Teach Yourself to Become a Successful Card Counter
It is card counting that is the secret to truly successful blackjack, and practitioners of this art have made millions in land-based casinos. Most gamblers who desire an improvement in their winning percentage can master this tactic with time and practice.
As long as you’re willing to spend some money on their purchase, there are plenty of books out there that promise to teach you how to count cards. However, you don’t need to read books to be a successful card counter, just read this article to give you the tips you need.
How Does Card Counting Work?
Blackjack and similar games often involve card counting. Each card introduced into play has a numerical value that the player tries to keep track of. When the player has an advantage with this count, they increase their bets. Players make smaller bets when they are disadvantageous.
There are multiple counting systems available even though it sounds simple on the surface. Others attempt to learn as many systems as possible, while some swear by a single system. You will find names such as KO, Hi-Lo, Omega II, Zen Count and Halves, which are among the well-known ones.
There is no way to count cards when playing blackjack online. In live casinos, players have access to multiple decks of cards, and the dealers only shuffle occasionally, making it possible for card counters to build a count over hours and hours of play. Online versions of the game shuffle the decks after every hand, making it impossible for the advantage player to build up a useful count.
Is it illegal to count cards?
Land-based casinos don’t prohibit card counting. In fact, some establishments genuinely enjoy having card counters at their tables. These players are mainly rookies, so their sophisticated strategies won’t mean much over hundreds of hands, especially since they haven’t quite mastered the art. A rookie card counter is likely to be just as broke at the end of a session as someone who has never heard of the strategy.
When it comes to skilled card counters, casinos always have the right to ask a player to leave if they feel they are skilled card counters. A casino does not have to worry about losing money if the customer is unable to play.
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Veteran counters often wear disguises to sneak into establishments where they’ve been denied entry in the past.
A card counter cannot be kicked out of an Atlantic City casino. In 1979, Blackjack legend Ken Uston filed a lawsuit that led to this New Jersey Supreme Court decision.
Become familiar with the basics
A player’s best play for all 300 possible hands is the cornerstone of success for blackjack. Even though you won’t win every time, you’ll have a distinct advantage over those who just wing it. Additionally, it reduces the house edge by a few percentage points.
Here are the steps you need to take to become a successful card counter. Learning a counting system without understanding the basic strategy is a waste of time.
How to Play Blackjack
Various rule variations and deck counts are available for blackjack games. BlackJack is commonly played with six or eight decks of cards (dispensed from a plastic shoe). It is still possible to play single-deck and double-deck blackjack in some casinos, but not all casinos will offer single and double-deck, so “shoe games” are more popular. As an example, we will look at a six-deck blackjack game, which is the most common. Blackjack is played as follows:
Chips are purchased by the player
You need chips before playing at the table. The dealer will exchange your money for casino chips. Place your money on the table felt. Your money won’t be taken by the dealer. Due to security reasons, dealers are not permitted to take anything from players’ hands. The dealer will lay your money on the felt so the cameras can see how much you are betting. A pit boss will confirm the amount once it has been laid. To give you your chips, the dealer will count out denominations equivalent to your purchase amount. The chips are now available for you to handle and place your bet.
A wager is placed by the player
The first thing you do at the start of a round is to make a bet in the betting circle (sometimes the circle looks like a square, or it may just be a casino logo on the felt). In the middle of the table, there will be a small sign showing the betting limits. The minimum and maximum bets per hand vary from casino to casino and depend on where the casino is located and the regulatory environment. The US requires at least $5 per hand for most tables, but other casinos may require more or less.
Players receive cards from the dealer
After placing your bet, the dealer will deal you one face-up card and one face-down card. Each player will receive one more face-up card from the dealer, but the dealer will have one face-down card and one face-up card.
Hands are played according to the player’s choice
Dealers will wait for the player on their left to play first (also called “first base”). The two cards you have in front of your bet are face up. To play your hand, you must first add up the card values to get a hand total between 4 and 21. When you receive two cards of ten values and an Ace, that means you have a Blackjack!
As long as the dealer doesn’t also have a Blackjack, you’re paid 3 to 2 (or 1.5 times your bet) right away. However, you won’t lose your original bet if the dealer also had Blackjack. A push is what we call this. Your dealer will wait until you decide how to play your hand if neither you nor the dealer has Blackjack.
Playing your hand can be done in five ways:
Stand: If your first two cards are good, you can stand, and the dealer will move on to the next player.
Hit: You may hit if you wish to improve your hand by adding more cards to your hand. If you hit, the dealer will deal you more cards, one at a time, until your hand total reaches 21 or until you stand. There is no limit to how many cards you can take (except for going over 21).
Double Down: You can double your initial wager if you have an advantageous hand total but need an additional card. The dealer will only deal you one additional card if you double your wager. An additional card will be dealt to you, turned sideways to indicate that you cannot take any more cards if you wagered on the left side of your original bet equal to your initial bet. You may also be able to “double for less” at most casinos, meaning you do not have to put up the same amount. It is always better to double for the full amount than to double for less, so we discourage players from “doubling for less”, even if the casino allows it.
Split: If you’re dealt a pair of matching cards, you can place another bet, and then the dealer will split them so that each card becomes the first card on two new hands. Face cards are also subject to this rule. Even though a King and a Jack are not paired, you may split the hand because they have the same value. A second wager equal to your first is to be placed at the same time. To indicate that you want to split instead of double down, give a “peace sign”. Your first hand will be divided into two hands, and you will be dealt two cards each.
Surrender: In exchange for half your original bet, you can surrender if you don’t like your initial hand.
Now you’ve played your Blackjack, there are two possible outcomes.
Whenever the dealer busts, the dealer will pay players even money for all remaining hands, or the dealer will make 17 to 21). You simply have to see who has the higher hand if you are still in the game. The dealer sweeps your bet if they have the higher hand. A one-to-one payout is given if you have a better hand. You get to keep your money, however, you don’t receive any payout if the dealer and you have the same hand total.
The round has ended! It’s that simple. Another round begins after the cards are swept up.
Take a look at the Hi-Lo System
In Hi-Lo, players assign a value of +1 to all cards ranked between two and six. The values of seven through nine are zero, whereas those of ten through ace is -1.
You should increase your wager size when the count is higher. As a result, fewer cards have been introduced into play, leaving the more advantageous face cards and aces to be played.
Your bet size should be reduced if the count is close to or below zero. You are left with the difficult task of constructing a winning hand with threes and fives because a lot of high cards have already been dealt.
Card counters can be successful by using a combination of basic strategy and the Hi-Lo system. Thereafter, it’s just a matter of repetition and avoiding getting banned.
Since the information is abundant on the Internet, you don’t need to buy any books to become a successful card counter. Practising and repetition are the only ways to acquire the basic techniques of play.
Although card counting can be challenging to learn, it is not impossible. In a casino, the live environment is unforgiving compared to your kitchen table, and memorizing can seem unfamiliar to those who are well beyond their college years. When a hostile pit boss or two enters the picture, novice card counters often find themselves in over their heads.
It is still proven that card counting is one of the keys to profitable blackjack sessions, regardless of these difficulties. A small fortune can be made here, so it’s the best way to make a dent in the house edge. However, there is no proven system to guarantee winnings, but it can improve your odds.
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