Arnold Snyder, a Blackjack expert talking about how impossible it is for most people to win at Blackjack using a Card Counting system with a proven long-term advantage, because it's too devastating to live through the short-term negative fluctuations. Everything he says applies perfectly to trading the markets, and explains why the majority of us will lose even with a proven "edge." http://www.bjfonline.com/Library/wontwin.htm You wonât win. Do I really need fifteen articles to say those three words? I donât think so. Though it occurs to me that all blackjack books should have at least one chapter titled: âYou Wonât Win.â The message delivered by most blackjack books and systems has always been the same baloney. Stanley Robertsâ Winning Blackjack was once advertised with the slogan: âMake every casino in the world your personal bank account!â Ken Ustonâs Million Dollar Blackjack was promoted with: âMake $500 per day any time you want!â And these arenât phony systems; these books contain legitimate card counting strategies. You canât always tell the real systems from the phonies by looking at the advertising. Promotion is promotion. Authors of blackjack books, like authors of all âself-helpâ booksâfrom weight-loss systems to multi-level marketing programsâare reluctant to deliver the message: You wonât win. Nobody wants to hear it. When I self-published my first book, The Blackjack Formula, in 1980, and advertised it in Gambling Times magazine with the catchy, upbeat slogan: âCard Counters Beware,â stating in the ad that most of the blackjack games available in the casinos of the world were unbeatable with any card counting system, the publisher of Gambling Times, Stan Sludikoff, told me bluntly that I would never make any great amount of money trying to sell books with that type of pessimistic advertising. Stan was right. Seventeen years later, Iâm still just scraping by, still delivering that vastly unpopular message: You wonât win. Of course, there are a few players who do win. Professional card counters exist; theyâre not entirely mythical. Itâs just that I know that these professional players are so exceptional, so obsessed, so dedicated, such gluttons for punishment, so terror stricken by the concept of working a nine-to-five job, so few and far between in every sense of few and far between, that, honestly, you are highly unlikely to be one of these human anomalies. And the most honest thing I can say to you, if you tell me that you really want to become a professional blackjack player, is: You wonât win. And the reason is: fluctuations. If you are anything like the masses of humanity, if you like to be rewarded for your efforts within some reasonable time frame, you wonât be able to take the fluctuations. Those negative downswings will be bigger, and harder, and longer lasting, and more upsetting, and more unbelievable, than your level of toleration. Your losses will tear at your heart, and fill you with emptiness, and leave you in a state of quiet desperation. I hear this from players over and over again. I hear this from players who claim to have studied diligently, and practiced for hours on end, for weeks and months with a singular dreamâto beat the casinos. And they donât win. And they ask me why. And I say, âOh, itâs just normal standard deviation. A negative fluctuation. It could happen to anyone.â But it happened to you. Your money. Your hours. Your months of dreaming. And you didnât win. So, over and over again, in my books, and my columns, and my magazine articles, I feel compelled to deliver the message I have been delivering since my very first book in 1980: You wonât win. Some card counters will win, but not you. Some card counters will actually experience inordinate positive fluctuations! Wow! But not you. You wonât win. Other card counters will be having champagne parties in their hotel rooms, celebrating that marvelous life of freedom and money and adventure that just seems to come naturally with the lifestyle of a professional gambler. But not for you. You will be among the unfortunate few who, statistically speaking, will be located in the far left tail of the Gaussian curve. Someone has to be there. It will be you. I have been in that tail; it is a cold and lonely place. I suspect many of those who write about this game have been there, and they know what a cold and lonely place it is. Every professional card counter I know has been there. And if they have played blackjack professionally for many years, they have been there many times. These players have hearts stronger than mine, and I suspect, stronger than yours. This much I know: it is easier to make a living writing about this game than it is playing it. I have tried both, and I much prefer the keyboard to the cold green felt. In any case, instead of filling an entire chapter of this book with some fifteen articles, written over a period of seventeen years, every one of which simply says, you wonât win, Iâve tossed the whole chapter out in favor of leaving you with just those three words of blackjack wisdom: You wonât win.