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Blackjack Card Counting

If you are able to play perfect strategy as well as succesfully undertake blackjack card counting, you can actually gain an edge on the house. Blackjack card counting is one of the few strategies proven to yield more wins at the blackjack table than any other. Being able to predict what cards will be dealt is no easy task, but if you practice and become successful, you could net your self a tidy little fortune.

By keeping track of the cards as they are dealt from the deck, the player is kept aware of when the odds of the game are in their favor. This is important to know because you can then make larger bets and offset the house edge during normal play.

During normal play you should always bet the minimum. If you bet $5 per hand for 100 hands you will wager a total of $500. Based on the odds of the game, you can expect to lose about 1% or $5. If you are counting cards and have an advantage of 1% and bet $50 per hand, you can expect to win 10 times faster than losing at 1%. In the end you win more than you lose over the course of many sessions.

As cards are played and discarded from the deck or decks, the value or odds of the deck changes. Most card counting systems are based on the following information.

Blackjack Card Counting Odds
Percentage Change In Odds
When Cards Are Discarded
5 Card
4 Card
6 Card
3 Card
2 Card
7 Card
8 Card
10 Card
A Card
9 Card

The most important card is the 10 card. A simple blackjack card counting method uses the 10 cards and the highest non-10 cards to offset each other to tell if the deck is rich in 10s or poor in 10s. In a standard deck of cards there are 16 tens and 16 three to six cards. When a 10 is exposed the count is -1. When a 3 to 6 card is seen, the count is +1. Adding the values for each card, gives you a running count. A positive number means the odds are in your favor, a negative count means the odds favor the house.

The next most important card is the ace. Some systems include this with the 10s and to balance the count include the 2 with the 3 to 6 cards. It is more difficult to track aces on the side, but can be more valuable in that youíll know when to bet more, rather than just how to play a hand.

Some blackjack card counting techniques include the 9s with the 10s and aces and the 7 card with the 2 to 6 cards. Including these cards means you are counting all the cards in play and has been proven to yield more profits that the other systems above.

Cards other than the 7, 8 or 9 have been calculated to be worth about 0.5% in favor of the player or dealer. There are card counting systems that give each card values higher than +/- 1 and can give a better idea of the value of the deck. They are much more difficult to use and can be dangerous, if the player loses track of what they are doing. If you are looking for an advanced blackjack card counting system, many count 4 and 5 cards as +2 and 10s as -2 and every other card except 8, 9 or ace as +1. Anything more complicated than that increases the risk to accuracy and does produce much more profit.

Blackjack card counting has a fundamental flaw - itís based on the discarding of played cards after each hand. Itís increasingly difficult to find a game that doesnít use a continuous shuffling machine (CSM). Dealers take the played cards and insert them into a machine that continuously shuffles the cards and deposits them into a shoe for the dealer. Not only does this severely hamper card counting, it speeds up the game, getting in more hands per hour and netting the casino more profit.

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