What is counting cards in Blackjack? Well, this question is kind of important to explain. Card counting has helped us win millions of dollars from casinos. In just a few simple steps, we can show you how to count cards in Blackjack…
Most players believe that card counting has something to do with memorization. That’s partially true. It’s not like sports betting where you need to memorize the odds and teams’ statistics.
It has nothing to do with memorizing how many queens or threes are dealt out of the shoe, which is good news for those of us with bad memories. When there are more Aces and 10 Value Cards (10’s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings) left in the shoe, it is beneficial to the player.
So card counting is essentially a mechanism for keeping track of the low-to-high card ratio.
What Is Counting Cards in Blackjack Actually?
Card counting is a Blackjack concept for determining whether the player or the dealer has the upper hand on the next hand.
Card counters are beneficial for players who keep track of how many high and low-valued cards are dealt in order to reduce the casino’s edge. When they have an edge, they bet more, and when the dealer has an advantage, they bet less. They also change their strategy depending on the deck’s composition.
The Basics of Counting Cards in Blackjack
High cards (aces, 10s, and 9s) help the player, whereas low cards (2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s, and 7s) benefit the dealer, according to statistical evidence. The player benefits from high cards in the following aspects:
- They boost the player’s chances of hitting a natural, which pays out at 3 to 2 odds in most cases.
- Doubling down on the expected value improves the expected value. The higher the tens-to-aces ratio, the more likely doubling down will be effective.
- They give the player more opportunity to split.
- They can profit from the insurance bet since it enhances the chances of a blackjack dealer Blackjack.
- They also improve the chances of the dealer busting. This raises the player’s chances of busting, but depending on the count, the player might choose to stand on lower totals.
Low cards, on the other hand, advantage the dealer. The dealer must hit stiff hands (12–16 total) according to the regulations, and low cards are less likely to blow these totals. If the next card is a 10, a dealer with a stiff hand will bust.
Card counters don’t need any special mental powers, and they don’t have to keep track of or memorize individual cards. Instead, card counters award a point score to each card based on its estimated value. A “running count” is used to keep track of the total of these values.
The misconception that counters maintain track of every card was depicted in the 1988 film Rain Man, in which the savant character Raymond Babbitt counts through six decks with ease, despite a casino employee’s objections.
The System of Counting Cards
Every card in a basic card counting system is assigned a positive, negative, or zero value. If a card is dealt, the count is adjusted by the counting value of that card. Low cards boost the deck’s count by increasing the percentage of high cards.
For the opposite reason, high cards lower the count. The Hi-Lo method, for example, subtracts one for any ten, jack, queen, king, or ace and adds one for any card between two and six. 7s, 8s, and 9s are all counted as zeros and have no effect on the total.
How to Count Cards in Blackjack?
After you figure out what is counting cards in Blackjack, now it is a good idea to understand how to count them. Imagine you are playing this Casino game now.
1. Assign A Value To Every Card
The card values in Hi-Lo, the most popular card counting system, are as follows:
2-6 = +1
7-9 = 0
Depending on the value of every card, you will either add 1, reduce 1, or do nothing when each card is dealt.
2. The Running Count
This is done by a card counter for every card that comes out of the shoe, round after round until the dealer shuffles the cards anew. This knowledge would have been enough to begin betting appropriately in the days of single-deck Blackjack.
The advantage begins to shift to the player as the running count rises. The casino’s advantage grows if the running count gets too low.
3. Count A “True Count” Or Count Per Deck
Casinos began using numerous decks in an attempt to defeat card counters. Casinos, you gave it you’re all! We simply need to convert our running count into a “True Count” or count per deck in order to use it in a multiple deck game. Below, we’ll go over each stage in depth.
Having a +5 running count with six decks left isn’t the same as having a +5 running count with one deck left. In the first case, the player does not yet have the edge because there is less than one additional high card per deck.
To a card counter, the concentration of high cards vs the concentration of low cards is more important than the amount of extra high cards. This is pretty much the same as dozens betting in roulette when cards are substituted with chips, but the ideas are identical.
Therefore, if you have a running count of 5 and just 1 deck remaining, we know there are 5 more 10s and Aces in the remaining 52 cards, giving the player the upper hand! It’s for this reason that the “True Count” is so important in what is counting cards in Blackjack.
In addition, we may use this information to gamble to our advantage when we use excellent basic strategy and card counting. That’s how we make our money as card counters! The accurate count will also tell us when it’s time to adjust our plan. “Playing deviations” is what they’re called.
4. Change Your Bets If….
When betting on sports, we know the terms “squares” and “sharps”. Meaning the professionals that use the amateurs to place bets for them, because bookmakers wouldn’t allow them to bet.
Betting in blackjack is the same. Having a running and true count is necessary for determining when the house edge shifts in the player’s favor, but if you don’t use that information to alter your strategy, you’ll be playing a psychologically demanding game of Blackjack.
To take advantage of the information gained via counting, you must increase your stakes as the true count grows. When the cards are in the player’s favor, you want to bet big, and when the count is negative or neutral, you want to bet small.
Also, it’s simple to lose a lot of money if you don’t know what you’re doing to win at Blackjack. Now, you already understand what is counting cards on Blackjack.