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Blackjack Card Counting

Smart gamblers like to play blackjack in casinos, for two simple reasons: because it has better odds for the player than any other card game that is played in casinos (when played blindly only 2.5% in the house’s favour over the player), and because it is very simple to master.

Of course, there is also the added satisfaction that comes when you see the dealer go bust….. when you are holding the best hand at the table!

Players who are successful at winning money at blackjack consistently over time achieve this through the discipline of a method which tells them when to bet and how many chips to put on the table when they make each bet. They apply a card counting system as the dealer passes cards, and the count produces a multiplier to the minimum stake, so the player knows whether to bet the minimum or multiply that minimum by a factor of two, three, four or five. There are complicated mathematical reasons as to why it is not advisable to ever bet more than five times the amount of your minimum bet when gambling using a probability system.

So, how to count the cards as the dealer dishes them out? In a game where only one pack of cards is used as a deck, it is relatively easy if the game is played with all cards visible (you might get dirty looks from other players if you steal a look at their cards, but you will probably not get thrown out of the casino as long as you do nothing that significantly interferes with play).

It is well within the ability of most players to improve their odds even more by using systems which can keep track of which cards are left in the pack, or in other words, which cards are most likely to be dealt next. An idiot savant or a rocket scientist with a freak memory might be able to keep track of the appearances of every one of each of the twelve cards in a pack, but that is totally unnecessary because exactly the same advantage can be gained simply by giving a score to each passing card and using a points system.

The same kind of system is used by bridge players to calculate their bids at the beginning of a hand. There are lots of variations but most of them are more trouble than they are worth, ninety-nine percent of all possible advantage can be gained using a very simple and basic count which you should be able to keep up with even during those stressful or distracting moments that happen in casinos.

The system is highly effective and it works by keeping score like this:

1. Start when the deck is shuffled, with the number zero as the score.

2. Whenever a low card is dealt (twos through to sixes), add one to the score.

3. Whenever a high card is dealt (any card with a value of ten, or an ace), subtract one from the score.

4. When your turn comes to bet, bet according to the total score like this:

Score is 8 or more……………… minimum bet times 5

Score is 6 or 7………………….. minimum bet times 4

Score is 4 or 5………………….. minimum bet times 3

Score is 2 or 3………………….. double the minimum bet

Score is 1 or less……………….. minimum bet

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