October 26, 2019
Advantage play eventually catches up to a player. For example, staring at the cards is a well-known tell that the player is counting. The concentration is that obvious. While peoplewatching in Las Vegas, the first tell that can be recognized is the look of concern on a gambler’s face -even while he’s not playing. The furrowed brow and intent gaze is as distinctive as it is ubiquitous in Las Vegas. When the advantage player isn’t angling for a chance to beat the house, he’s worried about his money. The mind of the advantage player always watching for his chance can have consequences. Recall the psychotic episode experienced by Dostoevsky’s gambler, a literary composite of many types-including Dostoevsky himself. No detail, however insignificant, escaped his notice. Making inferences from tells, then acting upon them, proves nothing, even if the gambit succeeds. The Russians, indeed, have a saying: “As long as you can turn back, you are not lost.” By following the trail of tells too long, the gambler may find that he can no longer turn back.