Blackjack Card Counting
In our intro of “how to play blackjack” we’ve introduced the concept of counting cards to you.
We don’t blame you for being interested in how exactly that works!
Blackjack is a game of skill and by counting the cards and knowing when to hit or stand, you as a player can severely increase your chances of winning in the game of kings. Let’s talk about it!
How to count cards
There are a few things to consider when counting cards online.
Naturally, nobody can track you doing so, so you don’t have to be scared when trying this strategy.
Below, we will guide you through the steps to get good at this particular technique:
- Assign a value to every card dealt
- Keep count based off the values of the card dealt
- Use this information to calculate the count per deck or “true count”
- Change your bets as the true count rises
- Watch the dealer’s cards closely and keep going
Assigning card values
The first step, as explained, is assigning card values to each card.
There is a system involved with this, but it is adjustable – so take this system as a sort of guideline to adjust to your own finances and playstyle.
This system is called the hi/low system and is in fact a simplified method that aims to increase your odds when playing blackjack online.
Example? You want to go really hard if the count in your head (or your piece of paper) says +10, you increase your odds drastically. It’s ill-advised to do so when your count is on the lower side, however.
Check out the values for this system:
- For cards with a face value of 2 to 6, a count of +1 is added to your overall score. Keep that in mind as a starting point!
- 7,8, and the 9 get a neutral score of 0
- The 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace get a score of -1, for obvious reasons.
What’s in it for me?
Online blackjack is the one game that has the rumor behind it being a game of skill – and a game where you can cheat the system.
The dream of winning big and becoming a veteran, a high roller that knows the rules of blackjack in and out, is ever present in Indian blackjack players.
Just remember; having a strategy means a lot, but it definitely doesn’t mean you can make money over a long period of time – focus instead on the fun you can have while playing blackjack online.
What is the deck cut?
Ever wondered, what that red plastic card in the shoe is after the decks have been shuffled?
This little fella is called the deck cut.
The casino inserts this card to decrease the number of face cards in the deck, and it’s definitely advantageous to keep an eye out for this guy; since there’s a higher chance that more high-value cards will end up behind that little red card.
Keep that in mind while counting cards!
Optimal card counting for blackjack
In brick & mortar casinos, card counting is forbidden – and you can probably see why!
Even in Indian live casinos such as LeoVegas, the methods to try and prevent such techniques are there – multiple decks, deck cuts and so forth.
It really does pay off to keep track of the card count though, especially if you want to take blackjack that little bit more serious.
Pro tip? Start counting from when the decks have been shuffled for maximum effect. You’re welcome.
Increasing bet size when counting cards
In our how to play blackjack guide, we have spoken about the values of the different cards, so if you’re still a little shaky on that, check that bad boy out first.
For everyone else: try and increase your bet size when your count is as high as possible.
In theory, at least, that means that there should be a bigger chance of being dealt a face card, which has a higher value in itself (a 10).
Normal value cards are fine should you be stuck for that little bit extra, but you really want to get as close to 21 as possible – with as few cards as possible.
Card Counting increases odds
In theory, card counting increases your winning chances by 1%. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but think about the fact that most online blackjack tables have an average RTP of 97% – so that one percent might just give you the edge you need.
Boost your winnings by 1% in the long run and you can be sure that you will come out better than without that strategy. This however doesn’t mean a sure-fire success every time, it still is a game of luck in some way after all.
Practice makes perfect
As with all games, sports and activities one rule applies; practice makes perfect.
So our tip for success is to practice on demo mode (some casinos offer it, some don’t) or stay logged out and play some free play, before you try your luck on a real table.
Like every other skill, card counting or playing blackjack in general will improve over time. Practice with fake money and be the best you can be!
Card counting in movies
There are many movies where casinos play a big role – one doesn’t have to look further than everyone’s favourite MI6 agent James Bond.
But to be honest, these movies have been talked to death when it comes to casinos, and this writer’s favourite is a little movie called “21”.
You heard right, the name’s the game – and it’s about six MIT students trying to become experts in card counting and take down Vegas in style; robbing them of millions of dollars in the process. Definitely a must-watch for blackjack fans.