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For the Love of the Game
by Bobby Singer

No, it’s not baseball. It’s winning Blackjack of course!

My passion and my Love for the game, even after forty years as a professional, has never wavered. I often wonder with glee and amazement how I still can find ways to play Blackjack and win consistently in today’s casinos knowing how visible I’ve been in the industry. Since 1980 I’ve appeared on hundreds of television shows, most notably Larry King Live. I’ve been featured in Millionaire Magazine; written books on winning Blackjack; written articles for gaming magazines such as Gambling Times; been featured in hundreds of newspapers around the country; and have been rewarded with several very successful infomercials. Yet I still walk into casinos around the globe, without disguise, and play Blackjack most often unnoticed.

I’d like to tell you the format I use to play today, so far without hearing those words from a floor person, “Mr. Singer, can I speak to you please? Your action on Blackjack is no longer desired in this casino.” But first, a look into the past:

During the ’60s and ’70s I was very comfortable traveling to, and playing Blackjack in, so many foreign lands. When asked what were some of my favorite casinos to play Blackjack, my answer usually surprised people. My absolute favorite place was a tiny casino in the Royal Haitian Hotel in Port Au Prince, Haiti. I averaged about one visit per month for five to six years and never had a losing trip. That’s not a misprint! I never had a losing trip. Once I did so well that I left the island with most of the casino’s U.S. currency as well as two checks from a bank in Florida. Besides the enormous financial rewards, the casino would pay for my stay at The Habitation LeClerc, a magnificent resort. Often I would dine in lovely French restaurants in the mountains, always at the expense of the casino.

The game of Blackjack being dealt in the casino was one of the best: a four-deck shoe with most favorable Las Vegas rules. They never cut off more than twenty cards and always treated me with great respect. The owner of the casino had been in the gambling business in Cuba during the pre-Castro days. He was a true Damon Runyon character who believed that ultimately even card counters would lose. (It never happened.)

My second favorite casino was the very glamorous and exotic resort known as Sun City in the Republic of Bophuthatswana, on the Continent of Africa. My success there was not as lucrative as Haiti. In seven visits over five years the score was five wins to two losses, with a somewhat conservative net cash victory. The resort itself however was worth every visit; it had luxurious suites, incredible food, great entertainment and all the activities one could want.

In third place was Monte-Carlo. Like Sun City, the score was five wins to two losses, although my net financial gain was greater in Monaco. The rules were only so-so, the cut card mediocre, but my friends and I always seemed to do better than the rules offered. The beauty of the French Riviera, the exotic cars parked in front of the casino and the celebrity life style so warmed your thought processes that each and every visit was better than the last.

Tied for fourth place were all the casinos in other foreign lands too numerous to mention. I played at the top of a mountain near Athens. I played at the Federal Wrest Point Casino in Hobart, Tasmania. I played this incredible game of Blackjack everywhere. My friends (who traveled with me) and I often talk about what we always call the “Good Old Days.”

Thinking, talking and writing about the Good Old Days, and reliving the glamorous Blackjack past is, for me, part of the feel-good process that fuels my passion for playing winning Blackjack. I’m smart enough to know the past is just that: the past. In those glory years I was very visible; I was, as the casinos term it, The Big Player, The Whale. I was treated with respect, given the grand suites—often the penthouse; the best gourmet restaurants; the wonderful stage seats for all the shows. Simply put, I was given the best of the best and always comped.

Today is different. So, regretfully, we pursue the quietness; we become obscure, blend in with the neophyte. When I play today, I play with a team. Usually there are five of us. We walk into a casino separately and even from different entrances. Three of us approach an empty table, begin the game and play multiple hands so no stranger can sit with us. About ten to fifteen minutes later one more joins the game. This happens as one of our players reduces to one hand. Soon, the last of our team (usually me) also moves in as another player reduces to one hand. We now control the table. When the count reaches player advantages, we oblige the obvious and increase our bets, but not all of us. We then alternate who it is that raises their bets. As long as we continue to have a positive count three of the five players make larger bets while one or two players reduce to almost the table minimum. What becomes both interesting and confusing to the enemy (the casino) is that we continue to change who bets large and who bets small. This appears to give the floor person watching the game, as well as the eye in the sky, the appearance that we’re streak players or possibly superstitious. We also often intentionally play hands different than what basic strategy charts call for when we are one of those betting the table minimum. We talk to each other at the table as strangers would on any table. Our buy-ins are never the same. When the count favors the casino, our bet after a loss is two units of the table minimum and raising one unit every other hand if we continue to win. This helps disguise our play to indicate we’re favoring streaks.

By the way, did I mention that the minimum bet at the table we chose to play at? It’s $5. That’s right; we are now playing at $5 tables. No heat, as we say, no heat! This strategy of playing at $5 tables helps to keep our program very low key. There rarely is anyone even watching our game. Our bets can easily range from one hand of ten dollars to two hands up to $75 each. At the time of this writing, no casino has yet asked me to leave their premises using the above low-key method of playing winning Blackjack. I even play at casinos that in the past have barred me, but now are under new ownership.

So stay loose, study hard, continue to hone your skills, play level headed, and above all, play to win! It’s for The Love of The Game. And no, it’s not baseball!

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