Blackjack Card Counting
What is Card Counting?
Card counting is simply keeping track of which cards have already been dealt in a blackjack game, or other card game. The reason for counting cards is to try and work out how many of certain cards, such as picture cards, Aces, or any other cards, are left in the game. In this way, a card counter can more easily work out what the chances are of getting a card that they might need to get a better hand.
Does Card Counting Really Work?
Blackjack card counting can work, but it does depend on the situation. If a casino is particularly concerned about card counters, they can choose to shuffle the cards more often. When a game is played with between six and eight decks of cards, it takes a few hands before card counting is very effective. The method of card counting makes sense because it is based on mathematics, and even though you can never be sure what your next card will be, the odds of the card being a high or low card will change according to the cards that have already been dealt.
Whether you are trying to remember all the cards that have been dealt, or only some of them, or whether they are high or low cards, you need to keep track of every single card that has been dealt. If you lose track, and get distracted, your count will be incorrect, which could cause you to determine the odds incorrectly.
Can Anyone Learn to Count Cards?
Essentially, yes. Just about anyone can learn to count cards using one or other of the card counting methods. Remember that it could take months or even years and lots of hard work, to get used to counting cards. There are more simple methods, and more advanced methods. Not everyone will be able to master the advanced methods where the player keeps track of every card dealt. The methods that count high and low cards, or only specific cards are far easier to master.
Basic Card Counting
Most will begin with a value of zero. The number goes up and down depending on how many of each type of card has been dealt. For example, when cards with a lower value are dealt, the count usually goes down, and when cards with higher values are dealt, the count goes up.
For optimal conditions for the player, they will want the count to go up. This means that there are more cards in the shoe that are higher valued cards. When there are more higher valued cards in the game, there are a few advantages to the player. These are: the dealer is likely to go bust more frequently; the player will likely receive better and higher starting hands; and there is more chance of the player being dealt a blackjack.
Adjust Betting According to Card Counting Results
When someone is counting cards, and they have the mathematical advantage because their count shows that there are a greater number of high value cards in the deck, then it is time to place higher bets, since it is more likely that the player will win and the dealer will go bust.
When the count is low, it is best to bet as little as possible, or to leave the game until the next shoe is dealt.
Even when it comes to a time that the count is in the player’s favor, and they are betting and winning larger amounts, it is important to continue counting cards if you plan to remain in the game.
Legality of Card Counting
Although it is important to investigate the law in the specific area that you are playing in, generally, card counting is not against the law. However, using some kind of an electronic device for card counting may well be illegal. Those who have the ability to count cards only using their brains as their tool are not breaking any laws. Casinos do not like card counters, and will often throw a player out who they think is counting cards. Casinos are privately owned, and are within their legal rights to decide which players may or may not play in their casino. Those who are caught card counting in blackjack may be permanently banned from certain casinos.