Is Counting Cards in Blackjack Something You Should be Doing in a Casino

You have found the perfect online casino for your favourite games like blackjack and now just need tactics to win. It always helps to go into a game when you have a way to increase your winning opportunities. Counting cards is one blackjack strategy that you will find many players using to gain an edge. Casinos may frown upon, but it is not illegal so you can learn how to use it to sweep the house at blackjack. One misconception of counting cards in blackjack is that it is complicated and only highly intelligent people can pull it off. With the right steps, anyone can learn how to count cards; it’s just a matter of keeping it as simple as possible.

How it Works

If you are to become skilled at counting cards when playing blackjack, you must know the basics of the system. More than one method has been devised over the years to allow players to reduce the house edge as much as possible. Card counting is a mathematical tactic that involves keeping track of the card dealt from a shoe so that a player can adjust bets accordingly. You have to monitor the cards dealt to you, the dealer and other players. It’s not about knowing how many Kings are yet to be dealt but rather keeping up with the value of the cards that are left in the shoe. When you start your online blackjack game, your value is at 0 and as each card is dealt, this figure shifts. You may wonder, why count the cards at all? The aim of a player here is to know when he/she has high cards left in the shoe. When the smaller cards have been dealt, a player has a bigger chance of getting a blackjack when the shoe contains tens. With a high percentage of large cards in the deck, the probability of the dealer going bust is high, which is good for the player.

Your Counting Guide

Hi-lo is the most common technique that players apply when counting cards. You begin by assigning a value to the different cards. The high ones (10-ace) get a -1, the lower ones (2-6) are +1 while 7-9 are 0. Adding these values as the game progresses makes the running count. The value in the cards will tell you whether to bet high, low or do nothing. In every round, you track every card while keeping the value in mind so you can know what is left in the deck. If your running count is in the positive, it means the advantage is on your side and, therefore, should wager bigger bets. Ideally, +2 and above is great for the player. If the running count is negative, the casino has the advantage, meaning you should watch your bets.

In the hi-lo blackjack strategy, there is the true count aspect of counting cards. Casinos nowadays use multiple decks in blackjack games to thwart cheating. When you have 4 or 5 decks, it means that the running count does not translate to the true count. A running count of +4 with 1 deck is not the same as +4 with 5 decks. The true count is the the value of each deck, which you calculate by splitting the running count among the number of decks remaining. If you are at +6 and the dealer is using 3 decks, then the true count is +2. If you have -6 and are playing with 4 decks, then the true count is -1.

Counting Cards with other Methods

In hi-lo, the running count of the entire deck is 0, which is what makes it a balanced card counting technique. The KO counting strategy is unbalanced, meaning that the total value of the deck is not 0. In KO, card number 7 gets a value of +1 as opposed it the 0 it holds in hi-lo. It means that when you count down the deck, the value will be +4.

Be cautious, though about how you range the bets to avoid attracting attention. Even when playing online, casinos have ways of tracking plays and almost all of them will kick out players caught card counting. Try to make your bet spikes as random as possible. The upside of using card counting when playing blackjack online is that you have fewer distractions to put up with compared to an offline lounge.

Card counting is an effective strategy when playing blackjack online, but only if you can master it correctly. Take the time to practice counting cards before playing for real money. Master the value of the cards until you can calculate the running count automatically to avoid hesitation when playing.