Card Counting

Some of us might have seen some films which are based on an individual or group going to a casino and making a fortune at the blackjack table from counting cards. One of the most recent films portraying this was in fact based on a true story- 21 which starred Kevin Spacy as an MIT professor banned from every casino in Las Vegas puts a team of highly intelligent students together and teaches them the art of card counting. They then travel to Las Vegas every weekend and beat the casinos at Blackjack.

You don’t have to be Rain Man or an MIT student to card count, it’s a simple process and one which isn't illegal, however it is a frowned upon practice and if suspected might get you kicked of the blackjack table and possibly the casino you’re playing at.

Here’s four steps of basic card counting

Firstly, be able to card count won’t help you unless you understand the game of blackjack inside and out. The first rule is practice playing blackjack until playing is as simple as breathing air. Secondly, familiarize yourself with the concept of counting cards using a simple strategy. The easier the strategy the better meaning you won’t fly your brain when you put your card counting strategy into practice.

Card Counting is a Hi and Lo concept, it works very simply, high cards are given a specific value for instance -1 for each high card dealt and low cards are given a +1. When added up they total a running count which gives the card counter the advantage over the house (dealer) it works based on the fact that high cards (ten or above improve the players chances of hitting blackjack, they also increase the dealers chance of going bust. Low cards are the bad cards, they lower the players chance of a player getting blackjack and increase the chance of the dealer (house) from going bust (16 or under)

So how do you count a high card and a low card together? Don’t fall into the trap of +1- -1=0 is a straight zero. Being dealt a high and low card means they cancel each other out. The whole idea is to remember the tally as the cards fly past. To be a proficient card counter takes time and practice and should be as natural as riding a bike once you've spent time practicing.

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