Counting Cards in Blackjack

blackjack counting cards
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Blackjack is an intense casino game that is enjoyed by punters across the globe. It does not require artistry in hiding your emotions as you do in poker. In this game, you simply need your mathematical mind and the skill to count cards.

Are mathematical skills required? Is card counting legal? A flurry of queries in your mind, and we happen to have all the answers. Read on to find out how counting cards in Blackjack works.

What is card counting in Blackjack?

Contrary to many misguided beliefs, card counting applies to no other card game except Blackjack. It is a smart system wherein you have leverage over the house and beat the casino in the long run. In a nutshell, card counting is a technique that helps you win and bring home loads of cash.

Blackjack is a popular pick in a land-based casino. Step into a famous casino or even a smaller one; one will find the blackjack table with seven keen punters ready to place their bets. With the advent of technology, online casinos have become popular among punters. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a game of Blackjack.

The question is – What is card counting? Considering it is an integral part of the game, we will dwell deep into it and find out more about the concept.

Players must have excellent attention to detail and exceptional mathematical skills. Also, the player needs to know that card counting is a technique to win, and it is not technically cheating.

Card counting is all about probability, calculating the odd, and remembering what cards have already been played. If the player can remember what cards have been played with, they would know what cards are remaining on the table.

The whole essence of the game is to keep an eye on the face cards and the Aces. It is beneficial for the player! Also, the player must remember that the real opponent is the dealer and not other players.

Basics of Blackjack Card Counting

To learn how to count cards in Blackjack, you need to comprehend the game first. In this game, the player and the card dealer take a few cards and decide whether or not to get more. The main idea here is to accumulate cards that amount to 21, but not beyond.

Hold that thought! Before we move ahead with the explanation of card counting, please note that Blackjack is the most straightforward game. All you need is a deck of cards! The fun part of the game is having a debonair dealer on the table.

The numbered cards get the same value as their value. The face cards are labeled as 10, and the Aces can be 1 or 11. If you successfully beat the card dealer by getting almost 21, you gain the same amount of your bet. And if after two cards you reach 21, you get a Blackjack and win against the house.

And so, players need to ensure that they always get a Blackjack. And one way of doing that is counting cards in Blackjack. But, of course, players need to be smart about it, because most casinos ban people who can count cards. Note – Card counting is not illegal, but land-based casinos forbid it.

The system of card counting surrounds the idea of hitting Blackjack and earning lots of money. Players will know if their chances are high and the cards that remain on the table. Take note that the combination of the two types of tickets can create a Blackjack. A ten and an Ace can give you a Blackjack. Hence, the dealers consider low-value cards as useful.

What many card counters do is to observe precisely how many face cards and Aces are not dealt with yet. If there are many cards left with face cards, 10s, and aces, then the chances of getting a Blackjack is slim.

And, when the player knows how to count cards, they will know precisely when to push their luck. Some players have the skill to determine when to give up. They wait for another opportunity to win against the house. And with card counting, they are flipping the coin to conquer the house and be profitable in doing so.

The joy of attacking the game with sheer innocence is immeasurable, but the expert Blackjack players find this method extremely beneficial. If players perform it correctly without getting caught, they have some severe scope of winning and bagging a fortune.

The Art of Counting Cards

And so the big question remains: how to count cards in Blackjack? This skill is not easy to learn, but it is doable. But, you need to exercise your cold heart and focus on what you do.

Counting cards is not cheating in the overall sense of the word. It is a technique that you use to turn the odds to your favor. But you need to understand that there is no turning back after you learned the tricks.

the art of cards counting

Let us explore the general methods of how you can learn how to count cards. Once you acquire the skills, you must use it to your advantage but with extra caution.

  • 1. Familiarize yourself with Blackjack

You need to know how to play Blackjack to comprehend the game. You must become an expert Blackjack player and remember every single rule of the game. Get familiar with the strategies of the game and practice them religiously.

It is when you are so good at Blackjack that you can learn how to count cards accurately. Get the basics right:

  • Knowing when to surrender
  • Knowing when to split the cards
  • Knowing when to double up the cards
  • Understanding the dealer’s current situation

Learn to walk baby steps before you start to run, so you will not fail. And once you are excellent at playing Blackjack, it is time to move on to the next step.

  • 2. Study the card counting concept

The Hi-Lo strategy is the general technique used in card counting, and you need to be familiar with it. Keep things simple, and avoid complicating issues. Always remember the basic, which is: high cards have a -1 value, while +1 is attributed to lower cards.

Do not try to over-analyze the situation. Stick to the basics, and no matter how complex the card counting goes, always go back to the simple concept of card counting. When you are deeply familiar with the whole idea and the basics, then you are free to dig deeper.

  • 3. Practice and test your skills

You need to continually practice counting the cards on your own. Always have the time to check your card counting skills at every chance you get. You can play on your own or with friends, as long as you test your abilities. The best way to do so is to head to an online casino. Free play is available online. It allows you to practice as many times without placing a bet with your money.

When you become more confident of your skill, test your capability by playing at a land-based Blackjack table. See if you can beat the system, but do not overdo it. You can also get your Blackjack machine that counts cards and test how well you do at home.

  • 4. Bet accordingly

Do not get caught by the watchful hawks in the casino. And so when you place your bets, make sure that you are doing it in a seemingly random pattern.

  • 5. Camouflage your intent

Keep in mind that players cannot go to a casino looking like they intend to count cards. Mask the intentions by using a camouflage of careless behavior. Players can even pretend to be a tourist having a great time, but the brain is mentally calculating the cards.

NOTE: Why take the stress of heading to a land-based casino? The online casino allows you to count cards as per your convenience. There are no hawks to keep an eye on the player.

The Workings of Card Counting System

Card counting is also known as a ‘tracking system.’ The players make good use of their memory to keep track of all the cards that have been played. Most of the card counting systems use the following –

– 1 0 +1

It will allow the player to give each card value. In most cases, cards from 2 to 6 are valued as +1, and cards from 7-9 are 0. The Aces and the face cards have a value of -1. The players just keep track of what cards are already out of the way and what remains on the table. The mind keeps working, and the player keeps calculating.

Zero happens to be the starting point, and after that, the values keep fluctuating (negative or positive).

Right at the start of a round, the player adds value tags to the cards that have already been faced. The addition of the labels will keep going on in the player’s head. Whenever they see a card, they will keep the counting in their head. Remember – +1 for small cards and -1 for larger cards.

If there is a negative count, it means that more high-value cards have already been played. The player would know that the deck now consists of smaller cards.

How to place bets?

A gambler who indulges in card counting will place lower bets at the start. When the count increases (for example, +4), they will start placing higher bets.

In case the count suddenly drops to negative, the player will get back to minimal bets. That’s how card counting works!



Is card counting in Blackjack illegal?

Technically, card counting is not illegal, and the activity takes place inside the player's head. While land-based casinos are strict about their rules, the online casino world is a lot easier breezy.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of counting cards in Blackjack

The skill of counting cards is an incredible way to fast-track your goal to become rich. But this system, no matter how tried and proven to work, has its advantages and disadvantages. Let us look at the good and bad of using the talent in Blackjack.

Card counting allows punters the opportunity to earn loads of cash.
Punters exercise your brain and counting ability, which stimulates your mental capacity.

Punters could get banned from the casino and never have to play Blackjack in a casino table again.

Can I count cards in an online casino? 

The answer is a firm YES. Players can count cards in an online casino. If punters are playing Blackjack on a platform, the shuffling mode could put you in a state of a tizzy. However, players can indulge in a live casino where there are dealers and other players. Dealer blackjack allows you to play with real cards and a human dealer. It is much like the land-based casino where players can be a part of the live-action. 

Live dealer games allow 50% penetration of deck. If this little is enough to count cards, players can take advantage of it. 

What are some of the useful tips to count cards? 

The card counting system is not about remembering the value of all the cards that have been played. It is to consign value to each of the cards. It will help the player to predict whether they are closer to a win or not. Card counting is a skill not everyone can master. With practice, players can get better at it.


Summing Up

New players need a lot of practice and mathematical skill to be able to make this system work. However, there is a myth that only mathematical geniuses can solve the puzzle. WRONG! Only a basic strategy needs to be used. The only tricky part about card counting is not getting caught.

If the player is joining a live dealer Blackjack game, then there is little room for card counting. Do not try it in a land-based casino. If there are plans to do so, be discreet about it.

For people with an excellent memory, one can mark in their minds as to what cards have been dealt with already. By knowing the situation, the player can place their bets accordingly. Low or high? It all depends on what remains on the table.

So, practice the art of counting cards and win big.


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