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March 11th, 2012
01:20 AM ET

My Take: Jesus would be OK with card counting

Editor's Note: David Drury is featured in the documentary "Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians” and is writing a book about his card-counting adventures.

By David Drury, Special to CNN

(CNN)–“Shackled by a heavy burden/'neath a load of guilt and shame/ then the hand of Jesus touched me/ and now I am no longer the same.”

So begins the popular William Gaither hymn. By popular, I mean Elvis once recorded a version of it, which is what it takes for a hymn anymore.

When I stumbled into a church on the outskirts of Las Vegas one Sunday morning in 2007, I was shackled with my own heavy burden of sorts. I had $80,000 in cash hidden on my person. It was crammed into pockets, stuffed into socks and strapped beneath my clothes. The pastor was just getting his sermon fired up when I slipped into a back row with all the grace of a stiff-limbed Frankenstein.

So much for going unnoticed.

The pastor stopped midsentence and stared my way. Had he cleared his throat or even made an offhanded comment about punctuality, I would have understood. Instead, he called my first and last name into the microphone, and every head turned.

Believe it or not, I had never been to this church. While I traveled to Vegas often, my time was spent in casinos, not churches.

Blackjack is a beatable game. With card counting, perfect decision-making and plenty of capital, you can gain and cash in on an advantage against the house. East Coast college students, known as the MIT Team, used the method to plunder casinos in the 1980s and 1990s, inspiring books and movies and making card counting famous. But people have been employing this winning strategy in casinos for 50 years.

Mark Treas stands outside of a casino.

A card counter assigns a value to every card as it is dealt out of the shoe. This creates a running count that always changes and allows a player to determine when a statistical advantage falls to him or her, by virtue of more aces and face cards than usual being poised to appear. More faces mean the dealer will bust more often.

More aces mean more natural blackjacks, which pay the player at a higher rate. A card counter keeps bets low when the casino has the statistical advantage and raises them high when the advantage shifts to them.

CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories

When I lost my Seattle office job in 2006, this was the strange career path down which I found myself traveling. I was not alone.

It started when I met a guy at church named Ben. He had made a small fortune counting cards. Ben was putting a team together comprising people he’d found through mostly church connections — pastors, worship leaders and students of theology. This was the team I trained for and joined. As card counters, our common faith was incidental, but as team members it held us together.

A scene from the new documentary Holy Rollers about Chrstians who count cards at casinos.

We took our craft to casinos, from Vegas to Atlantic City to Biloxi, Mississippi, to Bremerton, Washington. We won millions of dollars. The money was not funneled into any ministry or religious consortium.

Instead, the winnings were split between those who invested in the operation, those who managed the team - which ran between 10 and 25 players – and the players, who didn’t risk any of their own money at the tables. As a player I made what amounted to a modest annual salary with no financial risk and maintained, on average, a 10-hour workweek.

We returned home with the gift of time to our ministries and families and, yes, to plenty of questions.

If the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil, as the Bible suggests, what business did a bunch of Christians have throwing around big money on a game of chance? For us, chance had nothing to do with it.

To count cards is to remove the gamble. Anything can happen in one hand or on one night, but slowly, over time, the advantage you earn by executing perfect playing decisions and betting according to your advantage bears itself out. Playing the stock market is much more of a gamble.

Yes, money is attractive, and we dealt with a lot of it. Tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. You can’t withdraw $50,000 from a casino ATM and it can take a half -day of red tape to get as much out of an account at a big bank. Our assets had to be liquid.

Until we had the better sense to put it in safety deposit boxes, we kept our cash in freezers and under mattresses. For our investors and for tax reasons, we were tasked with reporting our wins and losses accurately, but at any time any one of us could have pocketed thousands without a hint of suspicion.

While we were left to weigh our own motives, as a team we were forced to trust one another with money that could have collapsed the business if it ever went missing.

We were an uncommon fellowship, to be sure. But while we never claimed a full understanding on how God viewed our activities, I felt that he never left the room. He was ever present in our musings, discussions and deliberations. With the math on our side, we took confidence in the fact that that we lacked any of the traits of wild gamblers. But were we deceptive by hiding our intentions at the tables? Were we providing a service to the world by playing a card game? The answers varied.

Mark Treas baptized a woman before heading off to a casino to card count in the documentary 'Holy Rollers.'

Which is worse? To declare your path the righteous one and retire all questions of God’s will to the back of your mind, or to seek them out?

We chose the latter, engaging the hard questions as they arose rather than pretending to corner the market on righteousness. We wrestled with them in a way that we came to know intimately the stink of our own individual natures. But there was something pure born out of abandoning an easy, comfortable existence for a true fellowship with my teammates that came with plenty of hard questions.

Casinos have a dubious reputation as the gateway to vice and temptation. I think that’s unfair. I had Internet access and a bar around the corner from my home, so the casinos never represented any particular threat to my morality I didn’t already have at my fingertips.

Maybe that day I stumbled into that Las Vegas-area church I was looking for a familiar face in a strange town. For all the secrecy and questions, maybe I was looking for a little validation, too. I knew two of the pastors on staff because they had served at the church of my childhood.

One of those pastors was at the pulpit that day. He called my name out when he recognized me. After the service I had a brief conversation with the other in the church lobby.

“What brings you to Las Vegas?” he asked.

“I’m on a card-counting team.”

“Well, God can change anyone.”

What? I thought.

“I know a young man,” he said, “who came to Las Vegas for a dodgeball tournament. Now he’s on staff with us. Who knows what God has in store for YOU?”

This man of the cloth had essentially stuffed the cloth right in my mouth, as if to say that even I could be saved from whatever silly game I was playing. But he needn’t have tossed me a lifeline because I didn’t need saving.

Engage me. Ask the hard questions. Be confounded as I am confounded. But don’t write me off. We are all in the water together. Faith is a journey, and God calls us into relationship.

I remember a man at my table once who was furious with the aggressive way I was playing. “A fool and his money are soon parted,” he said in a huff. For six years I stood ready as ever to be the fool. But me and the money, by way of card-counting wins, never parted.

The team ended with the making of a documentary about our journey. My blackjack career ended with it. I have taken to writing my tales in the hopes of forging a new journey that doesn’t involve stacks of cash. I guess I am a gambling man after all.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Drury.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity

soundoff (1,821 Responses)
  1. Observer2

    There's nothing inherently evil about engaging in gambling. But like a lot of things, gambling can be a focus for obsession. Evil comes into play when venal people exploit that obsession in others.

    March 11, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
  2. Get Real

    SueEllen,

    Listen, Toots, you BEGAN your postings today with:
    "Smeeker they are not Christian. They are in fact no better than immoral people like you and they will be barred from the kingdom as well."
    March 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm"... and you have continued along those same lines all day. Cram it.

    March 11, 2012 at 7:20 pm |
    • Peggy

      I for one am happy that Sue stands up do her beliefs! We need more strong women like that in our society!!!!

      March 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What Get Real said.

      When you are on your deathbed, SueEllen, you will be missing that son you've abandoned. You'll wish you had shown him the love he deserves and kept him close to you. You'll wish you'd accepted him as he is and that he were there to tell you he loves you.

      You'll be in the cold ground having left your own child without the unconditional love a parent is supposed to have.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      THere's nothing "strong" about SueEllen or you, Piggy, except your breath.

      Go sit on the stupid bench.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • SueEllen

      Peggy thank you for your words we will make believers oh of these people yet!

      March 11, 2012 at 8:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure you will, troll. And pigs will fly out of your fat azz.

      March 11, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  3. Peggy

    Santorum 2012!!!! Bring back Jesus and Morality to our Christian Nation!!!!

    March 11, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • me138

      christian nation......lol

      March 11, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • reason

      Santorum wants to force rape victims to have their attacker's child.
      He also calls contraception dangerous and is ok with it being illegal.
      People like Santorum are why we need separation of church and state.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • LuisWu

      You mean bring back bigotry and discrimination and racism? No thanks.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • ToughPoo

      Peggy, quit using random situations to spew your political views! Besides, a vote for Santorum is a vote for Fred Flintstone.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • SueEllen

      WooHoo!! He's already got my vote!

      March 11, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Convicted felons don't have a vote, dear. Better luck in your next life.

      March 11, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • closet atheist

      @ Piggy ~~ I'm not sure if you're aware, but if Santorum were to win the primary, Obama would mop the floor with him in the general election. There are far too many moderate voters that he'd scare off... many moderates (namely those who are in the middle on social issues, yet fiscally conservative) would simply not show up to vote. A vote for Santorum in the primaries is a vote for Obama in the general election.

      And I'm betting that any good narrow-minded redneck like yourself doesn't want that. Hmmm....???

      March 12, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  4. Don

    I used to be on a card counting team myself back in the 1990s. Our play strategy sounds almost identical to what was explained in this story. Funny thing is a guy named Ben actually got me started and let me on his team. But the Ben that I knew was not a Christian. Or was he and I didn't know it?

    March 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • David Fox

      Why did you quit? Can you make any money doing it?

      March 11, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Don

      This was back when I was single and I did make a lot of money doing it. Then I met a wonderful lady and I got married. I ended up spending a lot of my bankroll when I got married and I was happy to do it. A blackjack player without a substantial bank roll will often go broke. Besides that, it's very stressful counting cards for major money because of the constant fear of being barred from the casino. After several years of playing I had been barred from many casinos which made the game difficult.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  5. me138

    All the people who say counting cards is unethical or immoral must play cards with there eyes closed.

    March 11, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  6. David Fox

    WHO WANTS TO BET THAT CNN WILL POST ANOTHER ANTI-CHRISTIAN HEADLINE BEFORE THIS WEEK IS OUT??

    They have been averaging about 1 per week lately.

    March 11, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • jzay

      Please explain why this is anti-christian.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
  7. Robert

    If this fellow thinks Jesus is okay with gambling, then he does NOT know the Lord. All gambling is parasitic because it creates no economic goods and no real wealth. At most, it merely takes money away from many and gives it to a few. It discourages thrift, and the publicity given the winners encourages even more people to throw their money away in pursuit of the illusion of instant wealth. Thinking they can get what they want without working for it, people lose sight of the work ethic and begin looking for the mythical “easy road to wealth.” Ultimately the taxpayers pick up the real costs of government-sponsored lotteries by paying the price for lost jobs, broken families, and the impoverishment, crime, and violence often brought on by compulsive gambling. Jesus DOES NOT condone these things.

    March 11, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • me138

      but he condones raping little boys?

      March 11, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  8. Jim Bob

    This was a boring article. Couldn't complete it. Who cares..... Dumb.

    March 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  9. SueEllen

    Thanks to all the people who personally attacked me you jut proved my point about the evilness of atheism!

    March 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Observer

      SueEllen,

      Thanks for proving that many Christians IGNOR the Golden Rule.

      Well done.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • LuisWu

      You proved our point about the stupidity of religious people. I feel sorry for your son and I feel sorry for you that you're so ignorant and bigoted. If there is a God, I hope he forgives you for forsaking your son.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • DaRealPlaya

      You are f-in insane!

      March 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What point? You never made a point.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Peggy

      Way to stand up for your beliefs Sue know that there are people on here rooting for you!

      March 11, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • Sbstr

      What about those who did not attack you personally, but cogently pointed out the dangers of following religion dogmatically, as without dogma religion is nothing but living a good non-judgmental life as a non-religious person would. The dogmatic portion and most of the scriptures are redundant and rather a distraction to leading a life of kind, good hearted person.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
    • Get Real

      - posted in the wrong spot... just in case you missed it -

      SueEllen,

      Listen, Toots, you BEGAN your postings today with:
      "Smeeker they are not Christian. They are in fact no better than immoral people like you and they will be barred from the kingdom as well."
      March 11, 2012 at 12:08 pm"... and you have continued along those same lines all day. Cram it.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @SueEllen, As @Sbstr rightly points out, there were plenty of people who showed you the error of your post without personally attacking you. However, you've chosen to overlook and reasoned argument to find the things that continue to support your narrative. This is exactly what we'd expect to find from a religious person. However, I stand by my original assertion that turning your back on your child because he doesn't believe or act in the way you want him too shows an obvious lack of maturity. You may take that as a personal attack. I only mean it as an analysis. I don't believe that stating the truth of a situation should ever be taken as a personal attack, but it seems that truth is painful to you and so you feel it must be an attack.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
  10. Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer is talking to your imaginary friend.

    March 11, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things. God is.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • reason

      Which god? Zeus?

      March 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • LuisWu

      Invisible, supernatural, beings in the sky don't exist and are not healthy for human beings.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Observer

      Prayer changes things,

      Same thoughtless comment over and over. Nothing new. NOT ONE FACT. Why not skip the cut and paste and supply some FACTS?

      March 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Why not get off your dead butt and do your own research?

      March 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why not get off yours? You're the one with a claim to prove.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  11. Ashrakay

    Religion is the biggest gamble, and the house (death) always wins. You waste your life on a notion that there will be a better afterlife. You miss opportunities to share love with those around you because you believe your time with them will be eternal. You never learn what true personal responsibility is because you're always deferring your fault to external forces. And in the end, if your gamble turns out to be a bad bet, as all evidence suggests, you will leave behind years of an wasted existence hoping for a brighter future. The first step is admitting that you have a problem. We are here to help you if you want to break free of your addiction.

    March 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • wrm

      bla bla bla... then don't be religious. This has been beaten to death in this comment section.

      March 11, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Oblio

      Viewed from the perspective of the heat death of the universe, all lives are wasted. All is futile. You may go shoot your family and yourself.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Ashrakay

      @Oblio, Or you could go enjoy the precious few moments you have.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Oblio

      Vanishingly small though they are, those moments are ours. Let us rejoice in them. And then die.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
  12. Scott

    Jesus (who is God) would never condone cheating. Card counting is cheating.

    March 11, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • wrm

      So, if you notice in a single deck game that a lot of face cards, for example, have been used you shouldn't bias your betting and play based on that observation? Simply observing that the cards you need have been recently played and adjusting your behavior accordingly is another form of card counting.

      March 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • reason

      Only a religious person would think that using strategy, memory and logic would be cheating.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • me138

      card counting is not cheating and is perfectly legal.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • martin

      how is card counting cheating?

      March 11, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • LuisWu

      Card counting is not cheating, nor is it illegal. It's just against the casino rules. Only a dimwitted religious person would think that.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Tom

      How is it cheating to use your own observational and analytical skills to succeed at a game?

      March 11, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Don

      Card counting is cheating? How do you figure? A card counter has used his own brain to be beat a game using their rules. How on earth is this cheating? Since when is it unethical to use your brain to your own advantage?

      March 11, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      Jeebus doesn't want you to use your brain cells. If you did ... so much for Jeebus.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • ToughPoo

      It's merely math Scott. If being smarter than the other is cheating, then you must rejoice in stupidity!

      March 11, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  13. Portland tony

    Unadulterated Crap!

    March 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
  14. just sayin

    Oblio
    You would be doubly useless then wouldn't you?

    March 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That would only render Oblio to be one tenth as much of a waste of space as you.

      "yawn*

      Aren't you going to accuse me of stealing names again? Come on, twit. I'm bored.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • just sayin

      Everyone knows it is you, you aren't that clever.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, it absolutely is. And I'm everybody else, too. I am you.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  15. .

    And liberalism is a mental disorder. Because two blokes sodomizing each other don't make a marriage. Silly liberals, that peg doesn't go in that hole.

    March 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Trollz

      Only fa.gs use the word, bloke

      March 11, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Observer

      Sodomy is fine for Christians as long as it's done by a man and a woman.

      March 11, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Get Real

      @.

      I just looked at the previous page, and you have been fantasizing about this for an hour now. Time for a nice calming cup of tea for you, I think, or a bit of a walk outside.

      March 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Sodomy" must be a new word for the poor child.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  16. Eman de Riuqer

    Okay, folks. Would Jesus approve? Who knows? You can't know, because "God", and later "Jesus" in their allegedly infinite wisdom, did not anticipate the invention of blackjack, and advise you on the morality of beating the house at their own game. The real question to ask, is, is it morally okay to steal from a thief? If you figure they're not thieves, because people know or should reasonably know, that they're going to lose when they walk through the door, then winning unfairly is NOT stealing, and doing it right back at them is not immoral either. If you feel MONEY ITSELF is somehow wrong or immoral, then you should not have a job. Instead, don't work, give away all your worldly possessions, eschew all comfort and live a life of utter poverty, (the homeless make it look so glamorous, don't they, all pious and broke as they are...) and wait for the empty promises made by priests, and their books of historical-fiction-at-best, commonly called "the bible", to come true after you die.

    Good luck with it, let us all know how it turns out. Or don't, and come down off your high-horses, hypocrites.

    March 11, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
  17. Conan

    My God is Krom, and he laughs at your God.

    March 11, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • Eman de Riuqer

      Interesting. And what does "Krom" say is best in life, Conan?

      March 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • i wonder

      Do we say, "Unan-Unan!" to him, then?

      March 11, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • wrm

      To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.

      March 11, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
  18. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    March 11, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  19. Religion is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer is delusional .

    March 11, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • I prefer my delusion to yours.

      March 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things. Proof is posted above

      March 11, 2012 at 6:34 pm |
    • Observer

      Prayer changes things,

      Are you referring to the mostly factless nonsense posted above by the troll?

      March 11, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • Prayer changes things

      The original post
      Prayer really changes things, atheism doesn't.

      March 11, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Observer

      Prayer changes things,

      You are free to have your own OPINIONS. So far, you have supplied ZERO FACTS to support them.

      March 11, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • just sayin

      Facts are readily available to any with the desire to find them. www and all that.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Observer

      just sayin,

      You haven't supplied any FACTS either. There have been plenty of significant achievements by atheists who didn't spend time praying or believe in talking serpents and unicorns.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If the facts are readily available, why don't you produce them, just lying? You certainly appear to have plenty of time to waste on the www. Get to it. Chop, chop!

      March 11, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • just sayin

      ALL knowledge is supplied by God to mankind because someone asked God for it. It is God's grace to impart knowledge to whomever He chooses.
      As to facts look some up yourself if you are truly interested, they have been posted repeatedly and if I can find them, you can.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Observer

      just sayin,

      Still ZERO FACTS.

      Please tell us all about talking serpents, unicorns, and dragons.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No. You're simply wrong. Those who have made scientific discoveries haven't asked any 'god' for a thing.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "if I can find them, you can."

      But you can't find them. You've never found a single fact to support this claim.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • LuisWu

      Yep. Prayer is talking to an imaginary being. It's a sign of mental illness.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Four Jumps to Insanity

      So let's get this straight. God supplied the knowledge of antibiotics a few years ago, and ALL that time, she let people suffer ...
      Yup. You are an idjut. Have you ever had a IQ test ? Does it even go that low ?

      March 11, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
    • just sayin

      Check your prophecy, in the last days knowledge will be greatly expanded.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Greatly expanded" as compared to what?

      You're wrong. There's no 'god' behind scientific discovery.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  20. Annexian

    What should be more upsetting is that Casinos routinely blacklist people who WIN...

    They don't care if a man gambles away his kid's milk money, but they ban people who win and I don't mean cheating I mean people who's "I got a system..." is actually working. Should be rare enough compared to all the people that lose and lose and lose they could tolerate it, but any significant winning streak they toss them out, even if no cheating is found.

    March 11, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • momoya

      A business establishment usually reserves the right to refuse service to any customer they wish.. The buffet that costs 8.95 per person doesn't care if you only eat a small bowl of noodles, but they'll kick out the fat guy who's been eating for 6 hours straight.. That's capitalism.

      March 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • ToughPoo

      I agree. Casino's deserve this. I've watched people sit and spend their pensions. I saw a lady run up $40,000 on her credit card in one weekend. The casino fish eyes see this, yet they don't care. If someone has a legal system that beats the house, good for you. The small number of people who actually do this are not harmful to any casino. There's always 1000 suckers losing a lot more than they're winning.

      March 11, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Eman de Riuqer

      @ToughPoo, from the viewpoint of the casino's owners/management, every potential PENNY they don't get harms them, and that's why they don't abide card counting, or any other technique that actually WORKS that causes them to get LESS money than they otherwise might. It's as simple as that. If you drove up to the pumps at a gas station, and you had the option to pay either 3.25 for gas, or 3.26, and you ask the attendant and he assures you that the two different pumps provide the EXACT same product, at the same speed, and there is NO difference between them, other than the price, (and let's say you believe this person,) would YOU elect to pay the extra one cent per gallon? Even if you have a massive truck or sport utility vehicle, with an almost empty tank, and you have to fill it all the way to the top, the difference between the two is a dime to a quarter, maybe a little more for a monstrously large tank. But most people would elect the one that's slightly cheaper. Why? Principle for one thing. But mostly because they would view the alternative as throwing money away. Businesses are not in the habit of throwing money away, or at least, the ones that want to survive aren't.

      March 11, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
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