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Blackjack Card Counting

Card counting, the art of keeping track of the cards already played out, is used by experts to beat the casino, and some of these experts that have been caught have been barred from play.

I will not deal explicitly with card counting here other than to state that when a high proportion of 10-value cards and aces have been dealt out, the deck is unfavorable for the player. On the other hand, many smaller cards, such as 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, 6s and 7s have been dealt out, the deck or decks are favorable for the player.

By watching the game closely, a player can get a good idea of the cards already dealt. For example, if on the first round of play in a single deck game, a disproportionate number of aces and 10s were dealt, then the deck is unfavorable. If a whole group of smaller cards showed on the opening round, with few aces or tens, then the deck is favorable.

A good rule of thumb in a single deck game only, is to raise the bet when the first round shows a high proportion of small cards dealt out, and to lower the bet when this round shows a higher proportion of tens and aces.

With each round that follows, you see that cumulatively, more tens than normal have been dealt, keep your bet low. On the other hand, when you notice more small cards have been played out, raise your bet. This strategy works because a single deck is sensitive to changes in deck composition.

To effectively beat the casinos, whether playing a single or multiple deck game, I highly recommend that you learn a card counting strategy. These strategies become more complex as the number of decks increases as well.

In order to find your true card count there are values given to the cards. +1 for all face cards and aces, -1 to cards from 2 through 7, and 0 for 8 and 9. What you must do here is simple math, as the cards are being dealt, add the values together. If the card count is positive then the deck is in the players favor. If the count is negative it is in the casinos favor. It is as simple as that, other than in order to do it well you canít let on that you are doing it.

Common signs of people counting cards are:

  1. Slower game play.
  2. Not taking your eyes off the cards being dealt.
  3. Unwillingness to take free drinks.
  4. Little to no interaction with the dealer or other players.
Note that if you play exclusively at internet casinos, any card counting strategy will be moot. Online casinos shuffle their decks between every hand; some will even shuffle between every card. So if you want to try card counting you will have to visit a land-based casino.

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