Compared with casino games such as slot machines and Texas hold ’em, blackjack is relatively easier. Blackjack is one of the most popular gaming games at present, and because it is the one with the lowest banker advantage in the casino field.
Blackjack Card Counting Strategies
Card counting can sometimes spark heated discussions, often leaving players wondering whether this math-based strategy is allowed. So today, I’ll show you how to count your cards in blackjack to shift the advantage to your favor! Blackjack card counting can be tricky; it’s not something you can learn in a few minutes. It takes some practice and patience!
What is card counting in blackjack?
Do you count cards in blackjack? Yes! This is a mathematical strategy that can help you gain a possible advantage over the dealer in the next hand. Card Counting Blackjack players will count the high and low value cards used in the game to gain the house edge. When you learn how to count cards in blackjack, you will find it has difficulty levels. It depends how much you want to know! To become an advanced card counter, you need precise calculations that you can learn over time. If you are an experienced player in online blackjack counting, you usually know when to raise. After all, you’re getting an edge, so you want to get the most out of it. Vice versa, if you know the banker has an advantage, as a card counter, you may reduce your bet or not bet at all.
How does card counting in blackjack work?
If your budget allows, learning how to count cards in blackjack can help you choose the most appropriate time to increase or decrease your stake. When the game starts, the number of high-value and low-value cards in the deck is always equal. In blackjack, how to count cards is a strategic process where you can assign a positive, negative or zero value to each card as follows:
Cards 2-6: +1
Cards 7-9: 0
Card 10 – Ace: -1
You’ll use these values to calculate the cards, not their face value when the cards are dealt, so for every new card dealt, either add one, take one, or do nothing with the high-value cards; this It’s called keep running count. This is an important stage in the strategy process that requires patience to master. If the run count increases, you’ll start gaining an edge, and if your budget allows, you might consider raising your stakes at this point. However, if the rollover decreases, it means the casino is gaining an advantage, so it is not wise to raise the stakes.
Now, let’s see the difference when using a single deck versus multiple decks:
How to count the cards in blackjack with a single deck? Using a deck of cards, this simple strategy works well enough to let you know when it is beneficial to adjust your bet size; however, online casinos are starting to figure out what players are doing. So they started using multiple decks to try and stop players from counting cards. How to count cards in multi-deck blackjack? With multiple decks, you need to get what’s called a true count, which is very valuable to you; we’ll discuss this in more detail later. How to count cards with 6 decks left at 21? This is not the same as counting cards where there is only one deck left. To help grasp what the true count is, you can divide the running count by the number of decks remaining. As the count goes higher, the more cards you play, the greater your advantage.
Basic Blackjack Card Counting Strategies
You can use an online card counting blackjack strategy, it doesn’t need to be complicated at all! In fact, one of the most straightforward strategies is the Hi-Lo system, which we’ll look at now.
Hi-Lo Card Counting Strategies
This is one of the most popular strategies because it is very beginner-friendly, it is not difficult to master, and it is a balanced system. We’ve briefly covered it above, and you can assign a value to each card. Big cards are great in blackjack, but they are assigned a -1 value in card counting, which means your advantage is reduced. Low value hands are worth +1, and since 7, 8, and 9 are not good for you or the dealer, they are worth 0. When applying the Hi-Lo strategy, you always start from zero before the dealer deals cards. The cards will then be dealt in a specific order and you have to start counting. As more moves are made, you should add these values to your running count, including the dealer’s card. When your runs increase, it’s time to up your stakes according to your budget. When your runs dwindle, it’s time to lower your stakes to minimize your losses.
Hi-Opt I & II Strategy
This strategy gives you two different options, which we’ve discussed above. It’s still a balanced system and you’ll keep the same running count so you can decide when you should change your bet.
Here’s how they differ:
Hi-Opt I Values:
Cards 3, 4, 5, 6: +1 value
Cards K, Q, J, 10: -1 value
Cards A, 2, 7, 8, 9: 0 value
Hi-Opt II Values:
Cards: 2, 3, 6, 7: +1 value
Cards 4, 5: +2 value
Cards 10, J, Q, K: – 2 value
Cards A, 8, 9: 0 value
Wong Halves Strategy
If you’re patient enough and determined to master professional-level card counting, the yellow half strategy is one of the harder strategies to learn. It has more values to remember, as follows:
Card 5: 1.5 points
Cards 3, 4, 5: 1 point
Cards 2 and 7: 0.5 points
Card 8: 0 points
Card 9: -0.5 points
Cards 10, J, 1, K, A: 0 points
One of the reasons this strategy is so tricky is that it uses fractions, making it difficult to master. However, if you think you have what it takes to crack this card, your card counting accuracy level will increase. It’s almost perfect when it comes to predictive betting! You will keep the same running count as the other strategies, and if your budget allows, you can also increase your stake as the true count increases. Naturally, you should cut back when the dealer has the house edge.
Also known as the elimination system to count blackjack, it is suitable for beginners and intermediate levels. This strategy has some similarities to the HI-Lo strategy we mentioned above, with the following values:
Cards: 10, J, Q, K, Ace: -1 value
Cards 2 – 7: +1 Value
Cards: 8, 9: 0 Value
The difference between these strategies is that this strategy is unbalanced. After the cards are dealt, the final count will not be 0.
Team Card Count
Finally, a group of students created a strategy called the MIT Blackjack Team in the 1980s. They used the strategy of the Hi-Lo system, assigning the same values, but also using a three-person team with the following characteristics:
A big value player
The people who count the cards are the observers, and once verified, they signal the big players to change their bets based on the count.
How to Calculate Multiple Decks
How do you count multiple decks in blackjack? You have to convert running counts to real counts. To discourage players from counting cards, casinos started using multiple decks, but no matter how many decks there are, true counting ensures that a card counting system can be used. The real count will help you determine who has the house edge and how many high value cards are left.
Mastering the Skills of Card Counting
Card counting is time-consuming and requires the best of patience. Here are some tips to help you master it:
Learn basic strategies
Don’t run until you can walk! Card counting sounds like a lot of money, right? But there is no need to go straight into the abyss. Instead, learn basic strategies, and once you get the hang of it, you can move on to more difficult strategies. You play games with your hard earned money, and sometimes you lose. If you enter the game without understanding the basic strategy, you might as well throw your money away.
In the end you should remember that no matter how much card-counting skills you have, there will always be a casino going the extra mile to stop you from winning. It can help you win though. But remember, in the end, the casino always has the house edge and you should only bet what you can afford to lose.
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