I was reading one awhile back that where in a strategy, you actually did at times split 10's....a generally stupid move, but, if done at certain times, sparingly, it would not mess with your edge badly, yet it would definitely throw off the casino watching you as a 'serious' counter. I'm sorry I don't have the book around to cite the source, but, it is out there.
You are probably thinking about Blackjack for Blood by Bryce Carlson. It's a really good read and a good introduction to a level II counting system.
The rest of this post isn't directed toward you cayenne8, but seemed like a good of a place as any to put it.
At the end of the day, card counting wasn't very profitable for the level of effort it takes. While playing, a good card counter needs to do the following things:
- Keep track of the count (possibly maintaining a separate count of aces)
- Play perfectly based on the current count
- Keep track of his or her bets
- Look like he or she isn't counting cards
The last item is actually the hardest on the list. Vary your bet spread more than 4 to 1? You're a possible counter. Make an advanced play (split 9s against a dealer 9 with a high plus card deck)? You're a possible counter. Look focused? You're a possible counter. Have an average bet of over $100/hand? You're a possible counter. The list goes on.
Now assume you've mastered the above and can count perfectly. Lets look at the money involved. To ensure that you have a 99.5% chance of not being wiped out, you are going to need a stake of approximately 120 times your average bet (details are hazy, but that's about right). Let's say you are going for an average bet of $50/hand. You will need a $6000 stake. Using the number of $50/hand, let's see how much you can expect to win per hour. Let's take a really high number for hands per hour, 100. In my experience, you would have to be playing three or four hands at a time to achieve this, but lets go with it. Bryce says that the best counters in the world have a 1.6% advantage over the house. Using the numbers so far we have $50/hand * 100 hands/hour * 1.6% advantage which leads to a whopping $80/hour take for perfect play that still carries a 0.5% risk of losing your entire $6000 stake.
On top of the risk/reward issues outlined above, card counting made blackjack boring for me. Instead of being fun, it was a job, and a job that required a lot of outside work as well. Keeping your skills up to date with a level II system takes daily practice. If you are going to try to push the limits on bet spreads or average bets, you have to manage where you play and how long you play for with excruciating detail. It just wasn't worth it. Now I play roulette when I want to gamble. There's nothing you can do from preventing the house from taking its cut. Just throw some chips down and hope you end up a winner.