When it comes to card counting in the game of blackjack, the player has a definite advantage over the casino. One of the most popular hands in the game of blackjack is the player’s hand of 16 versus the dealer’s hand of 10. Should you strike or take a stance? The bulk of players is predisposed to stand. After all, only five cards, including the Ace, 2, 3, 4, and five cards, can be used to form a hand that is greater than 16 without exceeding 21.
These are the aces, twos, threes, fours, and fives. If you play blackjack according to the Basic Strategy principles, you are aware that you should hit. However, if you count cards, you have a greater chance of making the correct decision and winning the hand. If you know there are more cards with a value of 10 left in the shoe than cards with a low value, it is a better decision to stand on 16.
When a player has 16 and the dealer has 10, drawing additional cards results in a 4% advantage for the player while using an outstanding basic strategy. This means that the player will win four extra hands for every hundred played. This is a minor advantage, but it will have a major impact on your bankroll over the length of the game. Would you still choose to hit if you knew there were more cards with a value of ten left in the deck, increasing the probability of you going above 21? The obvious answer to this question is “No”. Blackjack players are frequently confronted with instances like this.
The concept that each hand is independent of the one before it and the one following it is the foundation of basic strategy. Blackjack is one of the few casino games that is entirely based on playing cards. Roll independence defines the gameplay of games such as craps. There will be no rollover from the previous round’s roll into the present or following rounds. Card counting is a tactic in which a player gains an advantage over their opponents by keeping track of the cards played before them.
It is crucial to note that card counting does not entail memorizing the placements of the cards dealt, as depicted in the film “Rainman.” You already have the skill to count cards if you can count to ten. It is that simple! Card counting begins with the assumption that 10s are better for the player and proceeds backward. The dealer profits more from possessing lower-value cards in their hand, particularly the 5s and 6s. In most cases, the player or the dealer has no advantage while using the middle cards (7 through 9).
If a player keeps track of the percentage of lower-value cards to higher-value cards in play at all times, he can determine if he has an advantage over the dealer or the casino. This proportion, often known as the “Running Count,” is kept by assigning positive values to lower cards (2 through 6) and negative values to higher cards (7 and up) (Aces and ten-value cards).
The fact that the casino is obligated to follow a strict set of rules is the main reason why high-value cards benefit the player. The dealer must draw a total of 17 cards. As a result, the risk of the dealer bursting grows according to the number of cards in the shoe, with a value of ten. On the other hand, if the shoe still includes cards of lower value than the ones that have already been utilized, the dealer has a better chance of making a good hand. The player has the greatest possibility to benefit from card counting in the following plays:
- Using a hand value of 15 or 16, versus the dealer’s up card of 10.
- Making decisions on insurance policies
- Making side bet decisions (for example, Over / Under)
- In response to the dealer presenting his 2 and 3, I placed a bet of 12.
Methods of Card Counting That Are Extensively Used
Throughout history, various systems for counting cards have been devised. Some of the original card counting systems tallied only the first five cards, the ace, and the remaining cards. Edward Thorpe provided a variety of card-counting tactics to the general public in his book “Beat the Dealer.” Some of these systems are still operational to this day. Some of the most common types of systems available today are as follows:
Counting System: 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
- Hello-Opt I
- Hi-Opt 2
- The Silver Fox
- Omega II
- Reverence Point
When a counting system has a maximum step size of one, it is considered to be of Level 1 complexity. Systems in the level 2 counting category have a maximum step size of 2, and so forth. When it comes to accuracy and efficiency, the number of layers in a system strongly correlates to its level of depth. Ace-neutral card counting systems are those that handle the Ace as if it has no value.
The Current Count
The Running Count is the total of the point values assigned to the cards by the count system since the start of the gaming session (between shuffles). The example with a high-low count that follows will be used as an example.
A High-Low Running Count Example
- An Ace was dealt a card (-1)
- Ten (-1)
- Seven times two plus one (0)
- Ten minus one five added one four extra one
- Seven and ten (-1)
The following is the high-low score: -1 -2 -1 -1 -2 -1 0 +1 0
The Running Count will begin with a score of 0 when the deck has been reshuffled. Because an Ace has a count value of -1 in the High-Low system, if the first card dealt is an Ace, the running count is reduced by one. This is because the count value of an Ace is negative. The running count is currently set to -1. If the next card drawn is a 10, the count value of the 10 will be reduced by one.
After a one-point deduction from the running count, the sum of the running count is now negative two. Because the 2 card has a count value of +1, anytime the 2 cards are pulled, an additional positive value of 1 is added to the already existing running count. As a result, the new running total is -1. The count point value of each card taken from the shoe is either added to or subtracted from the running count as the card is drawn. This progression will continue until the deck needs to be reshuffled
A counting method is considered to have a “balanced count” if the running count returns to zero after all of the cards have been dealt from the deck. Balanced card-counting approaches include the High-Low, Hi-Opt I/II, Zen, and Wong Halves card counting systems. Unbalanced counts occur when the running total after dealing the entire deck is something other than 0.
When a card is removed from the shoe, the current count is increased and shown. The greater the number of decks used, the more likely it is that the count will become exceedingly negative or extremely positive. The player must remember the running count between individual games of blackjack until the deck is reshuffled. The running count is reset to zero after the game is ended and the deck is reshuffled. The true count, not the running count, is used whenever a play decision must be made.
The Actual Figures
When counting cards, the true count serves as the foundation for all of the players’ playing decisions. The true count is calculated by dividing the running count by the number of decks still left in the shoe. The calculation’s outcome will disclose how much of a competitive advantage a player has. When the true count provides a favorable result, the player gains an advantage over the casino. When the genuine count is negative, though, the casino has a far larger edge over the player.
With each increase in the true count, the player’s advantage grows by about 0.5 percentage points. As a result, if you play in a casino with a house edge of 0.5% and the true count is +1, the player is roughly playing even with the casino, resulting in a 0% advantage for either the player or the casino. When the true count is greater than one, the player gains an advantage over the casino.
The Advantage of True Count Value
The number of decks remaining in the shoe must be known to arrive at a precise determination of the genuine count. The quickest and easiest approach to figuring this out is to look at the pile that was thrown away. Determine how many decks have been used since the cards were last shuffled. Take this amount and divide it by the total number of decks used in the game. For conversion purposes, the number of remaining decks can be lowered to the nearest half-deck. Divide the running count by this value to get the actual count value.
To profit from card counting, a player must wager by the right count. If the true count is less than zero, the player should reduce their wager size. Because the dealer has a higher chance of achieving a good total, it is smart to play small wagers to minimise one’s losses. When the true count moves in a positive direction, the player’s stake should be increased. The player’s advantage will determine how large of an increase in stake size they must make. One piece of valuable advice is to bet in proportion to the actual count. As a result, if the proper count is 4, your stake should be four times the value of your normal or minimum wager. Now that you have an insider’s view of blackjack card counting strategies, visit Slotified to start playing online blackjack for free.