Card Counting in Blackjack
To increase their chances of winning in Blackjack, many players use the card counting approach.
Edward Thorp, a mathematical prodigy, is credited with inventing blackjack card counting, which entails maintaining a running count as well as an accurate count of the cards being dealt as well as the cards that are still in the deck. A card counter may then make an informed wager based on how probable it is that they will get a favorable hand.
In learning how to count cards, blackjack is one of those games where the technique is simple to learn but hard to master. Several variables may affect how easy it is to keep track of how many high and low cards are remaining in the dealer’s deck. You will probably win large if you do it effectively and boost your stake when you know the chances are in your favor.
How to Count Cards in Blackjack
A wide range of distinct counting systems exist, each with its own unique strengths and weaknesses. The Hi-Lo technique is by far the most widely used of the card counting strategies. Each card in the deck is given one of three possible “scores” in this method of playing.
Let’s a look at the step-by-step process of implementing this strategy.
- To begin, give each card either a value of +1 for cards 2–6, 0 for cards 7–9, or -1 for all other cards (cards 10-Ace).
- The values allocated to each card in the deck should be used to keep a running total for each time the dealer draws a card. You will be able to maintain track of the remaining worth of the deck if you keep an exact count when the cards are dealt.
- After each round, you should raise your bet if the count is currently in the positives. This is due to the deck still having a greater number of low-value cards. Reduce your wager rather than increase it if the count is negative.
As the game progresses and the player gathers more data, the card counting technique becomes more accurate.
As a general rule, players should place large bets on a high “count.” When the “count” is low, it is in the dealer’s favor, thus the player should wager softly or not at all.
More Card Counting Strategies
The Hi-Lo strategy is the approach that is recommended for players who are just starting. Simulators are great for this kind of training. However, it’s not the only choice available to gamers.
Players will eventually have the opportunity to use more advanced strategies for card counting as they go farther in the game. A few examples are as follows:
- Wong Halves – A sophisticated tactic that makes use of complicated given values, including some that are fractions
- Omega II – This is a ‘balanced’ system in which 0 serves as the starting point.
- Group play or collaboration between players – This could be frowned upon in some places.
Can You Count Cards in Online Blackjack?
Playing blackjack online allows you to count cards, that much is true. However, several online gaming sites have devised methods to counter this. You may make use of some programs that will automatically count the cards for you, but in most cases, doing so is frowned upon and even illegal.
Just to make matters more complicated, most internet casinos use card-shuffler software. A count of the shoe will be kept by the game-monitoring software as cards are dealt from it. Whenever the betting patterns of a player consistently match the count, the casino gets an alert.
When playing online, it is difficult for card counters to remain undetected. If they continue to exploit a scenario in which they seem to have an advantage, they are stopped.
What About Live Dealer Online Blackjack?
At the top online casinos, you may play blackjack in real-time with a live dealer. This simulates a casino, with a genuine dealer and, more significantly, a real shoe. Players can tap into the action via a video stream.
As much as it is close to the brick-and-mortar casino experience, card counting is still not going to be a breeze. Live casinos have developed their own version of blackjack that is meant to be unbeatable by card counters and software that counts cards.
Gameplay often involves eight 52-card decks, with shoe penetration typically at 50% or less. When just 4 decks have been dealt, the shoe is switched out, which adds a layer of complexity to the game. On certain of the tables, automatic shuffling and dealing shoes are used so that a new shoe is used for each hand that is played. On other tables, cards are “burned” at the start of the shoe or before each new round.
At some tables, automatic shuffling and dealing shoes are used so that players always have access to a new shoe before each hand is played. On other tables or games, cards are “burned” either at the beginning of the shoe or at various spots before the commencement of each new game round. This may happen at any time throughout the game.
Card counters will find it very difficult, if not impossible, to maintain an accurate count when faced with all these different strategies.
How Can You Be a Better Card Counter?
A deep grasp of mathematics is not required for card counting. The approach may be simplified down to simple arithmetic operations. However, to do so effectively, one must have a practically perfect memory. The ability to stay concentrated under severe pressure and lightning-fast mental math abilities would also come in handy.
In most live blackjack games, the issue with counting cards is that it just does not result in particularly lucrative outcomes. For the most part, you’ll only be able to make a modest quantity of money over a long period.
Do your homework and see whether it’s worth your time.
Card counting may be substituted by other tactics if you find it too mentally exhausting. Also makes sure it is allowed at your preferred casino lest you get kicked out.