The secret to counting cards at the Blackjack table

Counting cards at blackjack, the basics.

You’ll be pleased to hear, learning to count cards is not as complicated as it first looks.
The concept of counting cards is actually pretty straight forward, you don’t need to be a math’s genius.

In this article you’ll learn how to count cards, as well as our preferred strategy to making money with online casinos.

There are different card counting systems, the easiest and most popular system is the High–Low system.

The strategy, at its core is stunningly simple.
If we know there are more high cards coming than low cards, then we as the player are more likely to win.

We can increase our bets when we are more likely to win, and decrease them when we are less likely to win.

How to count cards with the high-low system.

The high-low system separates the 13 cards into 3 categories:

High – 10, Jack, Queen, King, Aces
Low – 2,3,4,5,6
Neutral – 7,8,9

Count cards with High-low system

Every time a high card comes on to the table we +1.
When a low card arrives we -1.
For a neutral card we just ignore it.

This is what is known as the running count.

We must pay close attention to all the cards on the table and calculate accordingly.
The lower the running count goes, the greater the probability high cards are coming. Which ultimately means the player advantage increases.

When the player advantage increases, increase your bet size.

Why are more high cards good for the player?

  1. The chance of hitting a Blackjack increases, which pays out 3/2. Yes the Dealer’s chance of hitting Blackjack also increases. If the dealer hits Blackjack we will lose 100% of our bet, but if we hit one then we win 150% of our bet.
  2. The higher concentration of tens also increases the odds of the dealer going bust. Yes our chances of going bust also increase, but unlike the dealer we can choose when to hit or stand. If we know there are more high cards waiting for us, we can change strategy and reconsider hitting 15’s and 16’s, knowing the probability of going bust is higher than usual.
    The dealer on the other hand must always hit their 15’s and 16’s putting themselves at risk of going bust.
  3. With more high cards remaining, double downs (If done properly) also have a higher success rate. Making the most of double downs can often make the difference between a winning and a losing session.

Calculating the true count

There are additional variants you’ll need to consider to improve the accuracy of the card counting system.
This is to calculate what’s known as the “true count”.

For example, the remaining number of cards in the shoe.
If only a few hands have been dealt, then the sample data you have collected isn’t going to be strong enough to justify increasing your bet size.

As a general rule of thumb to calculate the true count you can use this simple formula:

Running count divided by the number of decks remaining in the shoe.

Example:
If the running count was -18 and you estimated there were 3 decks remaining. The true count would be -6

When the real count indicates player advantage has increased, you should increase your bet size.
Perfectly logical if you expect your chances of winning to have increased.

There are people that have made thousands, even millions by mastering the art of card counting.
Great for them, but of course the Casinos hate it. And after being taken to the cleaners, have implemented a few procedures to make card counting harder and harder for players.

Whilst its not technically illegal to count cards, you can be sure Casinos don’t like it, they keep a keen eye on players that look like they’re counting cards and follow card counting betting patterns.

You might have seen in the movies, card counters work in teams.
One team member will sit at the table quietly playing the minimum bet, when the count shows the player advantage has increased, they call in the team to join the table to place the high stakes.

How do Casino’s restrict card counting?

  1. Automatic shuffle machine.
    These machines continually shuffle the cards, and after each hand the cards are added back into the machine, making it impossible to card count.

    Not all Blackjack tables use automatic shuffle machines.
    Many players don’t trust them, for that reason casinos still offer the traditional hand shuffled tables.
    Players could implement card counting strategies on these tables.
  2. Cutting the Shoe.
    If management suspect you to be counting cards, supervisors will instruct their dealers to “Cut half the shoe”.

    This means that the dealer will place the cutting card at the half way point.  
    With the cutting card placed half way, if a shoe has 6 decks of cards, the dealer will reshuffle the cards after just 3 decks have been played, despite another 3 decks of cards remaining.

    With such a large number of cards remaining in the shoe, it becomes really difficult for any potential card counters to calculate the true count. 

For these reasons, opportunities to card count profitably are increasingly rare. It can be done, but proceed with caution.

Becoming a profitable card counter takes alot of practice. It’s a simple concept but easier said than done.

Better option than learning to count cards.

We prefer a different method to making money with online casino’s and bookmakers. It’s much easier than counting cards and in some cases its completely risk free, guaranteeing profit.

Casino Matched betting.
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