing over-risky play, and the ability to get up from the gaming table if they’re over-tired or starting to make mistakes. Also, you want someone with the type of personality who will not draw attention to himself. 

Around the time of the MIT blackjack team, in 2011, many other teams would insist on lie detector tests for all team members. Unfortunately, this is the totally wrong approach to instilling trust, as it starts out on the wrong foot, by assuming that everyone is a thief. If something escalates enough that you feel the need to administer a lie detector test, then we’re sorry to say that all trust is already broken at this point. Even if they passed the lie detector, it would mean that the relationship was broken, as all trust would be gone. 

A Successful Blackjack Team: Leadership Abilities

Running a blackjack team is similar to running a proper business. There are important decisions to be made as well as a lot of record keeping. And though you can ask for a show of hands to answer some questions, all teams will need a leader tasked with deciding many factors that’ll affect the team. These can include casino tipping practice, bet spreading, risk tolerance and even how to deal with the casino security. On a practical level, some people are just more organised than others, and are able to collect and assimilate knowledge faster than others. The team leader has the responsibility of finding the team members, as well checking out the casinos to knock over. Then, because we’re dealing with potentially huge sums of money, gained in a rather dodgy manner, there are a huge number of agreements that will need thrashing out. 

The main one being as to how the winnings are divided? How will records be maintained and by whom? Which player is in charge of the overall bankroll? What are the disciplinary measures to be taken against any team member who fails to act in accordance with the team goals or rules? All this is very time consuming, as it takes time to reach a consensus on many things. The last thing you want is to discover that you’re missed an important point after the team has started to play. To that end, we suggest that you take your time and think through all the possible scenarios and situations that might occur, well ahead of time.

Education And Training

As the team functions as a single organism, it’s important that all team members have the same level of play. There’s no point in running a team, if there’s just one player who is constantly messing things up. It’s costly in both wasted time and wasted bankroll resources. So, before someone joins your team you’ll have to test and assess their blackjack skills and knowledge of the rules. You may find a player with potential, but who’s lacking in some essential parts of strategy play. Maybe they have memorised the blackjack strategy chart but how little idea about implementation. maybe they know the best blackjack tips and tricks but have trouble knowing when to use them.You may well decide to train this person. Once again, that will all take a lot of time. That’s why putting together a blackjack team should never be a hurried endeavour. Take your time and get it right the first time around.

A Successful Blackjack Team: Fairness

If you’re playing blackjack on your own, then fairness doesn’t come into the equation. You are making all the decisions, putting in the hours, and reaping the rewards. But once you involve a team dynamic, then things will rapidly become more complex as you’re having to deal with multiple personalities. This can cause all sorts of stresses and strains, as well as leading to mistrust and selfish behaviour. Aspects of fairness come into play if one player feels they are doing all the work, yet receiving exactly the same benefits as those who appear to be more lazy. In fact, this is a common theme that often runs through blackjack teams. The idea that you’re putting in more money, energy and time than your fellow team members. It’s often the case that other obligations pop up, and that team member can’t make it to the game. Should they still receive the same payout as everyone else who was there?  

How about needing time off due to a family death? Or why is it some players appear to win much more often than others. Before long, they will look at the other players as a millstone around his neck, with these weaker players holding him back. So he will not be as happy sharing the pot equally, and may well ask for a greater share. Or even start suggesting that the team cut some dead weight. Though there are so many benefits of playing on a team, there are also a ton of possible headaches. If it’s your team and you are the designated team leader, then there may well be some uncomfortable times when you’ll have to make some difficult decisions. We don’t envy you!

Now we’ve covered what the main ingredients are for building a team, we should have a look at the different methods of either finding players for your team, or finding a team to join. There are certain qualities you should be looking for apart from the ability to play blackjack at an expert level. 

People You Already Know

Of course, this makes perfect sense from any view point. Providing that you trust them, this should always be your first approach to building a team. In fact, we would suggest that as trust is probably the most important prerequisite, it might be a better option to choose from among your friends, and then train them to be better players. In many ways this is going to be a much better experience than joining a team of total strangers or taking a total stranger onboard. As we previously mentioned, so much of the team’s functionality depends on all members having faith in each other, along with a rock solid level of trust.

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A Successful Blackjack Team: Message Boards

A quick Google search will reveal any number of blackjack forums. You can use these to find players in your area, as it’s much easier to form a team if you can all meet up in person on a regular basis. The only real downside to this approach, is that on the internet, everyone’s an expert! Many players will talk the talk, but when it comes down to walking the walk, they stumble even at the basic stages of play. Very few players will have bothered to put in the time and effort to learn and understand basic blackjack strategy. So this approach is a bit like online dating. You never know what’s going to turn up, and you can be sure it’s nothing like the photo or description. As such, we would recommend that you use message boards with a lot of caution.

Blackjack Boot Camps

Once again, have a Google search for local blackjack boot camps. These are places where a player who is serious about learning the game thoroughly will go to study. As such they are going to be more serious in their approach to the game play. After all, these players are paying good money to up their skills in order to become a successful blackjack player. This shows a certain level of both commitment and enthusiasm, which are two of the most important qualities needed in a blackjack team. By completing a boot camp, you can be certain that the player takes the game very seriously indeed, as well as proving that they have mastered some skills along the way.

Join an Existing Team

Though we’ve added this method to our list, in reality, the chances of you joining an existing team are practically zero. If goes without saying, that very few teams would be crazy enough to advertise to the public. This means that most team recruitment takes place well away from the public eye, and for you to be included, then for sure you’ll be needing some sort of insider recommendation. That means a referral from an existing team member. Another point is that you may well find a team looking for new players being advertised on a blackjack message board or a Facebook or WhatsApp group. At the end of the day, this may not be the team you’re wanting to play with. From another team’s point of view, why would they be willing to try you out? After all, you’re an unproven quantity, have no previous reputation, and no one has recommended you. We suggest that you don’t bother with this method.

Conclusion: How to Make a Successful Blackjack Team

When the MIT crew started to take casinos to the cleaners, those were much different times than today. They were able to perfect a strategy based around ace tracking and shuffle tracking. If you look at the latest blackjack news, you’ll see that card counting is almost impossible at modern casinos as many have active measures in place to make the practice uneconomical. All games are played with multiple decks, and there are car shuffling machines. But more importantly, you’ll be betting in a certain manner that will be picked up by both the dealer and the pit boss within a couple of minutes. We suggest that you’re better off learning some basic strategy and then going to play. For this, you should head over to an online casino. All will allow you to play for free using their own virtual money. Not only is free blackjack practice a great way to learn, but as equally important, it’s a great way to pass some hours have fun.