Card counting is the most common and arguably most effective strategy for gaining an advantage in blackjack. It’s a perfectly legal way to gain an advantage over the casino, and it’s one of the reasons why blackjack is one of the few casino games that can be beaten. This page provides a comprehensive overview of card counting, its history, and how to begin counting cards on your own.
You’ll undoubtedly be astonished at how simple it is to count cards, but once you realize that, you’ll also be surprised at how many distinct methods of counting cards exist. But don’t let the variety of options intimidate you. Card counting is one of the simplest methods to gain a gambling advantage. You are not required to be a prodigy or savant. You only need to be able to mentally add and subtract 1 from a continuous count.
Methods of Card Counting
In the majority of gambling activities, the odds are consistent with each wager. Because the games have no memory of prior events, this is the case.
But what if you filled in one of these spaces when a ball landed there?
The likelihood of winning the subsequent turn would increase to 36 to 1.
And if you continued to black out spaces, your prospects of winning the single-number wager would eventually improve considerably.
When the odds of winning reached 34 to 1, you would have a positive expectation wager against the casino. The payout for a single number wager is 35 to 1.
The only requirement would be to wait until enough numbers on the wheel were covered.
Obviously, this will never occur at the roulette table, but it occurs frequently in blackjack games.
As a result, once a card has been dealt, it cannot be dealt again until it has been reshuffled.
There are games with automatic shuffling machinery in which the cards are returned to the deck after each hand. In these activities, it is impossible to gain an advantage over the establishment, at least through card counting.
In other games, however, the probabilities of prevailing depend on the deck’s composition.
Using a thought experiment, it’s simple to see why:
Imagine you are playing blackjack with a single deck and all kings have already been dealt.
How likely are you to receive a blackjack? If you said 0%, grant yourself a gold star.
A blackjack cannot be obtained without a 10 and an ace. Therefore, as each ace and 10 card is dealt, your odds of obtaining a blackjack diminish.
Why is this essential?
It’s significant because the payout for a blackjack (or a natural) is 3 to 2, and this contributes significantly to the player’s expected value.
Similarly, if a large number of inferior cards have been dealt and a large number of tens and 10s remain in the deck, your odds of scoring a blackjack increase.
If you increased the size of your bets when you had a greater chance of getting a blackjack and decreased the size of your bets when you had a lower chance of getting a blackjack, you would likely win more money when playing card games, wouldn’t you?
Card counters utilize a heuristic system to monitor the ratio of high cards to low cards in the deck. As the cards are distributed, it is merely a matter of designating values to the high and low cards and totaling them up.