How to count blackjack cards
Below, we will explain in detail how you can count cards in blackjack. We will also tell you about the methods most commonly used by professionals.
Online casino players, especially blackjack players, should learn card counting. This system is the best way to gain an advantage over the dealer.
It is a simple game where you can use various strategies, an advantage that Texas Holdem Poker does not have.
Blackjack card counting is generally based on mathematical techniques. These resources are used by blackjack players to turn the game in their favor. Furthermore, such methods can provide the player with information on the best way to bet.
Both live and mobile blackjack can be played online. However, this counting system is only effective in land-based casinos.
What is blackjack card counting
Blackjack card counting is meant to increase the odds of winning. It consists of a set of techniques that players employ to increase their chances at online blackjack.
These techniques first became known in 1962 in the book Beat the Dealer. An example written by the American physicist and mathematician Edward O. Thorp.
Over the years, more professional players have become interested in this topic. Today, new techniques have been devised and existing ones have been perfected.
Card counting in blackjack, for a professional, is synonymous with knowing how to play. The player counts the cards while the dealer deals them. Counting allows players to deduce which cards are left in the deck. Based on these counts, the player knows whether he has an advantage or not and makes decisions for his next moves.
How to count blackjack cards
There are many techniques that will help the player learn how to count cards in real money blackjack. These days it is difficult to use them. Most land based casinos use more than one deck of cards per game spin.
In the early days of blackjack, around the 60s and 70s, it was easier because casinos used a single standard deck of cards. Most blackjack card counting systems are based on assigning a value to each card. As the cards come out during the game, the player makes his calculations. Depending on the outcome, he or she will decide how to act on the bets.
The high and low card principle, or "High and Low", is one of the most commonly used card counting strategies in black jack. It is based on the idea that high cards favor the player, while low cards favor the casino.
Card counting methods and systems
There are several card counting systems that have been refined over time to make them more effective. Below, we will mention some of these popular methods.
System of ten accounts
This is the first ever card counting system. It was developed in the 60s, increasing the popularity of blackjack. It was introduced to the casino world by MIT math and physics professor Edward Thorp in his book Beat the Dealer.
Although it was very popular and productive in its time, this method has lost its relevance. This is because it was originally created for blackjack tables where only one deck of cards was used. As a result, casinos have increased the number of card decks used. However, it is a technique that novice players can use to learn how to count.
Ten-Count is based on blackjack card counting while playing, paying particular attention to the value of each card.
This should help players decide when and how much to bet. The more cards worth 10 points remain in the deck, the more favorable the situation is to the player. Conversely, if the cards left in the deck are lower, the casino would have an advantage. In this case, a low bet must be placed.
The player must apply a value of 1 to the Ace. Cards 2 to 9 are worth +4 and 10, J, Q and K must be worth -9.
Example: Assuming the following cards were dealt during the game: 5, 2, Ace, K, 4, 3, 7, 8, Q and 9. The count would go like this: +4, +4, 1, -9, +4, +4, +4, +4, -9, +4. The resulting number from this sum is +11, which is considered high. This means that the player can place a high bet.
Ace / Five counts
This card counting system is also useful for novice blackjack players. At the start of the game, the player must add the number 1 to any 5 value card that comes up. When an Ace comes up, a 1 is subtracted from the sum.
If the final result is 2 or more, the player can double the amount of his stake. But if it equals 1 or less, he must avoid placing high bets.
Example: if during the round the player sees the following cards come out: Ace, 2, 5, 9, Q, K, 5, 7, 8, Q, Q. The count would be -1, 0, 1, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0. The result of the sum is +1, so high stakes should be avoided.
It was introduced in 1963 by Harvey Dubner and is based on Thorp's Ten-Count system. It caters to both novice and professional players, so it's interesting to learn card counting in blackjack with it.
Dubner assigned different values for each card. Cards 2-6 are marked +1 and are known as low cards. While, Ace, 10, J, Q and K are all awarded -1 and are called high. The central cards 7, 8 and 9 are marked with the number 0.
The higher the positive number, at the end of the calculation; the greater the number of high cards left to deal. On the other hand, if the number is negative, most of the cards left in the deck will be low.
Example: In the game turn 5, 6, 9, Ace, 7, Q, 10, 3, 2, 2, 2 and K were dealt. The sum would be +1, +1, 0, -1, -1, -1, 0, -1, -1, -1, -1, +1, +1, +1, +1, +1, +1, +1 and -1. The final result will be +1, which means that there are still high cards to be dealt.
Knock Out system
Known as a KO, this is similar to the High-Low system explained above. Ace, 10, J, Q and K have a value of -1, while cards between 2 and 7 have a value of +1. The 8 and 9 correspond to 0. In this counting method, the player is advised to increase his bet when the final result is +2.
Example: The cards that were dealt during a game turn are: 4, J, K, 9, 7 and 3. So the sum would be: +1, -1, -1, -1, 0, +1 and + 1. The final result will be +1.
When to count cards and what is it for
Land-based casinos are the place where we can put the counting strategy into practice. It should be noted that this method will not work if the casino uses mixing machines. These items shuffle the cards automatically after the end of each game.
As for how and when to count blackjack cards, it should be understood that this can only be done in real places. Make sure the dealer shuffles the cards.
Another relevant aspect is that you don't become an expert overnight. It takes a lot of training to be a good card counter. Before using this strategy in a real game you need to be very well prepared. Counting is something that must be done with the utmost discretion.
However, these sites have become very sensitive. No casino likes to invest millions in security and lose money. Therefore, they are taking more and more measures to protect themselves from this tactic, for example video surveillance systems. The cameras can also recognize the attitude of a suspicious player. Also, very often two dealers sit at the blackjack tables. One of them focuses on observing the players.
Gambling sites use measures to check card counters. The most common are to play with up to six decks of cards and shuffle the cards before each round.
Advantages of card counting
By applying such a strategy the casino advantage decreases and the player's chances of winning increase. Using card counting will help you know if you are more likely to get one card or another. However, be aware that this method will never be 100% safe.
Speaking of odds, card counting in blackjack offers a 1,5% advantage over the player who does not count cards. We can conclude that card counting will give you more winnings than losses. This is why professional blackjack players get their best results by counting.
Is it possible to count blackjack cards in online casinos?
When it comes to virtual casinos it is by no means easy for a card counter. When a round is over, the cards are returned to the deck and shuffled, regardless of the number of decks used.
In the online casino the cards of the card decks are shuffled at the end of each game round. This is because these games use software that works as close to mixing machines as possible. So that each dealt card always comes out at random.
Hence, it is impossible to count cards in online blackjack. Card counting is also not possible in live blackjack games with a real dealer. Because he is forced to shuffle the deck when half of the cards are dealt.
Is it legal to count cards?
Card counting systems are not illegal, but they are also frowned upon in land-based casinos. They have the right to expel any player who uses them from the casino. These players can also be banned for life.
This is another advantage of online gaming. Nobody can banish you if you are at home in front of a computer screen. So even if you don't know how to count blackjack cards, take advantage of our list of online casinos to play and challenge yourself.