Card Counting in Blackjack
Blackjack strategy rules are the most basic rules that you need to be aware of to play the game of blackjack. To win a game, however, you’ll need to apply more than the basic strategy – you’ll need to count cards. Blackjack card counting can be attempted only after a person is thoroughly familiar with the basic blackjack strategies. If you haven’t memorized the basic blackjack strategy chart, and haven’t applied it, don’t attempt to tackle card counting.
What is Card Counting in Blackjack?
Card counting is a strategy that deals with the ratio of high cards to low cards in the deck. High cards are 10’s and Aces and low cards are all others in the deck. The main idea is that a deck full of high cards is to advantage of the player, while a deck which has more small cards is to advantage of the dealer. When you have a deck full of cards which puts you at an advantage, you can raise the bet, considerably increasing the possibility of your winning.
A dealer is more likely to bust in a situation where the player has the higher cards: player can always choose to stand while the dealer must hit until he reaches soft 17. And if the deck is full with low cards – the probability of dealer busting is much less.
Another reason why a hand that’s full of aces is such a great hand is because it increases the possibility of winning a blackjack. Unlike a dealer who only wins your bet if he gets a blackjack, a player’s blackjack pays out at a ratio of 3:2.
Also, when you have a lot of high cards in your decks, you’re able to make a better profit when you double down, which is another advantage of having a deck of high cards.
Card counting certainly seems as if it can make the game of blackjack child’s play, but in actual fact it isn’t easy to learn. You’ll need several months of practice to master the art. Many land-based casinos actually don’t allow card counters to play at their tables, because card counting so dramatically reduces the house advantage.
If you’re card counting at a casino, not looking as though you are not counting is more difficult than the actual counting itself! While you don’t have this problem in an online casino, card counting in online blackjack is not possible like it is at a land-based casino – because the cards are automatically shuffled after every hand, meaning you will need to rely more on online blackjack bonuses to tilt the odds more in the player’s favor.
You don’t need increased smarts to be an efficient professional card counter. But you do need to have razor sharp focus and be able to concentrate on counting your cards in a diligent manner. This takes a lot of practice. The good news is that you don’t necessarily have to be playing a game of blackjack to practice your card counting skills. You can practice these card counting skills just about anywhere.
Card counting does not mean that you have to count every card that’s played. There are a number of systems for card counting and most of these assign numbers to cards like +1, – 1 or 0. Based on these values, you’ll need to play your cards accordingly. The easiest blackjack card counting strategy for beginners is the Hi-Lo system.
In Hi/Lo strategy every card gets the following values:
2, 3, 4, 5, 6 – +1
7, 8, 9 – 0
10, J, Q, K, Ace – -1
In Hi/Lo count there are an equal number of +1 and -1 cards in the deck. In this way if you start counting from the beginning of 52 cards deck – you should get a 0 count at the end.
If you are playing with single deck, as your count increases you have more odds that high cards are left in the deck. Practice by dealing yourself a deck and counting them as you do. You should reach a total of 0 when you finish.
Once you’ve been able to master the first part, go ahead and deal two cards at a time. Proceed to more advanced 3 and 4 hand combinations. To begin applying your new card counting techniques in a game, you’ll have to be able to count a deck of cards in 30 seconds or less.
Counting in Blackjack should not only be quick, but also accurate. Begin practicing, and take it one step at a time. Also time your counting. You should then be able to quickly count cards to keep up with the pace of the game.