Max Rubin: Writer Profiles Series

The son of a professional cross roader, Max Rubin seemed almost destined to end up as a star gambler. Rubin started early, bumming his way to Vegas where he worked with chip thieves and split the loot. He was only 18 at the time, and used his money to pay his way into college. At the University of Nevada campus in Vegas, Max Rubin studied and explored other interests, including the art of “card counting.”

Rubin’s growing interest in card counting led him to a number of opportunities. He began to work as a blackjack dealer, now on the other side of the table, but still learning the skills necessary to count cards during play. At some point, Max Rubin learned of “advantage play,” which would become his primary passion. Advantage play is utilising legal methods to beat the odds of casino games and profit from something that would otherwise be a much greater gamble.

Rubin continued working as a dealer until the 80s, at which point he began utilising the skills he had learned as a dealer to win extraordinary sums. His success in gambling opened many doors for him, including team play and sponsored competitive gambling. It was shortly after he began playing full-time that he also began to write his first books on gambling.

Max Rubin’s first book focused on how to enjoy Vegas more or less for free. His techniques involved intelligently taking advantage of “comps,” which are free services or items that casinos tend to offer to high rollers or perceived high rollers.

Some casinos offer comps as significant as free travel, free rooms, and free food, which means that with wise planning and some seed money, a savvy gambler can end up more or less playing for free while enjoying time in Vegas.

The book, titled Comp City: a Guide to Free Gambling Vacations brought Rubin success in a different way than his previous successes. Following the publication of this successful book, Rubin saw new opportunities coming his way, and not all of them were on either side of the blackjack table.

For years, Rubin continued playing cards as a professional advantage player, traveling the country to net wins wherever the opportunities arrived. Over time, though, he tired of the constant travel and desired to be able to spend more time with his kids back in Vegas.

During this period of his life, he both dealt and played cards to earn steady wages in Vegas. Through his successful career, though, he had earned a name for himself and that led to the most lucrative opportunity yet.

A number of Vegas casinos approached him, made aware of his skills as an advantage player, and offered to pay him well to spot advantage players and cheaters. This marked a major change in Max Rubin’s life, at which point he would ascend beyond playing and dealing and begin personally influencing the flow of games in Las Vegas.

His first few jobs watching tables opened his eyes to a void that needed filling, and, shortly afterwards, Rubin became one of the first and most recognized consultants in the Casino business.

Rubin’s success didn’t stop with a few consultancy jobs, though. His career bloomed into speaking gigs, coaching positions, and even commentary jobs. Perhaps the culmination of his success in gambling was his acceptance into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. His name is now listed there alongside a handful of other elite names; very few people have ever been accepted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame.

Rubin’s life took him from the underbelly of Vegas casino crime to the pinnacle of success, where casinos that once would have hoped to throw him out are literally paying him to stay. Rubin, according to his website, now enjoys the ability to charge incredible rates for travel (which he hates,) and no longer has to take any gig that comes his way. For Max Rubin, his gambling netted him bigger wins than he could have ever imagined at first.

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