Here, we will explain in detail how you can count blackjack cards. As well as we will talk about what are the methods most used by professionals. Online casino players, specifically blackjack players, need to learn about card counting. This system is the best to be able to get an advantage over the dealer.
It is a simple game where several strategies can be used, an advantage that Texas Holdem Poker does not have. Blackjack card counting is generally based on mathematical techniques. These resources are used by blackjack players to turn the game in their favor. In addition, such methods can provide the player with information on the best way to bet.
Both live blackjack and mobile blackjack can be played online. However, this counting system is effective only in traditional casinos.
How to count blackjack cards
Many techniques will help a player learn how to count cards in real money blackjack. Currently, it is difficult to use them. Since most physical casinos use more than one deck of cards in each game round.
In the early days of blackjack, back in the 1960s and 1970s, it was easier because the casinos used a single standard deck. Most blackjack card counting systems are based on assigning a value to each card. While these are coming out during the game, the player will be doing his calculations. And depending on the result he gets; he will decide how to act regarding the bet.
The principle of high and low cards, or “High and Low”, is one of the most widely used strategies for counting blackjack cards. This is part of the idea that highs favor the player, while lows are in favor of the casino.
Methods and systems for counting cards
Different card counting systems have been refined over time to make them more effective. We will mention some of these popular methods below.
Ten Count System
This is the first card counting system on record. It was developed in the sixties, increasing the popularity of blackjack. It was introduced to the world of casinos by MIT math and physics professor Edward Thorp in his book Beat the Dealer.
Although it has been very popular and productive in its time, this method has lost its validity. This is because it was created for single-deck blackjack tables. Therefore, casinos have increased the number of decks of cards used. However, it is a technique that beginning players can use to learn to count.
Ten-Count is based on counting blackjack cards throughout the game, paying special attention to the value of each one.
This should help players decide when and how much to bet. The more cards worth 10 points left in the deck, the more favorable the situation would be for the player. On the contrary, if the cards left in the deck are lower, the casino would have an advantage. In this case, a low bet should be placed.
The player must apply the value of 1 to the Aces. The cards from 2 to 9 are worth +4 and 10, J, Q, and K must be worth -9.
Example: Assuming that the following cards have been dealt during the game: 5, 2, Ace, K, 4, 3, 7, 8, Q, and 9. The count would go like this: +4, +4, 1, -9, + 4, +4, +4, +4, -9, +4. The resulting number of this sum is +11, which is considered high. This means that the player can place a high bet.
This card counting system is also useful for novice blackjack players. At the start of the game, the player must add the number 1 to any 5-value card that appears. When an Ace comes up, a 1 is subtracted from the sum.
If the final result is 2 or more, the player can double the amount of his bet. But if it is equal to 1 or less, he should avoid making high bets.
Example: If during the round the player sees the following cards come out: Ace, 2, 5, 9, Q, K, 5, 7, 8, Q, Q. The count would be -1, 0, 1, 0, 0 , 0, 1, 0, 0, 0. The result of the sum is +1, so high bets should be avoided.
It was introduced in 1963 by Harvey Dubner and is based on Thorp’s Ten-Count system. It is aimed at both novice and professional players, so it is interesting to learn how to count cards in blackjack with it.
Dubner assigned different values to each card. Cards 2 through 6 are marked +1 and are known as low cards. Whereas, As, 10, J, Q, and K are assigned -1 and are called Highs. The intermediate 7, 8, and 9 are marked with the number 0.
The higher the positive number, the end of the calculation; the greater the number of high cards remaining to be dealt. On the other hand, if the figure is negative, most of the cards left in the deck will be below.
Example: In the game round they have distributed 5, 6, 9, Ace, Ace, 7, Q, 10, 3, 2, 2 and K. The sum would go like this +1, +1, 0, -1, -1, 0, -1, -1, +1, +1, +1, +1 and -1. The final result will be +1, which means that there are still high cards to be dealt.
Knock Out System
Known as KO, it is similar to the High-Low system explained above. Aces, 10s, Js, Qs, and Ks have a value of -1, while cards between 2 to 7 have a value of +1. The 8 and 9 correspond to 0. In this counting method, it is advised that the player increases his bet when the final result is +2.
Example: The cards that have come out during a game round are: 4, J, K, 9, 7, and 3. So the sum would go: +1, -1, -1, 0, +1 and +1. The final result will be +1.
When do you count cards and what is it for?
Physical casinos are the place where we can put the counting strategy into practice. It should be noted that this method will not work if the casino uses mixer machines. These items shuffle the cards automatically after each game is over.
Regarding how and when to count blackjack cards, you must be clear that you can only do it in real places. Make sure that the one who shuffles is the dealer.
Another relevant aspect is that you will not become an expert from today to tomorrow. It takes a lot of training to be a good card counter. Before using this strategy in a real game you must be very well prepared. Since the count is something that must be done with the utmost discretion.
However, these sites have become very sensitive. No casino likes to spend millions on security and lose money. Therefore, they take more and more measures to protect themselves from this tactic; for example, video surveillance systems. The cameras can even recognize the attitude of a suspicious player. Also, very often at blackjack tables, two dealers sit. One of them concentrates on observing the players.
Betting sites use measures to control card counters. The most common are playing with up to six decks of cards and shuffling them before each round.
Card counting benefits
By applying this strategy, the casino’s advantage decreases, and the player’s chances of winning increase. Resorting to counting will help you know if you are more likely to get one card or another. You still have to be aware that this method will never be 100% secure.
Speaking of odds, counting cards in blackjack offers a 1.5% edge over the player who doesn’t. We can conclude that by counting cards you will have more profit than loss. That’s why blackjack professionals get their best fruits thanks to counting.
Can you count blackjack cards in online casinos?
When it comes to virtual casinos, it is not easy for a card counter. When a round ends, the cards are returned to the deck and shuffled, regardless of the number of decks used.
In the online casino, the cards of the decks in the deck are mixed at the end of each game round. That’s because these games use software that works the closest thing to mixer machines. In such a way every card dealt always comes out randomly.
So, it is impossible to count blackjack cards online. Card counting is also not possible in live dealer blackjack games. Since you are forced to shuffle the deck when half of the cards are dealt.
Is it legal to count cards?
Card counting systems are not illegal, but they are not well regarded in land-based casinos either. These are within their rights to expel from the casino any player who puts them into practice. These players are even banned from entering for life.
This is one more advantage of online games. Nobody can expel you if you are at home in front of a computer screen. That’s why, even if you can’t count blackjack cards, take advantage of our list of online casinos to play and put yourself to the test.