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Card counting in blackjack is a hot topic that is frequently contested. We seek to shed light on everything regarding this fascinating strategy, from how it began and the various methods of card counting to what it is and whether it is legal. So, if you’re curious about card counting and would like to learn about the different methods out there, as well as their pros and their cons, then you’re in the right place!
Introducing Card Counting
This commonly used blackjack strategy is used by many players to figure out whether they or the live dealer has an advantage with the next hand. Card counting is done to try and one-up the house edge by keeping count of high and low-value cards that have been dealt. In this article, we’ll go into a little more detail about exactly what card counting is, whether or not it’s legal and much more!
History of Card Counting
Mathematics professor and blackjack researcher Edward O. Thorp used early technology to see if monitoring the cards could help him gain an advantage in the game. He affirmed that it
is possible to obtain a definite upper hand over blackjack, and all that is required are some basic mental exercises. The publication of his findings in the book Beat the Dealer in 1962 heralded the beginning of card counting. To this day many players all over the world have applied his methods in an attempt to get that big win but what exactly is card counting? Let’s delve right in and find out!
What Card Counting is
Blackjack card counting is a maths-based approach that is often used to decide who will be in an advantageous position in the next hand- the player or the dealer. The goal and purpose of the card counters is to keep track of both high and low-value cards as they appear in the game, in order to reduce the casino’s house edge. Card counting allows players to have a better picture of the content of the remaining cards before they are dealt and played, allowing them to make better judgments and reduce losses.
Legality of Card Counting
Because this strategy has helped many players get the bigwin of a lifetime, you’d assume that it’d be illegal. However, there are no rules against card counting provided you don’t use any external card-counting app, card counting simulator or have someone beside you to help you count cards. Keep in mind that although card counting is not technically illegal, there have been players that have found themselves banned from online casinos because they’ve been caught.
Why People Count Cards
Blackjack is a game in which the only way to win is to play wisely, carefully, and methodically. You can somewhat skew the odds to your advantage by following a proven strategy, meticulously calculating your bets, and learning how to count cards correctly. In this way, you can slowly build up your gains. Plainly put, players use card counting to increase their odds of winning
How to try Card Counting
With each system we mention below, some additional research may be needed before you can fully grasp how it works. However, once you understand it and have practised a few times, the real thrill and challenge can begin! Here we provide you with a few details about some popular card counting systems that you can use when playing blackjack.
Card Counting Strategies
|Card Counting Method||What it is|
|Zen Count||When the player's true count is at 0 or less, he will be placing the minimum bet, and the idea is to increase your bets by 1 unit, or minimum bet, each time the count goes up. This steady increase is designed to not catch the attention of the casino, although players need to be aware too.|
|Red 7||The Red 7 system of counting cards in blackjack is simple and easy for beginners as it is a one-level system. The system is built on the principle of high vs. low cards. The higher value cards are assigned a value of -1 while the lower value cards are marked as +1. The neutral 8's and 9's are marked by a 0. With respect to the 7's in this system, colour plays an important role too. If the 7 is red, it is a low-value card (+1), if the 7 is black, it is considered neutral and assigned a 0. The higher the final count, the better it is for the players.|
|Hi Lo:7||The Hi-Lo card counting tequnique is the simplest strategy. The method is basic and straightforward, making it ideal for newcomers at blackjack. The Hi-Lo Card Counting System is as follows: Cards from 2 to 6 are given a +1 value because they are low cards, whereas the 7, 8, and 9 cards are given a value of 0, and the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack are given a value of -1. The counting procedure begins with the first card dealt from the deck. If the player's count is high with positive numbers, that means there are more high-value cards that remain in the deck, and vice versa, based on the card numbers and values. When the cards are first dealt, players normally start with a running count of 0 and divide the number by the number of decks in the shoe.|
|Omega II||Bruce Carlson invented the Omega II system, which is an intermediate level card counting system. It's also a multi-level system, with certain cards being worth two points and others being just one. Cards 2, 3, and 7 have a value of +1, whereas low cards like 4, 5, and 6 have a value of +2. The 9 has a -1 value, whereas the 10 and the face cards King, Queen, and Jack have a -2 value. The aces and eights are not tallied. This is a balanced card counting system, which means that if the player keeps track correctly, he will arrive at 0 when all the cards have been dealt.|
Tips for Card Counting
Now that you know a little bit about a few of the strategies that are used when counting cards, it’s time to take a look at a few helpful tips and tricks that can be used to increase your odds of winning even more! Below you’ll find our top 3 tips you should consider the next time you decide to try card counting.
Pros & Cons of Card Counting
No strategy is perfect, and when it comes to card counting there are a few pros and cons you will need to consider before deciding to try it out. To help you decide whether or not this strategy is a good idea for you specifically, we’ve provided a few of the pros and cons you can expect when counting cards at online casinos.
What We Think About Card Counting
Counting may appeal to serious gamblers and is an advantage play strategy. It’s easier than hole carding and shuffle tracking, it doesn’t require hours of work like poker and, with practice, you’ll become an ace in no time!
Although you will need to take the time to compare different strategies and even then you might not get the wins you were hoping for, you will still be entertained, your mind will be engaged, and you could potentially turn some fun and planning into some profit.
Try Card Counting at These Casinos
It isn’t illegal. However, there are players that have been banned from a casino because they were caught counting cards.
Many casinos now employ a variety of strategies to combat the practice. Different decks of cards, CSMs (Continuous Shuffling Machines), and even prohibiting large-stakes winners from playing at the casino.
The Hi-Lo count system in blackjack tracks the remaining high cards. When counting every card in the deck, the balance is 0. This system assigns +1 to 2-6, -1 to 10-Ace, and 0 to 7-9.
Yes, you can. However, some online casinos shuffle the cards after every hand, making card counting difficult.
Card counting requires awarding +1, -1, and 0 to each card. Players must keep track of the cards as they are dealt based on these values. Throughout the game, bets are made.
No. Card counters beat Blackjack using only their brain and the casinos’ regulations. They aren’t affecting how the dealer plays their hand, swapping bets after the play is over, or otherwise changing the chances of the game.
Card counting isn’t always lucrative. Long term players employing the method can expect to win 1% of their total action. This equals $19 an hour if they play 75 hands averaging $25.
Computer programs can identify card counters in casinos. They can also learn about the players’ systems.