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  • Writer's pictureDolly Gupta

Counting Cards: Learn a Winning Strategy

Blackjack is a popular card game where players always seek ways to win big. One method that's talked about a lot is card counting. You might have heard about it in movies or stories, but what? Card counting is a way to keep track of certain cards as they're played, helping players make better guesses about which cards might come next. In this guide, we'll break down the Counting Card Strategy in simple terms so you can see if it's something you'd like to try.


Counting Cards: Learn a Winning Strategy

Understanding the Basics of Counting Cards

Card counting is a strategy used primarily in blackjack to determine whether the next hand will likely give the player or the dealer a probable advantage. By keeping track of the proportion of high cards to low cards left in the deck, players can adjust their bets and actions for maximum benefit.

Why Does Card Counting Work?

In blackjack, high cards (10s, Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces) benefit the player, while low cards (2s through 6s) favor the dealer. High cards increase the chances of a player getting a blackjack, which has a bonus payout, and they also increase the dealer's chances of busting. Knowing when the deck is rich in high cards gives the player an advantage.

Stat to Consider:

When the deck is rich in 10s and Aces, the player has roughly a 1.5% advantage over the house.

The Hi-Lo Counting System

One of the most popular card counting systems is the Hi-Lo system. Here's how it works:


Table: Hi-Lo Card Values

Card Rank

Value

2-6

+1

7-9

0

10-Ace

-1

You start your count at 0 and then add or subtract based on the cards you see. When the count is positive, it means more high cards are left in the deck, and you should increase your bet. Conversely, a negative count indicates more low cards, suggesting you should decrease your stake.

True Count vs. Running Count

The Running Count is the total you get by adding and subtracting card values as they are dealt. However, in multi-deck games, converting the running count into a True Count is essential. This is done by dividing the running count by the remaining decks.

Example:

If your running count is +10 and five decks are remaining, your true count is +2.

Managing Your Bets

The key to making a profit from card counting is adjusting your bets. When the true count is positive, increase your chances. When it's negative, decrease it.

Stat to Consider:

A true count of +1 gives the player a 0.5% advantage over the house. For every increase in the true count by 1, the player's edge increases by roughly 0.5%.

Is Card Counting Illegal?

Card counting is NOT illegal. However, casinos are in the business of making money and don't appreciate players who can tilt the odds in their favor. If caught, you won't be arrested, but you might be asked to leave or barred from playing blackjack.

Conclusion

Card counting is a potent tool in the arsenal of a blackjack player. While it requires practice, dedication, and a sharp mind, the rewards can be significant. Remember, the goal isn't to memorize every card dealt but to keep a running tally and adjust your bets accordingly. With patience and persistence, you can master this strategy and increase your chances of walking away from the blackjack table a winner.


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