We’ve discussed creating a ‘blackjack persona’ as a tourist which isn’t difficult. It’s pretty much a matter of figuring out a casino’s ‘demographic’ and just fitting in. If you’re really serious about becoming a skilled blackjack player, however, at some point you’ll face a conundrum. You’ll want to be in an environment where you can play in a live casino situation on a frequent basis. This is possible in any number of locales thanks to the proliferation of gambling across the country and around the world. Even so, Las Vegas and to a lesser extent Reno and Lake Tahoe remain the best place for a serious gambler to hone his craft.

Nevada is no longer the gambling capital of the world. It’s really only the gambling capital of the US by default due to the country’s meddlesome Federal government. Even so, it remains the best place for a professional gambler or someone who aspires to be one. There is a fairly competitive casino market and all of the ‘infrastructure’ you’ll need. Las Vegas, in particular, is a major city that attracts new residents and tourists for a variety of reasons other than gambling–shopping, food, nightclubs, and a growing number of non-gaming related businesses and industries. It’s one of the few places where you can have a high paying ‘legit’ job and work on your gambling chops part time.


It also gives you the opportunity to become a ‘regular’ in a casino and play there frequently without raising any ‘red flags’. Casinos love ‘locals’, particularly in Las Vegas. Actually, they love locals as long as they lose. They offer all sorts of comps and other inducements to local gamblers. So if you find a casino with favorable rules or even just one you like or that is close to your house it’s not hard to become a ‘regular’ and hone your skills without getting ‘profiled’ as an ‘advantage player’.

All you need to do is to create a persona that is consistent with someone who spends a lot of time gambling. The good news is that in Las Vegas this is fairly easy. There’s plenty of professions that spend their ‘down time’ in casinos gambling. And as Las Vegas grows, there’s plenty of ‘legit occupations’ that have flocked to the city. A word of warning–don’t ‘blow your persona’ before it is able to serve you. In other words, don’t think you can trust the employees of a particular casino by letting them in on the subterfuge. We’re still practicing ‘fitting in’ and ‘avoiding attention’ but taking it to a different level.


I’ll let you in on one of my secrets. When I was trying to become an ‘advantage gambler’ I created a persona that I was involved with a tech startup. I knew enough about it to sound convincing should anyone question me. The ‘uniform’ was easy to come by–just head to a local thrift store and pick up some polo shirts or t-shirts with computer related logos. These shirts with cargo shorts and you’ll fit right in. Another similar strategy is to become a salesman–pick a field that you have some knowledge about whether it’s cars, wine or office equipment. Buy some shirts and you’re all set.

It’s still a good idea to ‘spread your action around’ even if you become a ‘regular’ at certain properties. At this point, we’re doing two things–working on blackjack skills and getting comfortable being ‘in character’ when at the table. Even if you’re known as ‘John Doe the office furniture salesman’ at your local property it’s good to have the ability to go into a new environment and quickly establish your ‘persona’ and its legitimacy.