Although card counting is seen by some as a sneaky strategy in Blackjack, it’s not illegal. As long as you are simply using your wits and no extra software or devices, there’s nothing wrong with it – it’s just utilizing all the information that is available to your advantage. Not every casino sees it this way though!
What Is Card Counting?
Essentially, card counting is a way to estimate what cards remain in the undealt pack based on which cards were played in the earlier rounds. It’s a technique by which players can be aware when the advantage shifts in their favour. They can use this information to decide whether to increase their bets or not.
Should You Try Card Counting?
If you are a novice player, it’s probably not a good idea to try card counting until you are more experienced with basic Blackjack strategy. It requires incredibly sharp observation and numbers skills, all without giving anything away about what’s going on in your head. If you are an experienced Blackjack player, are good at numbers and memorisation and love a challenge, card counting could be the obstacle you’re looking for!
Basic Card Counting Strategy
The basic core of card counting is about observing how many high versus low cards were played in earlier rounds. If more low cards were played, the remaining undealt cards will have a higher concentration of high cards, so the player has a higher chance of getting Blackjack. If on the other hand the undealt cards contain more low cards, the dealer has the upper hand.
To perform successful card counting in Blackjack, it’s important to have a categorisation system. Most card counters assign a tag to every card for easier memorisation. For example, the Hi-Lo system assigns a value of +1 to cards 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, a value of 0 to cards 7, 8, and 9, a value of -1 to the others. Card counters must observe every card that is played and add up the corresponding numbers in their heads. If at the end of the round the count is positive, the player has the edge and may increase their bets. There are more advanced and nuanced card counting strategies, but you should master this one first before you attempt to go further.
Practice Makes Perfect
If you have decided to give card counting a try, it’s important to be prepared before you apply it in real money Blackjack games. First of all, know your strategy and categorisation system like the back of your hand. Then, it’s time to practice. There are many card counting trainers online that you can utilize for this.
Once you’ve got the hang of that, you can start experimenting in real games. Try it in a few free games or low-stakes games first before you lay down any serious cash bets. Card counting is not for everyone – it takes dedication, skill and a lot of practice. But if you’re up for the challenge, give it a go! It can be fun for those who enjoy the analytical side, and it does increase your chances of successful bets.