The basic blackjack strategy and the basic blackjack strategy chart is the starting point for more-advanced blackjack strategies - such as blackjack card counting. Don't even think of card counting before you know your basic blackjack strategy perfectly and without mistakes.
The basic blackjack strategy and the basic blackjack strategy chart is the starting point for more-advanced blackjack strategies - such as blackjack card counting. Don't even think of card counting before you know your basic blackjack strategy perfectly. With card counting you will be able to beat blackjack. If you are good enough at counting the cards in blackjack YOU will have the odds of the game in your favor.
The Basic Idea Behind Card Counting:
The basic idea behind card counting is that a deck full of 10's & Aces is advantageous to the player - while a deck full of small cards is to the dealers advantage. As such, you increase your bet size when the deck is in your favor - and bet the minimum when the deck favors the casino.
Why is that so? Because a deck rich with 10 valued cards increases the odds of the dealer busting - while the player on the other hand can choose to stand. The dealer must always hit until soft 17. Hitting a stiff hand like 10,6 is most likely a very bad idea when the deck is rich of 10's. This gives the blackjack card counter the edge over the casino. Similarly, a deck full of small cards makes the odds of the dealer busting much less.
If you can count the cards and figure out if the deck is rich with 10's or small cards - you have the advantage of adjusting your playing strategy to the situation.
A deck full of aces increases the odds of blackjacks - A players blackjack pays odds 3:2 - whereas the dealer only win your bet if he gets a blackjack. Therefore a deck that is rich in aces is also to the players advantage.
How Is Blackjack Card Counting Done?
The good news is that you don't have to be able to memorize every single card that has been played from a 6 deck shoe of cards to be able to count cards in blackjack. Although if you could do that it would be pretty amazing!
Most different blackjack card counting strategies assign all the cards with different point values. Every card counting system has it's pros and cons - in general I believe that you should pick a easy system. This will result in fewer mistakes - and mistakes cost a lot of money when you are counting cards.
The Running Count:
Each card is assigned a point value. All that you as the card counter need to do, is to add the value of all the cards that have been dealt from the deck - this is called The Running Count. The Plus/Minus card counting strategy - also called The High/Low card counting strategy, assigns the following cards with these values:
2, 3, 4, 5, 6 = +1
7, 8, 9 = 0
10, J, Q, K, ACE = -1
Lets use an example to illustrate the running count:
First an ace is dealt, so we start out with a running count of -1. Then follows a 6, so we add 1 to the running count which is now back at zero. Then a 3 - so we add one point, and the running count is now +1. Then a 4, and the running count is at +2... and so on.
If we stopped here - you would be using a so called "Unbalanced card counting strategy" - I recommend that you take it one step further and try to learn a balanced card counting system. For more information, continue to part 2 of this article: Beat Blackjack.