Blackjack Card Counting 101

Blackjack Card Counting 101

Ideally, a shoe of cards will contain a fixed number of cards at the beginning of a match. When a card is dealt, you add or subtract to this number to keep track of a score indicator which determines when would be an ideal time to bet. Keep in mind that you also need to keep track of all the cards in play. This means counting the cards from the dealer and from other players. Several automated systems have been designed to aid detection of card counters. The MindPlay system scans card values for the entire deck after shuffling just prior to play. The Shuffle Master Intelligent Shoe system scans card values individually as cards exit the shoe.

The benefits of having big numbered cards in the deck mean that the dealer will bust more often, you will be dealt more tens or higher hands as well as more blackjacks. You are essentially playing basic blackjack strategy for awhile until you get these positive counts. When your count becomes a very high positive number, then you start to gain a huge mathematical edge.

Thus, the player is able to determine whether or not he or she has an advantage over the dealer and act accordingly, for example by placing a larger bet. Also known as twenty-one, blackjack is a game between players and the dealer which basically means they do not play against each other but compete against the dealer. The objective is to collect a hand as close to 21 as possible without exceeding it, hence the name twenty-one. The aim is to collect a higher total point than the dealer but it should not go over 21. In case, the player collects a point which exceeds that number, they’re “busted” or in other words – lose. The players and the dealer take turns until all cards have been dealt.

And last but not least, there are people who believe that playing blackjack is an endeavor, which could generate an overall gain of no more than 1%-2%. There are many players counting cards and making money, but you have to be realistic about your results. When the deck is positive, the dealer has just as likely a chance of getting the high cards as you do. Still, any edge you can gain over the casino is worth the effort that it takes to learn and to win is a lot more fun. The purpose of any of the card counting methods is to tell the player when the deck is positive with high-value cards. The Blackjack player gains the edge over the house by betting more when the deck is positive and sometimes even deviating from basic strategy. The difference between the size of your bet when the deck is neutral or negative, and the amount you increase as it becomes positive is known as the spread.

Software called Bloodhound and Protec 21 allows voice input of card and bet values, which is used to determine the player edge. A more recent innovation is the use of RFID signatures embedded within the casino chips so that the table can automatically track bet amounts. The goal of a card counting system is to assign point values that roughly correlate to a card’s Effect of Removal . The EOR is the actual effect of removing a given card from play, and the resulting impact on the house advantage. The player may gauge the effect of removal for all cards dealt, and assess the current house advantage of a game based on the remaining cards.

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