So I had a good start to June. WSOP numbers: 6350 or so. My savings account: Happier with me. My desire to play poker: Sorely lacking.

Quite often when I put in a lot of hands one month, I lose all desire to play the next. I think I have an inbuilt function to only be able to play 25000 hands per month, if I ever put in anymore, it comes out of next month's total.

This doesn't stop me from still wanting to make some money on the side though, so I turned to blackjack. Many winning poker players have serious "leaks" - ways they consistently lose money. Blackjack is one of them. A friend of mine wagered over $1m in May, when his sallary is only a couple percent of that (he won, swore off blackjack, but was last seen playing $100/hand in Vegas...)

I've never indulged, and infact the reason I win at poker is because of that disicpline. So when I took up blackjack for the month, I had good reason.

There are hundreds or perhaps even thousands of online casinos out there. The differences are really pretty small - who cares if you're playing on 888 or BetFred just so long as they actually pay out. You're inevitably going to lose your money, and you probably aren't going to spend much time on these sites. So, they need to have good ways to attract players - bonusses.

There are many sites around that will offer you 100% up to your deposit amount, typically with a 100 or $100 ceiling. You then have to wager a certain amount, and the money is yours. Let's say I make a 100 deposit, with 100% bonus. I have to wager a total of 5,000, and the 100 is mine.

Blackjack is typically the game with the smallest house edge. The house has a 0.5% edge over the player, so effectively, if you bet 200, the house keeps 1 in the long run. If you bet 5,000 the house takes 0.5% on average, 25.

They don't just hand you 75 though, there is variance to contend with. Sometimes you'll cash out nothing, sometimes you'll cash out a lot more. It's only on average that it's worth 75. If you play 1 hands of blackjack (yawn), you're more likely to get a number closer to 75, but 75 is still the number. If you play 100 hands of blackjack, it's overwhelmingly likely that you'll go broke, but sometimes you'll cash out a LOT. On average, 75.

I calculate my "money making time" to be worth at least 20/hour. I don't spend time on anything less, because that's pretty much what I'd get at work doing overtime, and that's a guaranteed amount that probably has benefits outside itself (i.e, they like me more). I've no interest in playing 5k hands of 1 blackjack over 10 hours to get 7.50 per hour. I therefore compromise and play 5/hand. That's about two hours of blackjack for an average of 75, a perfectly respectable return.

My variance is higher: I have a decent chance of going broke, and a decent chance of cashing a good total out, but my expectation is good. So this is how I spent my July so far:

That's a total of 1055 in, 2024 out. It's probably about 50k playthrough, so 10k hands of blackjack played, which is about 20 hours, for ~50/hour. I probably ran a little bit above expectation, but even so, I would quite like to put in one more casino to try to hit 1k for the month from blackjack....

The thing is that blackjack is a pretty boring game. You play the perfect strategy and it's quite entertaining while you learn it, then that's it, it's tedious. You get annoyed at the variance and you can't justify it like you can in poker, because in poker you know you're making positive expectation bets where the long run is infinite. For blackjack bonusses, there's a horizon, there's a wall stopping you from reaching the long run - unless you want to play negative expectation blackjack, in which case you're gambling, not trying to make money.

So now it's back to poker for a while. I'm going to learn a little bit of Omaha, and put in a couple of hours at $200 NL, but nothing special. It's a bit easier to motivate myself when I'm running good though, which seems to be the theme of the month...