Season 1 | Episode 5
Jul 11, 2019

Lost in the game

When you're a high-stakes gambler laying down tens of thousands of dollars at a blackjack table, the value of money takes on a whole new meaning.

If you’re playing blackjack the way most people do, experts say you’ll lose about $4 for every $100 you put in. Luck varies wildly from hand to hand, but if you play long enough, that’s said to be the average.

Counting cards takes some quick mental math and a fair amount of subterfuge, but it can give you a slight edge if you bet big and play a lot. One study found that after thousands of hands, with a perfect strategy, you could win $50 for every $100 bet.

That’s a big difference, but is that enough to make a career out of gambling? As an aimless grad student, Roze Travis joined an underground card counting team. It was a ragtag group of people who found a community in a risky side-hustle.

In just a few months, Travis was taking on new identities, traveling the country and hoping to win big. When her team’s most important player was barred from a casino, she was forced to step up.

Listening makes you smarter…
Donating makes it all possible

‚ÄúThis is Uncomfortable‚ÄĚ is a podcast all about money and how life messes with it‚ÄĒand right now, our lives are really getting messed with.

Now more than ever, we need listeners like you to help us through the tough times and bring you stories that make you feel a little better.

Support ‚ÄúThis is Uncomfortable‚ÄĚ today to keep us going strong.

The team

Megan Detrie Senior Producer
Hayley Hershman Producer

Thanks to our sponsors