Blackjack Card Counting
One of the most controversial features in gaming has to be blackjack card counting. Not only is there a lot of negativity and myths surrounding the skill; however, many casinos frown upon the ability of counting cards because it has the potential of giving players an edge over the house. Card counting is essentially a system of keeping track of the ration of both high and low cards. The rules are relatively easy, and once you are comfortable with the basic blackjack strategy, you are on your way to becoming one of the best card counters.
There is a number of reasons why you shouldn’t card count in casinos such as casinos stand to lose some of their profit. Chances of having an unstable bankroll are high and trying to concentrate in casinos above all the noise and music can be hard. However, the topic is of interest amongst amateurs and professional blackjack bettors, and we think it’s only fair that we share some inside information on card counting. Our guide goes over how card counting works, strategies, and we answer some of your blackjack card questions.
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How to Count Cards
Card counting in blackjack is all about speed and skill. It requires bettors to be good with math, specifically statistics and probability rather than having a great memory. This system helps the player figure what the odds of a deck having more cards that are worth 10 and aces. This deck is favourable to players more than the dealer, and the player will then bet more.
The basic idea is to assign cards a blackjack card value depending on their value. Provided that you kept an accurate count as the cards were being dealt, you will be able to keep track the running value of the cards left in decks
Blackjack Card Counting Strategy
We are looking at the most popular and most accessible blackjack card counting system, the Hi-Lo strategy.
- High cards are assigned the value of -1
- Low cards are assigned the value of +1
- The remaining cards are assigned the value of 0
These cards range from 10 - Ace
These cards range from 2 to 6
These are cards 7, 8 and 9
As each card is dealt you will either subtract 1 or add 1.
For example, if the dealer deals a Jack, which is a high card, you will subtract 1. If the next card dealt is a 3 (low card), you would add 1 making your total 0. This process is called a running count. You continue doing this until the deck is reshuffled.
The same concept is carried through in more advanced strategies; however, the card values change.
Omega II Strategy
For a more balanced technique, the Omega II system is perfect. It uses 0 as its base. A positive count means there were more low cards in the deck and a negative count means the deck consisted of more high cards
- Cards 2, 3 and 7 are assigned the value of 1
- Cards 4, 5 and 6 are assigned the value of 2
- Cards 8 and Aces are assigned the value of 0
- Card 9 is assigned the value of - 1
- Cards 10 to King are assigned the value of -2
Wong Halves Strategy
Named after its creator Stanford Wong. The strategy uses fraction values, which makes it the most advanced strategy. When using this strategy, your count should be at 0 when the entire deck has been dealt completely
- Cards 3,4 and 6 are assigned the value of 1
- Cards 2 and 7 are assigned the value of 0.5
- Card 5 is assigned the value of 1.5
- Card 8 is assigned the value of 0
- Card 9 is assigned the value of -0.5
- Cards 10 to King are assigned the value of -1
FAQ About Counting Cards in Blackjack
No, the blackjack card counting practice is frowned upon as is an advantage play for US players.
Unfortunately, not. Counting cards is all about probability. Depending on how good you are at the strategy you can lower the house edge.
Yes. Once you have perfected the practice, there is no reason why the technique wouldn’t work for you.
No. the systems require a lot of getting used to and practicing as it all has to happen in your head while you are playing.
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