Blackjack and Cards Counting: Is It Really That Complex?

Blackjack and Cards Counting

It’s common knowledge that card counting gives you the best odds in blackjack. Many players are mesmerised by the power of this strategy to even out the odds. But how difficult is it to learn card counting? Looking at some of the most prolific card counters, it seems you have to be a genius to be good at it. Take William Benter, for example. They ban this guy from many Las Vegas casinos for card counting; he has a degree in physics. The father of card counting Edward Thorp has a PhD in mathematics. So is there hope for the rest of us?

What is Card Counting?

It is a mathematical system that tracks the cards that have already been dealt. Since blackjack is played using a fixed number of decks, it means that the types of cards that have already been dealt, affect the ones to come. So when you count cards, you are just keeping track of what’s left in the shoe. If more high cards are left, the 10, J, K, Q, and A, you increase your bets. If you see that there is a high likelihood of low cards being dealt, bet low or not at all. 

Many players get blacklisted, and depending on your fame, it may sometimes be embarrassing. If you don’t want to end up like Ben Affleck who was kicked out of the Hard Rock casino in Las Vegas because he was accused of counting cards, the smartest thing to do is to choose a good gaming platform on and practice to become a blackjack master. When you have perfected your craft, then you can hit real casinos for big money.

Well, there is more to this strategy! Let’s clarify. 

Learning to Count Cards

Card counting is a skill that can be learnt. It is difficult, otherwise, everyone would do it. But you don’t need a degree from a top university to be good at counting cards. All you need is a great deal of commitment and passion to keep at it. There are many apps and videos online that can help you learn the basics. As you learn more, you’ll get better with practice. So, let’s get to it.

The first thing you need to realise is that there are three groups of cards in card counting. The first one is the high cards, 10, J, K, Q, and A. 

These give players an advantage over the casino, it’s a fact, or at least that’s what the mathematicians tell us. So every time you see any of these cards being dealt, you assign the value -1. Low cards, 2 through 6, are good for the dealer. So when they are dealt it’s to your gain. It means the shoe has fewer cards that are to the dealer’s advantage; you assign a count value +1. The third card group 7, 8, and 9 are neutral.

The running count reveals if the shoe contains more cards that are better for you or not. A high count value means that there are more high-value cards left to be dealt. So, naturally, what you would want to do when the game tips in your favour like this is, to place higher wagers. If the count is negative, then you should bet little or nothing.

What Makes Card Counting Tricky

Viewing the preceding information may leave you thinking card counting is a walk in the park. In the principal part it is, but remember, at the blackjack table you will not be counting cards only. You will keep track of the running count; this is important as you must convert it to the true count based on the number of remaining decks. The true count then allows you to determine how much to wager. While you compute that math, you will also have to play the perfect basic strategy. The sum of all these elements makes card counting hard.

Card counting is perfectly legal, using your brain is not against the law. But casinos have the power to chuck you out if they see that you are counting cards. Why? Well, it’s a simple business decision. You are eating into their profits and no private business will joyfully let you do that. So if they find you card counting, the casino will back you off. This can be from blackjack only, or all the games in the casino.