Card counting in Blackjack has many misconceptions. Many people believe it is illegal to do so and that you could get arrested for doing it. This is completely wrong, but the casino may ask you to leave if they believe you are counting cards. It’s also believed that counting cards in Blackjack can help you determine what the next can be. While this is slightly true, there is no way to predict precisely what the next card in the deck will be without seeing the card itself.
I don’t think I’d be good at card counting. I sometimes get lost counting back from 20.— Doug Tilley (@Doug_Tilley) August 8, 2012
Card counting is a mathematical system designed to predict when the deck is rich in high cards: i.e. Aces, and cards with values of ten. It’s a proven statistic that when the deck is full of these cards that the edge goes to the player in Blackjack. This is because more 21’s and pat hands such as 17 or higher are dealt out. This is also true because the player can stand on hands that total 12 or 13, while the dealer must hit when they have 16 or less. When the deck has mostly high cards, the chances of the dealer busting are greater.
The count is used to determine when the deck has more high cards and then a player will bet more when the count is in their favor. They bet less when the count dictates that the deck is full of low cards to limit losses.
The following guide will help you learn to count cards in Blackjack. There are many methods that have been developed, but the basic principal remains the same. Some are just harder to master. This simple way of counting cards is proven effective and is easy to learn. Hi-Lo Card Counting
Assign Card Values
In this method of counting cards in Blackjack, all cards are given a specific value. Aces and 10 cards are worth -1. All 9s, 8’s and 7’s are counted as 0. All other cards: 2, 3,4,5,6 are counted as +1.
Begin the count
Now that we have our card values, we begin to start our count. Every card that is visible is to be counted including your own. If you are dealt a Jack and a 7, your count will be -1. The Jack counts as -1 and the 7 is 0. If the dealer has a 2 showing you would add 1 to the count giving you a true count of 0.
When the count you have is 0 or in the negative the count is considered to be in the dealers favor and bets should be less in this stage. If the count is +2 or higher the count is in the players favor and bets should be higher. You place bigger bets when the count is +2 or more because this means more low cards have been dealt out and the deck is richer in high cards. As stated above, when the deck has more high cards, the edge goes to the player. Just the opposite is true when the count is in the negative. This means more high cards have been dealt, leaving more low cards in the deck.
When to use the count
Most casinos will use multiple decks and in some cases up to 6 at a time. When you first sit down to play, you should begin counting, but should not start using the count to determine how much to bet. You need to wait until you get a little deeper in the deck to get a more accurate count and for your bets to be more effective.
One trick players use is to sit on the side and count the cards before sitting in. Once the count is in their favor and are deeper into the deck, they will sit down and begin to place larger bets. This can be a bit awkward if you just stand over the table without playing, so you would need to be a bit cunning when doing this.
While counting cards in Blackjack will never guarantee you to win, it is a tool used to increase the player’s edge in blackjack. If used correctly in conjunction with proper betting, it can work well in the long run. You will not win every single time you count cards, but if you stick with it and are patient, you will most certainly come out ahead in the long term.
To start learning this new skill, here is Blackjack card counting trainer to help you get started. You can practice this technique without risking your own money. You can also perfect the skill so you’re not sitting at the table counting out loud, which is a sure way to get you booted for the casino. You need to be able to count in your head and do it accurately for this to be most accurate.
If you have any tips on Blackjack card counting that you would like to share, please do. Different players have various ways of counting cards and some tips may be helpful to newcomers. We hope you found this information helpful and if you have questions please ask. Good luck at the tables.