Wednesday, Oct 1st

Card Counting System in Blackjack

 

Card counting system is a strategy used in card games in order to determine when a player would have a probable advantage. The term card counting is used mostly to refer to track the ratio of the low cards to high cards in the game of blackjack and in its derivatives like Spanish 21. However, it is sometimes also used in certain trick games like spades or contract bridge.

Card counting system is highly popular in the field of blackjack and has been used since decades. Today many variants of a basic card counting system exist: Hi-Lo card counting, Wonging, Omega II etc.

The Basics

In card counting the basic principle is that the high cards, particularly the tens and aces are better for a player and he low cards like the 5s and 6s are better for a dealer. Since there is a high concentration of tens and aces, there is a better chance for blackjacks in the game. The tens also give a better chance for doubling in blackjack.

Also, since there is a high number of tens, the insurance bet also becomes more profitable since it is essentially a bet that the card of the dealer is a 10 which would result in a blackjack. The low cards are also good for dealers since the dealer would have to hit all stiff hands unlike the player who can stand or hit according to their cards. This increases the chances of dealer busing.

The Strategy

It is a popular myth that card counters would need to have great mental abilities in order to be able to count cards which is not true. Card counters do not really have to memorize or track specific cards. Instead they just have to assign point scores to every card that they see and would estimate the value of the card. The counters only have to keep a running count. There have been a few movies where card counters were shown to keep track of every single card, like in Rain Man which is not true in real life.

Legal Status

Some casinos propagate the myth that card counting in not legal in the US. However, card counting is absolutely legal if it is done without the help of an outside device. In the United States gaming laws or in the rules of the game there are absolutely no provisions which prohibit card counting. Card counting is only an advantage strategy and is not cheating by any means.

However, casinos do believe that they would be able to avoid losing any money if they prevent the card counters from playing at their tables. In Las Vegas, however, casinos are allowed to ban players since there the casinos are private property and the owners are allowed to decide who would be allowed to enter their premises.

Ken Uston, who had been a very famous card counter had taken the casinos in Atlantic City to court where he had won the case when the court rules that the casinos cannot ban skilled players from entering their premises. Card counting is in fact legal in casinos.

Card counting online

There are rumors that card counting can be applied even when playing online. Still, those are just rumors and haven't received any solid confirmation. It's simply technically impossible and even the best online casino won't offer you such opportunity.

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