Casinos are popular entertainment platforms all over the world. Blackjack is one of the main attractions in the casino both in land-based and online casinos. Beating the casino is every gambler’s dream.
Experts have developed strategies that help players win at blackjack.
One of the popular techniques is card counting on blackjack. Players use the blackjack card counting strategy to know when they are winning against the casino.
There are many blackjack winning systems in play in casinos. But, what makes card counting stand out from the rest?
Our article explains all you need to know about counting card blackjack and how players can use the technique to their advantage in casinos. You may also wonder why is counting cards cheating in Blackjack. Read further to find out.
How Do Players Count Cards In A Blackjack Game?
Every strategy used in a casino game requires the mastery of the technique and the right application to ensure that you win. Card reading- an alternative name to online blackjack card counting strategy is used by the players to foresee the next events in the game.
Players use the cards to determine if the hand that will be dealt with next by the dealer will have an advantage to the casino or the gambler. The latter is the best option as this means the player has a higher edge or the chances of winning are slightly increased.
Blackjack card counting helps the player by lowering the house edge. Players have to be alert in the game. They will need to monitor and take mental notes of all the cards drawn out and awarded to the competitors on the table as well as the dealer.
As such, the keen player can accurately predict what the card or the cards that will be drawn next by keeping track of the low-value cards that have been dealt. The strategy may be quite challenging at fast but once a player masters it, they are sure that they will be smiling to the bank after every gaming session.
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Why Is Card Counting In Blackjack So Fascinating For Gamblers?
Casinos are an easy way of making money, especially when you enjoy playing blackjack online games. Card counting blackjack how to win has become popular because it lowers the house edge for players who are daring enough to use it.
That said players who have had an experience with other blackjack card betting systems have attested to the fact that card counting is the sure way of winning at the tables. If you are still hesitant about the effectiveness of blackjack card counting threshold trigger systems, think twice about your choice.
It is easy to learn and you will have a higher edge compared to the casino you are playing with every time. If you are not keen enough at the tables, you may incur some losses but you can still recover any cash you lose in the next rounds. A blackjack card counting chart is available as well.
Counter-Measures That Casinos Use For Card Counting Online Blackjack Techniques
Whilst card counting blackjack strategy is widely used in casinos by blackjack lovers, casinos have an issue with its use. It helps gamblers win against the house and this explains why the casino operators term it as ‘illegal’.
Players who employ the strategy should be very careful as they risk being banned from the tables. Casinos have come up with ways that help them prohibit counting of cards during blackjack games. Some of the measures that the sites have put in place include:
- The Cutting Card
Cutting card is one of the very first measures that casinos put in place to try and eliminate counting card blackjack. How do they do this? The dealer deals only a portion of the cards in a deck. Simply put, only a portion of the cards are used out of the possible 52 cards. Players cannot predict which cards will be dealt next as a result.
- Multiple Decks
Multiple decks were deployed at the tables in blackjack games. However complex this might seem, it did not hinder the use of blackjack card counting betting strategy. Players found a way out and still use the technique to their advantage.
- In-House Card Counting
Casino providers have developed and employed automated systems that help them detect illegal card counting. Each card dealt at the table is passed through a scanner to detect which card has been drawn out at a specific time.
Simply put, they do their own in-house blackjack card counting. The system detects any irregularities at the tables especially if all the blackjack card counting odds are in favor of the player. If any dishonesty is picked up by the operator, the player is disqualified from the game instantly.
- Inbuilt Gambling Microchips
Technology is an easy way of detecting any illegal gambling activities in the casino by use of blackjack card counting software. The casino uses microchips in all the gambling chips that are used for many games at the table. This is an additional security measure that casino applies to rid the casino off players that are believed to make dishonest gains from it.
- Facial Recognition Systems
Facial recognition systems are used by the casinos to identify any person labeled as a ‘dishonest player in the casino and in this case, a player who uses blackjack card counting tips and tricks to make money from the casino.
Surveillance cameras scan the faces of all the customers accessing the casino premises and once a dishonest gambler is detected, the security and management team is alerted immediately before they have a chance at the tables.
Interactive Blackjack Card Counting Strategies
Interactive card counting in blackjack helps remain safe during any game at the tables. Casinos use a specific set of rules all years round to ensure they are safe from any dishonest players. Casinos do not want to risk any mistakes at the tables as well ensuring the limit wins no matter what strategy the player employs over time.
These are blackjack card counting terms you might come across in casinos if you are a blackjack fan:
- Stand– stand if you do not want to be dealt with any additional cards by the dealer. This depends on the total value of cards you have at hand if you are sure that the sum will give you an upper hand over the dealer.
- Insurance– check the dealer’s card facing up. If it is an ace, you can take insurance. Here, you assume that the dealer has a 10- value card facing downwards. A player can take insurance for half the initial stake they had placed at the beginning of the game. The payout will stand at 2-1 if the dealer has a blackjack. It works similarly with an even money bet, which protects the player from a push in blackjack, in the case the dealer has also blackjack. In that case the player will get a 2 to 1 payout on the even money blackjack side bet, but no insurance money will be spent.
- Double down blackjack– you can double your initial stake and allow the dealer to deal you with an extra card (whatever its value). Different casinos have different provisions for this. You can double down if the first two cards at hand equal to a sum of 11 while other sites do not have restrictions on the cards that you can double down on. Take extra chips that are equal to your initial stake and place them close to your next stake.
- Surrender– a play may choose to surrender their original stake if chances of winning at hand are low. A player will lose half of the initial bet.
- Split– a player may opt to place a second bet that is equal to the initial bet, if he or she has the cards of the same value, split the pair. Each card is split into two hands. You will play in this fashion until you opt to stand or even bust. With two aces in blackjack though you are allowed to split only once.
What Is Card Counting In Blackjack?
Simple card counting for blackjack can be broken down into 4 easy steps. We shall discuss these in details to help you understand what each step entails and to help you master card counting blackjack in action.
Step 1: Give each card a value
The first step is assigning each card a specific value. This technique is known as the Hi-lo blackjack card counting betting strategy. For cards 2-6, the value is +1, for cards with values between 7-9, the value is 0 and for cards between 10-ace, the value is -1. As the dealer deals the cards, you will add or subtract 1 or no action for the zero value cards.
Step 2: Keep tabs on the running count
This depends on the cards that have been dealt by the dealer. The running count is the simple mathematical calculation but you will constantly need to update the count as the game progresses.
Step 3: Do a calculation of the true count or the total count as per the decks in the game
Running counts help the player know which cards are not drawn yet. The counts are different depending on the number of decks that are used in the game. For example, if you have a running count of 5 in a single deck blackjack card counting, there are 52 cards that have not been dealt yet. Chances are there are 5 10-value cards as well aces. To get the actual value, divide the running count by the total number of decks remaining.
The steps above shed light on what is card counting blackjack and how card counting help in blackjack.
Counting Cards in Blackjack
Card counting in blackjack requires the player to put an effort from their end. Newbies in casinos cannot use the strategy in blackjack if they are not sure how the game works. You will have to get acquainted with the game first before you can employ any techniques.
Once you are confident about your skills at blackjack. You will need to master the basic strategy that is used when counting cards. Eventually, you will get so good at blackjack and it will become a part of you as you familiarize yourself with cards counting.
The game begins when the dealer shuffles the deck of cards- both high value and low value cards are in equal numbers at this point. After the first round, the ratio of the high and low cards changes. There are chances that the high-value cards or more or vice versa if low-value cards were dealt.
Players can use this to their advantage as they might get a blackjack. If the undealt cards have a high number of the low-value cards, the casino has an upper hand. To be able to know when the casino has a high number of high-value cards or low cards, the player should assign a value to all the cards.
As the game progresses, the running count guides the player to get the true count which tells the player the chances of winning are in his favor. A positive true count means that the player has a better chance at winning on the next round. Using the true count, a player can increase their stake depending on the number of cards that have been dealt.
A negative true count is a slow-down sign for the gambler. This shows that the casino has an upper hand against the gambler. At this point, players should reduce their bets substantially in the next round to reduce any big losses.
Card counting continues and depending on the positive and negative results, the bets for the next rounds are adjusted accordingly.
Applying the Hi-Lo System in Blackjack Card Counting Strategy
The following steps are a summary of what the Hi-lo system (the most powerful card counting system blackjack) for card counting in blackjack entails:
- Learn how the strategy works
- Master the denominations for each card
- Learn blackjack card counting techniques
- Use free versions to test your skills
- Opt to take cards in twos
- Calculate the true count
- Practice in a noisy place
We discuss these in details below. The Hi-lo strategy is one of the easiest and effective card counting strategies for blackjack games. If you want to learn blackjack card counting for dummies, hi-lo should be at the top of your list.
To use the system effectively, each card is assigned a specific denomination at the beginning of the game. Hi-lo strategy helps the player tell if the balanced ratio of the high-value and the low-value cards in the deck.
If there are more high-value cards ( 10s and aces in this case), a player can be confident that blackjack is about to be dealt. The total number of cards on the hand should total to 10. If the deck of undealt cards has a high number of high-value cards, this means that the player has an edge over the dealer if they choose to bust.
Players can also increase their bets in the next rounds as the game is in their favor. The dealer may choose to go ‘bust’ in such a scenario to cut down his losses.
If the situation is reverse- high numbers of low-value cards are in the deck- the casino has an edge over the player. This is a red flag and the player needs to reduce the bets going forward until the situation changes in his favor.
Chances are the dealer will not ‘bust’ if they opt to draw additional cards.
Are There Any Other Styles Of Card Counting?
Gambling experts have tried to improve and create other card counting systems that blackjack players can employ in their favor. Complex and devolved systems do not always mean that the strategies are better. Experts say that the simpler the gambling strategy, the higher the chances of winning.
To avoid disappointments at the tables, players can choose to play the simple card counting strategies that are easy to learn and apply at the tables. Players are discouraged from using complex or refined systems as they require a lot of practice.
You will also have to cram a lot of information before you can use the technique. Once you are the tables, the ability to remember everything is reduced. This will slow you down and reduce your efficiency in counting the available cards accurately. Confusion will cost you a fortune if you are careful.
Simpler systems like hi-lo allow you to play faster and count the undealt cards easily increasing your chances of winning.
An example of the complex-card counting strategy is called the back-counting. It is also referred to as wonging. The system is drawn from blackjack books written by John Ferguson.
Back-counting-as explained- in the books- is almost the same as the normal card counting, however, the player does not increase their bets when the odds are in his offer.
It is designed to help you reduce your chances of losing any stakes you place in a blackjack game. While the technique is still evident in casinos, many casinos do not allow the use of such.
The system allows players to keep their bankroll steady and boost your chances of winning. Here, a blackjack bankroll management strategy is recommended.
Double deck blackjack card counting is also a complex counting system.
What is The True Count in Blackjack Edge Card Counting?
The hi-lo card counting system is a straightforward and simple way of determining the ratio of the high-value and low-value cards. Another strategy that players can employ is using the true count.
The true count is an accurate card estimation technique that helps gamblers to estimate the numbers of cards in the deck i.e. the ratio of the high-value cards to the ratio of low-value cards.
The accuracy of the true count ratio increases as the game progresses and as the dealer deals more cards into the game. True count card counting blackjack 21 depends on the running count of the cards dealt in the game against the remaining decks.
To explain this further:
True count= running count /number of decks remaining
A player needs to be very keen and not miss out on any cards dealt by the casino. If so, the true count will be wrong and will mislead the gambler. The running count is not enough to help you determine your next move on the tables.
There are two possible results from accurate card counting using the true count ratio. The ratio will either be positive or negative. If positive, this means that everything is working to the advantage of the player and they can increase their stakes in the next rounds.
If it is negative, the dealer has a better chance at winning against the player and therefore, the player should not increase their bets herein.
Ways of Telling If You Are Playing Blackjack with Card Counters
The dealer or other opponents on the table are always keen to know if other players are using blackjack card counting systems to their advantage. If everyone is using card counting techniques, then the game will sway in one direction.
All players will increase their bets or lower their bets depending on the true count. The count is the guide on the decision that players make while at the tables and if all the players are getting the same results, the choices for the next move will be the same more or less.
It is easy to tell if a person is counting cards or not. Casinos are against card counting systems as they lower the casino’s edge. To beat, this, they employ expert card counters to be able to single out players who use these systems.
- Check if the player has increased their bets as the number of undealt cards decreases. This means that the true count is positive and the gambler automatically increases their bet as the game is in their favor.
- Check the size of the bets when cards are dealt. If the bet increases after a low-value card is dealt, the player is counting cards.
- Splitting 10s. If a player splits 10s during a game, they are counting cards. Players split the high-value cards when there is a huge stake on the tables.
- Insurance- when a player takes insurance when they have a high stake indicates that the gambler may be counting cards.
Card counters also observe the moves that expert gamblers take in casinos. If the expert in blackjack lowers their stake, they will also lower their stake and increase it when the gambler does.
Is counting cards legal? Card counting is not illegal but casino operators dispute it. Why? They are in the business to make money and any loophole that causes them to lose cash is quickly eliminated.
Advanced Card Counting Techniques That are Used in Blackjack
Some of the blackjack card counting variations include:
- Omega II Technique Card Counting System
Omega 2 was developed by Bryce as an advanced card counting system. The system differs from basic counting systems since some cards have a value of 2 and some others have a value of 1. It works best when used with extras ace cards.
Omega 2 stands as one of the most effective counting systems available for players. Despite the difference in the value of the cards, the running count is used to calculate the true count which will be used a guideline for the next bets.
A positive bet is a good sign for the player. 2, 3 and 7 have +1 denomination. Some terms that are popular when using the system include betting correlation, side count, levels and balanced versus unbalanced.
- Wong Halves Betting System
Wong halves is a complex betting technique used by more experienced players in blackjack casinos. It cannot be used by players who want to know how to learn blackjack card counting for beginners. The methods are not commonly used as players prefer simpler and less involving systems.
Wong halves qualifies as a complex betting system due to it’s the tough multi-levels as well as the specific values that are assigned to each number during play. Mastery of these systems, however, helps the player have an advantage over the casino. Once a player learns how to count the cards against their determined values, the process becomes easy.
The system assigns value to the cards in blackjack by applying fractions. If a player can calculate the fractions of the card values, they can easily increase their blackjack card counting win rate.
- Red Seven Card Counting System
Blackjack card counting systems are refined to help gamblers know to apply blackjack when to increase bet. Red seven is an advanced system that allows players to have an upper hand against the dealer and as such, qualifies to be among the best card counting for blackjack for dummies.
The system involves the use of assigning specific values to the cards in the play. As opposed to other complex strategies, it is much easier to keep a record of the cards that are dealt in the game. Cards within the range of 2-6 are assigned a value of +1, 10-aces is -1 while 7 black is 0 and 7 red is +1.
If players play blackjack card counting single deck, counts begin from -1 and progress to two. It is much easier to play with the system when players are counting cards with multiple decks, for example, double deck blackjack card counting. If the player wants to know the number of counting cards with 6 decks in the game (referred to as blackjack 6 deck card counting), the player should multiply this with -2.
Red seven can also be used for 3 deck blackjack card counting. It is easy to learn and can be applied to the tables without complex calculations.
- The Revered Advanced Point Count Strategy
Abbreviated as RAPC, it is one of the complex card counting systems in casinos. This system uses the principle that the numbers in the decks change over time as the game progresses. A higher number of aces mean that the blackjack is close.
Players keep on changing their decisions against any combination of the card values that a player has against the dealers’ cards that are facing upwards. Cards are assigned values in the deck to keep tabs of how the game progresses.
- The Unbalanced Zen Count Technique
The system was developed by George C, one of the accomplished blackjack players, to help him increase their chances of winning in casinos. Cards are assigned specific values and the player has to keep count of the cards that are dealt in the game to help them win. The betting correlation for this system is 0.97 adding to its effectiveness during gameplay. It is simple and can be used by both beginners and experts.
- Uston Advanced Card Counting System
Uston is a balanced counting system that ensures the running count at the end of the game should be zero. Card counting starts at 0. Card values 10, jack, king and queen have a value of -3, 9 has a value of -1, 3,4,6,7 has a value of +2, 2,8 has a value of +1.
Players should start with low stakes blackjack and increase the stakes progressively depending on the true count. The true count should help you know which move to make next. If it is favorable, you can increase your stake size and if it is in favor of the casino, reduce your bet.
- The Zen Count Card Counting System
Balanced Zen count is considered to be one of the less difficult card counting systems in blackjack. To master the system, players have to put a lot of practice into learning the strategy before they can apply it at the tables.
Gamblers have to master the blackjack basic card counting systems first before they can use this however simple it seems. Zen count is also known as the balanced system for card counting. This means that at the end of the game the count should be zero. The true count is also vital and is derived from the running count during gameplay. Just as is the case with other blackjack card counting online systems, the zen count assigns specific values to cards at the beginning of the game.
2, 3 and 7 are assigned +1, 4, 5, 6 are assigned +2, the ace is assigned -1, and all the other cards have a value of-2. Zen count has a betting correlation of 0.96 which guarantees players its effectiveness.
- Group Play Strategy
Group play betting systems are applied by experts and learners. Players who prefer to visit the casino with friends and family prefer to use this system. The rules are friendly for the games and the main goal is to have fun rather than make money. Casinos love this. Newbies can use this platform to learn and master basic strategies.
Counting Cards with Multiple Decks
Players who want to learn how to count cards in blackjack with 8 decks should use the multiple decks card counting systems. Multiple decks blackjack is avoided by players due to the assumption that it might be more difficult to keep track of the cards that are dealt in the game.
The systems are used by players to help them improve their odds in winning blackjack. Multi-deck card counting is slightly different as players will need to master their preferred strategy and remain disciplined throughout the game.
The Truth about Card Counting In Blackjack
Players learn card counting systems to win and to make the game much easier. The real truth in blackjack is that it is not an easy game and it requires a lot of practice before you can learn professional gameplay. To be able to win, you have to increase your odds compared to the casinos.
The blackjack card counting win percentage is about 1 percent. It is quite low but you still stand a chance to win if you increase your bets. Card counting systems are not a guarantee of winning streaks, some losses will be incurred in the long run so players need to get ready for this.
Different Blackjack Card Counting Systems
We have discussed blackjack card counting techniques that are available but we have mentioned a few more in brief in this section as per their categories.
- Basic Card Counting System
An example of the simple blackjack card counting system is the ace-five count system. Players should add 1 to the running counting as the game progresses every time the dealer draws a 5-value card. If an ace is drawn, the player should subtract 1.
- Balanced Vs Unbalanced Systems
Balanced systems, at the end of the game, should have a count of zero. An example of the balanced system is the Hi-lo.
Assessing the Risk with Blackjack Card Counting
Use the tips below to help you keep your wins steady by counting accurately. The tips help players with blackjack card counting money management as a plus.
- Use the optimal strategy that blends perfectly with the blackjack casino rules. Stay put until the game is over to cut down on any losses.
- Keep counting the cards and the running count. If the true count is positive, you should increase your bets but if it is negative, go slower to reduce any risks.
- Play with the right casino that allows you to work with few decks and has favorable betting limits that allows you to adjust your next stakes as per the true count.
- Minimize the mistakes by practicing regularly and applying the rules in the casino. Stay focused and do not gamble under the influence of alcohol.
- Check your bankroll and schedule enough time for gameplay for blackjack card counting work.
- Maintain a low profile by playing low stakes and learning the game to avoid being marked by the casino.
- Ensure you get everything right as we have mentioned above and you will stand a chance to walk away with millions during your next blackjack game.
Is Blackjack Card Counting Practical And Realistic?
Blackjack card counting is not easy and players should take time to familiarize themselves with the strategies before putting them into play. Below, we take a look at the practicality of card counting for a player.
- A low edge
Betting systems only increase the players’ chances of winning by 0.5%-1%. This is quite low if compared to the casino’s edge.
- Consistency in practice
Systems do not work automatically. A player has to take time off the table and practice often.
- Betting cash available
Before playing, you will need to have a sizeable bankroll before you can sit at the tables and try your luck in a blackjack game. This also explains a popular question: how much money I can start with in blackjack counting.
- Casino rules
Casinos are always on the lookout for card counters. They employ card counters and place them on the tables to help them detect any form of dishonest gains from the games.
Frequently Asked Questions about Blackjack Card Counting:
Choose A Blackjack Card Counting System And Starting Winning Today!
Blackjack is one of the most popular games in casinos. Gamblers love the game as it easy to play and learn. Winning against the house is not easy and therefore, gambling experts have developed systems that can be used by players to help them increase their chances of winning in casinos.
One of the most effective and widely-used systems is the land-based and online blackjack card counting.
Our article compiles all a player needs to know and the various variations of card counting systems that are available for application at blackjack tables. If you are a blackjack fan, learn card counting today and choose a casino where you can use the system.