Blackjack is a casino game that is very popular among Aussie players. One of the best ways to outsmart casino dealers would be to partake in card counting. In this article, Top Australian Casinos will tell you of historical stories around card counting. We will teach you how to use some of these techniques to pull a fast one on the dealer and remain undetected.
The Low Down on Card Counting
Card counting is also known as card reading; this strategy is often used by Blackjack players. Blackjack players use this technique to determine the hand that will be dealt next and ultimately outsmart the dealer and gain some of the house edge.
So, what happens is, a card counter will watch and see what other players are dealt as well as the cards drawn by the dealer. By being vigilant, as to which high and low cards are distributed you are able to guess which cards are still left in the deck. This, in turn, lowers the house edge, and gives you a better chance of winning. If you adopt this strategy while playing blackjack, you could up your opportunity of winning big.
The Facts of Card Counting
- Card counting can assist you in gaining between 0.5%and 1% edge over the house.
- Like any other casino game, players are subject to money loss and big wins.
- Your bankroll needs to be quite large for you to use the card counting strategy.
- Do not let the casino take note that you are participating in card counting.
- Card counting is a legal act. However, casinos frown upon it.
Brief Card Counting History
Andy Bloch is considered to be one of the most successful players. Bloch formed a part of the blackjack team of M.I.T where he took it upon himself to record and release an instructional DVD on card counting. This DVD was called “Beating Blackjack”. In 2005, Bloch featured in a blackjack documentary known as “The Hot Shoe” by David Layton. The documentary sees Bloch and Edward Thorp (blackjack card counter) get interviewed on their actions. Throughout the compilation of the documentary, Layton went on with his new-found knowledge gained from the interviews and gambled with US$5,000. This money was a part of the budget of the documentary and was considered to be a case study.
The Card Counting Book
Dr. Edward O. Thorp, a mathematical genius, was considered to be the father of card counting. He was able to easily and accurately depict the foundation of card counting in the 20th century. His famous 1962 book “Beat the Dealer” explained the basis of card counting as well as multiple concepts on playing blackjack in a strategically correct way. Thorp was considered to be ahead of his time as he was one of the first to publish his concepts and theories to an audience.
Thereafter, more faces started making their way into blackjack history. With the likes of Stanford Wong who wrote the book “Professional Blackjack. Alongside, Kent Utson, the author of “Million Dollar Blackjack”. Finally, Arnold Snyder, “Blackbelt in Blackjack” author.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Card Counting
Cheating such as base-dealing as well as past-posting is most definitely illegal. However, card counting does not constitute as being illegal because it is simply a way of strategic thinking. Even though it is not illegal, we do press the issue that novice players should not let the casinos catch them card counting, as they do not approve of it.
Unfortunately, when playing blackjack online, you are unable to card count. This is because online casinos use a Random Number Generators (RNG) to deal the cards. In Live Casinos, however, several hands of the game can be played before you are able to reach the cut-card and the dealer has to then reshuffle the deck. In this case, card counting can be an effective strategy.
The How to of Card Counting
So, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for, how to card count. From the very first move of the initial card being dealt, the process of card counting starts. The card counter will start adding the values of the cards. Cards holding a low value will add to your value by 1 point. Whereas, high-value cards will subtract 1 point. Cards from 7 to 9 are called neutrals and are not included in the Hi-Lo card counting system.
- Player 1: Ace and 5. Player 1’s card count will be -1, +1.
- Player 2: 6 and 2. Player 2’s card count will be +1, +1.
- Player 3: 7 and 8. The third player will have a card count of 0, 0.
- Player 4: Queen and Queen. This player will have a -1, -1 card count.
- Player 5: 3 and 8. Player 5’s card count will be +1, 0.
- Dealer: 9. The dealer will have 0 as a card count.
In this round of blackjack, your card count should be +1. This round has seen more low-value than high-value cards dealt. Which means that there are more high-value cards left in the deck that is remaining.
However, it is very important to remember that the count will not be very accurate after only a few hands are played. Clearly, the more information that you have been able to collect, the better your count will be which will result in a higher house edge for you, the Aussie player.
How to Start Counting Cards
When practicing card counting on your own, it’s a good idea to start with one deck of cards and count through them. You may find that the first few times are quite challenging, but like anything, the more you practice, the better you get. Practice makes perfect as they say!
Once you’ve managed to crack card counting with one card, try bumping it up to two cards at a time. Ensure that you deal the cards just like a regular blackjack hand. With a lot of practice, you will be able to pick up on patterns and combinations, making the card counting process almost automatic for you.
Hi-Lo card counting is considered to be one of the easiest, so it is a good place to start. Experts have argued that the simple techniques fare much better than the more complex ones as you have to work quickly to avoid suspicion.
Different Card Counting Strategies
As previously discussed, this is one of the simplest ways to count cards. What this system does is it establishes the ratio of high-value to low-value cards in the deck. Ultimately telling us whether or not the deck is unbalanced.
The high-value cards will increase both the chance of being dealt a blackjack as well as having a hand that amounts to a value of 20. It is known that a deck containing a majority of high-value cards is a good thing for players as it is a profitable circumstance to be in. Why? Well because it raises the chance of the dealer going bust. In the same circumstances with low-value cards, the outcome will be the opposite.
Something else to consider would be the balance of the remaining cards in the deck. The closer you get to the bottom of the deck, the more precise your count will be. We at Top Australian Casinos suggest that you divide your count by the number of estimated decks remaining. This will give you more of a true count. If you decide to use the true count method, it works simply as follows:
- If your running count is +6.
- You believe that there is an estimate of 2 decks remaining.
- You will then divide the 6 by 2.
- This will leave you with a balance of +3
If your balance still results as positive, there is a good chance you will make a decent profit by increasing your bet size. The true number count is far more accurate and will give you a good idea as to whether or not the deck is profitable.
Back-Counting or Wonging
One of the most popular forms of card counting. This “Wonging” strategy was fondly named after Stanford Wong, by John Ferguson, when he wrote his series of books based on blackjack. The name of this technique refers to the observing of tables and counting of the decks much like the true count system. However, you only move into the game once the card count is in favour of the player. By doing this, you will reduce your risk of losing.
However, it is easy to detect when a player enters “mid-shoe” and most casinos no longer allow it. What makes this form of card counting so advantageous, is the fact that you are not required to play every hand that you count. This will inevitably change and minimise the fluctuations in your bankroll thus increasing your edge even further.
Casinos Counter Actions to Card Counting
As long as players have been learning to card count, the casinos have been trying to stop it. In their attempts, they have come up with the following:
The Cutting Card
This was put into place so that the entire deck will never be played through.
They added in decks of cards, which is ultimately redundant if you know how to use the Hi-Low counting strategy.
Inhouse Card Counting
The casino now has a way of doing their own card-counting with computers. If the player strategically ups their bet when the deck is considered to be hot, they will be suspected of card counting. In this case, they may be asked to leave, or to try playing other non-skilled games like slots.
Microchips Placed Inside the Gambling Chips
Microchips that are planted into gambling chips makes it easier for casinos to monitor information on betting amounts at each table.
These recognition cameras are used to identify known cheaters that have previously made their way into the database. These cameras also scan the faces of all people entering the casino. Due to this security measure, known card counters may be asked to leave the premises before they make it to the blackjack table.
That’s all Folks
If you practice enough, card counting could become second nature to you. However, be sure to remain under the radar as casinos do not like to lose their house edge. So, get counting and have fun.