Cover Part II: Bet Spreads


This series of posts is dedicated to killing sacred cows about “cover” (I use quotes because I think even the basic mental assumptions of cover advice are bad). The purpose of these posts is to get you to realize that most of the advice out there is garbage, and to shamelessly sell our class “Getting Away With It.”

The first post in the series is entitled “Cover Part I: Cover Plays

Mentality Is The Key

I’m critical of the mentality of many experts, like Don Schlesinger, when it comes to avoiding detection. You should buy his book, Blackjack Attack because it is one of the best available on the statistics and math of card counting. At the same time, his advice on how to avoid detection is based on a set of flawed assumptions.

The “Tolerated Bet Spread” Theory

Raise your hand if you have been told that the following are the limits of the most “aggressive” bet spread that can possibly be done in a casino:

Single Deck: 1-4

Double Deck: 1-8

Shoe: 1-16

Now, who here has been told that the following bet spreads are safe, and casinos will tend to be “tolerant” of them:

Single Deck 1-2

Double Deck 1-4

Shoe 1-8



This mythology that there are betting spreads that will be “acceptable” to casinos simply does not fit real world experience:

I’ve often spread 1-9 on single deck for several hours at casinos that have a reputation of being “sweaty.”

I’ve often spread 1-19 on a double deck game for many hours in a row.

I’ve spread 1-300 on a shoe game for a whole weekend.

There are places (not just one) I have spread 1-30 or more on their games for over a decade.


The El Cortez got me in 10 minutes with a 1-6 spread.

They got my friend, too. Spreading 1-4. In red.

I’ve gotten heat jumping my bet from 1-2.

The Flawed Logic of Betting Spreads

Here’s the argument for a limited betting spread:

  1. There are people trying to stop me from counting
  2. These people are experts on the game
  3. If I don’t look too much like an actual card counter, they’ll let me play
  4. Therefore, I’ll change how I play to not look like a counter

#1 is often false.

#2 is usually false, and if it’s true, a little cover won’t be enough.

#3 is usually false. Casinos kick people out who are not even counting. They also let sharps like me continue to play. I’ve literally seen them kick a ploppy out for counting, while I’m sitting at the same table playing with the count.

#4 is a flawed conclusion, because it relies on the flawed premise that you must not look like an actual card counter. The reality is, you must not look like whatever boogeyman the casino thinks a card counter looks like.

The Mentality Of The Blackjack Ninja

Generally, our play should begin by asking “If my opponent had no guards, how would I attack him?” Calculate the optimal bets for your game, and use them if there is no resistance.

Our attack proceeds by reacting to intelligence: “Where are my enemies guards? How can I attack him without arousing his guards?” Any deviation from optimal play is in response to specific intelligence that the enemy may catch us. Our deviations are narrowly tailored to surpass these guards while retaining as much of our advantage as possible.

Why You Should Take The Class

This is what a professional motivational speaker looks like.

Our class Getting Away With It is an in-depth seminar on how to gamble with an advantage without getting caught. We do not to even use the term “cover play” for the class, because the whole mentality is so mistaken.

We don’t start by teaching  “top-secret” tricks that will magically throw them off your scent. That’s not how we got the money. Most of the class is understanding how casinos protect their games, and discussions to change your mentality. Only after this foundation is laid do we discuss a few specific, effective cover plays for specific situations, and then run through drills.


Right now, off the top of your head, do you know how most card counters get caught? Do you know what play is responsible for about 90% of the entries in OSN? Can you tell me every single job title in a casino that could have game protection responsibility? If not, you need to learn.

2 thoughts on “Cover Part II: Bet Spreads

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