Blackjack Card Counting: a fascinating strategy

With a confusing legal standing and an almost myth-like status spread by movies like Rainman, card counting is nonetheless far from being a nearly superhuman feat or an attempt to cheat. You might be surprised but here at Casino Midas we want to explain you hot to do that.

It does not take an extraordinary memory to count cards in blackjack. In fact, this is a simple technique meant to determine the probability that the next hand will give an advantage to either the player or the dealer. Based on card counting, a player can decide to bet lower when the odds to win are lower, and to maximize bets when the probability to win is high.

How does it work?

Card counters try to lower the house edge by counting the high and low value cards that appear in the game. In blackjack, high cards such as Tens and Aces tend to benefit the player, while low cards benefit the dealer. Thus, a high concentration of high value cards acts to a player’s advantage.

To keep track of the cards without any extraordinary abilities, card counters usually assign a score to every card that they see, estimating the value of the card. They are thus able to keep a “running count” by tracking the sum of these scores.

Types of card counting

There are several systems used in card counting. Single-level systems such as High-Low assign values such as -1, +1 and 0 to each card. Low cards increase the count (as they increase the amount of high value cards in the remaining deck), while high cards decrease it.

For greater accuracy, some card counters use multi-level counts like Wong Halves or Zen Count. These systems assign a greater variety of numbers to cards depending on their value. Moreover, counters often use side counts of specific cards, such as Aces.

When trying to master the best strategies in blackjack, keep in mind that card counting is frowned upon by many casinos. Online casinos sometimes put some measures in place to prevent card counters, such as frequent shuffling, higher numbers of decks in play and low penetration.