How to Count Cards (and Bring Down the House)
You will find an in-depth page of card counting including everything you need to know to get started.
The truth is, if you can add and subtract one or two from a given number and keep the total in your head, you can learn everything you need to know to become a profitable blackjack card counter.
This is fairly easy and only takes a little reading and knowledge to master.
Anyone can learn this.
You have to learn how to play in every situation.
The only way to gain a long term edge over the casino is by reducing the edge as low as possible by using perfect strategy and then using car counting to push the edge into your favor.
Blackjack Strategy in Play Counting cards should swing the house edge by roughly 1%.
Those willing to look for them can find blackjack games that offer a house edge as low as a half percent.
When we say perfect strategy, we mean every single play.
This may seem like a daunting task at first, but with dedication and work you can learn model blackjack 7 classic possible play.
The at AP Heat is another resource you can use hand in hand with this page.
The Wizard of Odds also claims you need to.
How to Count Cards In order to count cards, you have to have a system.
Counting cards can be explained in three easy steps: Step 1: Assign a Value advanced red seven blackjack count Each Card Each counting system assigns a number, either positive, negative, or zero, to every card in the deck.
A negative number means you subtract the number from your running count and a positive number means you add it to the running count.
As more low cards are removed from the deck or shoe the count goes up.
If more high cards are played than low cards the count goes down.
If the count goes low enough you need to either stop playing until a new shoe is dealt or reduce your bets as much as possible.
As the cards are dealt you start adding and subtracting numbers from your count to see when the count is in your favor.
When you find a favorable count you have to increase your bets in order to overcome all of the hands you play with the house still holding an edge.
Assuming you were to play with a with a.
You want to make a profit.
So, you need to bet more when there is a positive count, and bet less the table minimum when there is a negative count.
Step 3: Change Your Bet with the True Count In theory, you want to bet as low as possible when the count is against you, or in the negative, and as much as possible when the count is in your favor.
You can read more about these two options below in the only playing positive counts section.
Rarely do you have a mathematical edge at a count of one or two.
Some systems, called balanced systems, require a conversion base on the number of decks remaining in the shoe.
You use the true count to determine how strong your edge is and to help you determine how much you should bet.
Importance of the True Count The reason this conversion is so important is because each card removed from a deck of cards has a positive or negative effect on the edge.
However, to get the full edge the same card has to be removed from every deck in play.
The conversion to a true count does this.
It takes most players quite a while to grasp why this is so important and why it works the way advanced red seven blackjack count does.
The Wizard of Odds site has a table that of removing a car from a deck of cards.
Removing a Single Card The numbers are based on blackjacks blog a single card from each deck of cards in a six deck shoe.
If a five is removed from every deck it moves the edge.
If you were playing with a single deck and a single five was removed, the house edge would go down by.
If the game started with a.
This reduces the house edge by only.
In other words, taking the original.
Single Deck Counting Example How many fives do you need to remove from a single deck to turn the house edge into a player edge if it starts at.
This leaves the edge in your favor by.
Every 10 valued card or ace that gets removed from the deck as to the house edge by.
Unbalanced Counts In addition to balanced counts, you can find unbalanced counts.
The difference is you start at a negative number that takes into account the number of decks, and the system teaches you at what count you should bet more.
You can learn more about balanced and unbalanced counts and how they work in the next section.
This way you never have to keep track of a negative number or subtract from a negative number.
Blackjack Card Counting Strategy You can find many different types of card counting systems.
Most systems are classified as balanced or unbalanced.
In a balanced system all of the plus and minus numbers equal zero if you count down an entire deck.
So if you count any number of decks using a balanced system you should end with a count of source at the end.
Balanced and Unbalanced Card Counting Systems The Hi-Lo system is the most popular balanced counting system in use.
The Red Seven is a popular unbalanced system.
You may also see a count listed as a level one or level two count.
The level number is simply how much you have to add or subtract as the highest amount.
A level one count only uses plus or minus one, a level two count can use plus and minus one or two, a level three count can use one, two, or three, and it continues like that.
Five Blackjack Card Counting Strategies Here are the count numbers for five popular blackjack counting systems.
The card values are listed across the top line and the numbers to add or subtract from your count are listed in the columns.
The first four are from.
If so, go with the Red Seven count.
If not, use K-O.
Each includes in-depth details you need for each system.
You can learn how to keep the running count for each system using the details found on this page but to get the most out of each system you should read the book.
Indexes Most popular card counting systems have certain strategic plays that you need to make that may not be the same as what the perfect basic strategy tells you to do.
These are called indexes or index plays.
This is true, except when the count is very high.
Read the Book, Learn the Plays The way to find the proper index plays is usually to read the book the system is included in.
Every index play is based on the best statistical play for long term profit in each situation, just like basic strategy.
Once you reach certain counts, specific index plays need to be used.
Most counting systems have a number of indexes that are very important and others that can be ignored without costing you much in long term profitability.
The only way to learn how to count cards effectively is by practicing.
Once you know everything you need to know you need to jump in and get started.
Take as long as you need, but make sure your count is 100% correct.
The Red Seven count ends with a positive count of two.
Work with a single deck over and over until you can count while flipping the cards as fast as possible.
Then start turning the cards over two at a time.
A shortcut when looking at two or more cards is recognizing when two cards cancel each other out.
Work until you can count as fast using two cards as possible and hen start turning over two, three, and four cards at a time.
When you can do this as quickly as possible, add a second deck.
Then add a third and fourth, and so on up to eight decks.
Now do this while watching television, talking on the phone, with loud music playing, while talking to your spouse or kids, or while anything chaotic is going on.
The closer you can estimate the number of remaining decks the better, so keep working on this until you can estimate it down to a quarter of a deck accurately every time.
Both of these methods to learn how to count cards are basically free.
This may seem like a great deal of work, but the good news is if you simply follow these steps you can be a card counter in a short period of time.
Most players can become quite good in 10 hours or less of actual practice time.
But what if it takes you two or three times that long?
When you start playing for real money, start at the lowest tables available.
On your first playing session focus on counting and playing perfect strategy.
Use a bet spread of 1 to 2, so you only have two bet sizes.
How Often Do You Win When Counting Cards?
Even the best card counters perfect pair blackjack calculation losing sessions, and can lose for an extended period of time before the long-term edge comes through.
And if the effort and work you have to put in are worth it in the long run.
Only Playing Positive Counts If you read everything so far on this page you may be wondering how you could possibly only play in hands where the count is in your favor.
You can do this in two ways, but neither is especially simple.
The first way is to watch games and count from behind other players and only join the game when the count is favorable.
In theory, this sounds like a good idea but pit bosses have been trained to watch for players who do this.
This is called no mid-shoe entry.
This form of counting is often called Wonging.
The other way to only play profitable counts is with a team of players.
Playing Blackjack with a Team All but one player take a seat at different blackjack tables and play for the table minimum.
They never raise their bets; they play basic strategy and appear to be nothing more than a tourist.
While they play they count cards but never raise their bets.
This player is usually called the big player or the gorilla.
When they start playing they start betting at or near the table maximum and continue playing until the count turns bad or to the end of the shoe.
After they leave the table they wait until another player signals a positive shoe and then join that game.
The small player needs to pass the count to the big player when they sit down or signal them when they should leave.
And remember that the casinos have a video of everything.
Most teams go as far as advanced red seven blackjack count never be seen together except at the tables, arriving and leaving at different times.
The casinos have also been trained to look for the big player teams, but smart teams can work for years.
Is It Illegal to Count Cards?
According to local, state, and federal laws, counting cards in not illegal in the United States.
Players are not allowed to use card counting devices or having a person assist them while counting cards.
Although it is not illegal in states like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, casinos still object to the blackjack strategy and may ban players they believe are counting cards.
If you ever get asked to stop advanced red seven blackjack count or asked to leave, simply pick up your chips and leave immediately.
If a casino is particularly unhappy with you, they can read you what many people call a trespass act.
When this happens it makes it illegal for you to come back.
Most places will just ask you to leave or stop playing.
Camouflage Your Card Counting You can do a few things to help avoid having the casinos detect that you are counting cards.
Anything you do to deceive the casinos is called camouflage.
Change Your Appearance Some professional players go so far as to alter their appearance by using make-up and disguises.
This may seem extreme, but if your livelihood depends on being able to take advantage of profitable blackjack games you should consider any avenue that can possibly help you.
Some of the more common things have been mentioned above.
The most important skills of camouflage involve bet sizing and not playing at any one place too long.
It helps to have an idea of how casinos catch blackjack card counters, advanced red seven blackjack count what makes them start looking at a player closely.
Size of Your Bet The first thing that tips off a casino that a player may be counting cards is if they raise and lower their bets in correlation with the count.
Most casinos either have a staff member who can count cards or a computer program that counts.
A 1 to 4 bet spread means your top bet is four times your lowest wager.
You want to be able to spread your bets as much as possible, even getting to 1 to 10 at times, without getting kicked out.
In-Play Shoe Another red flag is when a player never starts a game from the top of a new shoe.
If you always watch a game before sitting down in the middle of a shoe it may raise suspicion.
You need to learn how to raise and lower your bets without drawing too much suspicion.
You can alter your bets in all counts but have a higher average wager in high counts than you do in low counts.
This is one of the most important skills a card counter can develop.
The problem is that anything you do that alters having the most money out as possible advanced red seven blackjack count you have an advantage reduces your long term profit.
This always makes it a fine line between keeping your counting hidden and maximizing your profit.
Start Big then Going Low A few players start off a new shoe betting high and then back off as the count goes negative.
This can work for a long time if you vary your bets somewhat throughout different counts, but it also costs you money off the top of most shoes by having large bets out when the average house edge is against you.
A couple hours are a long time to work a casino.
Many players will leave after an hour or less.
Many players unconsciously move their lips when counting.
Be aware of this and make sure you never do it.
Online Blackjack Card Counting As you read in the section about practice one of the best ways to quickly practice counting cards is by playing the free blackjack games found online.
Even the live dealer blackjack games are aware of card counters and take measures to avoid losing money to counters.
Neil White - Editor in Chief His drive and passion for casinos and the most popular games keep him in touch with the latest news and interests to provide the best for his readers.
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An Advanced Guide to Counting Cards - Blackjack for Advanced Players
This is Chapter 1 of Colin's book titled “The 21st Century Card Counter: The Pros'. spend a sizable percentage of my fortune to take a red-eye from Seattle to Detroit.. In those days, I thought seven dollars an hour sounded pretty amazing... I started to use the time to read more advanced books on blackjack, starting with.
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