Let’s Learn to Count Cards and Win at Blackjack!
Everyone wants to win big at the casino, and many think counting cards is the way to go. Fortunately, card counting is rather lucrative once you get it down to a t. So, today we’re going to run you through the basics of card counting in blackjack so you can bring down the casino next time you decide to play blackjack.
Now, just so you’re aware. Card counting in blackjack, but it is frowned upon. So, if you do this in a land-based casino and the dealer catches on, he will call over the pit boss who will throw you out before you can say blackjack. When you’re playing at an online casino, card counting is much harder to detect, so use that knowledge how you wish – just don’t come crying to us when you get thrown out of a casino for counting cards!
Let’s get on with the guide and start you off with your masterclass in how to count cards in blackjack!
Learn Basic Strategy
Before you start doing any math, you’re going to need to lay the foundations of your blackjack skills. Start off by learning basic strategy. By learning basic strategy, you will give yourself the knowledge of how to play every single hand mathematically perfectly, helping you keep your bankroll going to the point where card counting comes in useful so that you can truly destroy the bank. Learning basic strategy can take a bit of time, but if you put in the hard work and spend a few hours each day learning it, you can master it in under a month. That might sound like a long time, but if you think about the returns you will make by learning this skill, it’s well worth your time. Faster learners will pick it up faster, so take our time guide as a rough estimate.
Give Card Ranges a Value
We’re going to teach you the hi-lo card counting method, and this is the method blackjack teams use all around the globe to rake in millions. This method means you need to assign sets of cards different value. Cards 2 through 6 will have a value of +1, 7, 8 and 9 have a value of 0 and 10 through Ace have a value of -1. Each time a card comes out, you either subtract or add from the running count and you’ve got yourself the basics of card counting. The higher the number, the more high cards are left in the deck. On the other hand, the lower the number, the more lower cards in the deck. High cards are better for a player as they increase your chances of a blackjack, whereas low cards mean that you need to hit more, increasing your chances of busting.
Do the Running Count Once Both Cards are Dealt
To make life easier, start doing the running count once both cards have been dealt to all players. Start with the player closest to the shoe and finish up with the dealer. As a trick to make life easier, if a player has a high and low card, you can just count it as 0 due to the fact the high and low card cancel one another out. One thing you will notice is at the start this running count doesn’t help you in any way, especially if you’re playing on six decks. This is where basic strategy comes in handy. Keep on playing and counting those cards, but keep a close eye on the discard stand.
It’s Time to Convert to the True Count
Before you sit down at the blackjack table, you need to know how many decks are being used. You can easily find out this information by asking the dealer how many decks are being used before the game starts. Once the discard stand has about a deck in it, you will divide your running count by how many decks are left in the shoe to get a true count. For example, if there are six decks in the shoe and you’ve played through one deck with a running count of +15, you divide +15 by five (the number of decks left in the shoe). This gives you a true count of +3 and you carry on your running count from there. This evens everything out and brings you back to a more realistic number for the next deck.
Know When to Walk Away or Bet More to Bring the House Down
Finally, you need to learn how to put this information all together. Once you’re on the final deck and you’ve got your true count, you will know if there is a bias towards high or low cards left in the shoe. If there are more high cards in the shoe, denoted by a higher true count, you have more chances of scoring a blackjack which means more money coming your way – unless you’re playing the evil 6 to 5 tables. This means it’s well worth betting more money on each hand as you’ve got an increased chance of scoring a blackjack. On the other hand, if the true count is low for the final deck, consider heading off to the bathroom or to make a call. The odds are stacked in the dealers favor when there are more small cards in the shoe.
Card counting can be incredibly lucrative if you use it effectively, so spend some time and learn how to do it properly. The best part about playing blackjack online is the fact you can keep this handy guide open and follow it step by step as you play. If you do that at a land-based casino, you’re going to get thrown out pretty quickly.
Wishing you the best of luck on the blackjack tables!