Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Blackjack Card Counting Made Easy

By using computer trials, it has been proved mathematically that certain cards are favourable to the player and others are favourable to the dealer.

Depending upon what cards have been played, you can determine what cards are left, and this influences how the player should play his hand.

For example, if more cards are left that favour the player, the player now has an advantage and can raise the bet size to capitalize on his advantage.

Card counting in blackjack helps the player make choices that give him an edge.

Card counting should be studied by anyone wanting to make long-term profits as it gives the player an edge over the casino.

Two Card Counting Myths

Let's first dispel two common myths on card counting.

1. Card counters do not memorize every card that they have seen dealt out of a deck or shoe.

2. Card counting also does not allow a player to foresee with certainty what card will be dealt out the deck next. It is simply a probability theory that will put the odds in your favour over the long term. Short-term results can of course vary.

Card Counting Logic

So how does a blackjack player actually card count? Many different techniques have been researched and are practiced to keep track of the cards played from a deck. Here we are going to use a very simple but effective one.

Before you start to count, you need to know blackjack basic strategy. ALL card counting systems are based on it, and it provides the best way to play following on from the hands that have already been dealt. It's easy to learn, and is soon committed to memory.

For those who don't want to rely on memory, pre printed charts are available.

Basic strategy lets you play at just under even odds with the casino, but card counting takes the advantage one step further and allows you to have the edge in your favour

The method below is easy to learn, and with some practice, you will be ready to play with the odds in your favour.

You can if you wish then move on to other more complicated strategies that may increase your edge further, but this is a perfect introduction.

The Lazy Way to Count Cards

Lazy card counting is as easy as it sounds. It doesn't take a lot of concentration or calculations, and makes very few demands on your memory.

In blackjack, a deck rich in face cards is an advantage to the player.

All you need to do with this method is observe the cards coming out of the deck. For example, if you are playing a multiple deck, and after a few hands, you observe that very few face cards or aces were played, then you have a situation where the next hand will probably be good for you the player, and you should increase your bet accordingly.

The Key: Look for Extremes

The key to success with this method to is to always look for extremes. The absence or predominance of exposed high cards is easily noticeable by any player.

You will often play several hands where the mix of face cards and low value cards are relatively even.

As soon as you see an absence of exposed high value cards, you should increase your bet. This is because the odds of a face card being dealt are now also increased which favours you the player, and you should bet accordingly.

It's simple but effective in putting the odds in your favour and is perfect introduction to card counting.

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