Card counting techniques have been used to beat the house for as long as blackjack has been around. Card counting is the process whereby players keep track of the cards dealt throughout a game so they know exactly what the remainder of the deck has to offer and they can bet and play accordingly.
When counting cards, a player will begin playing blackjack with relatively low betting amounts so that they can begin figuring out what the rest of the deck has to offer. Once the deck has become a bit more favorable, the player can begin to bet more aggressively because the chance of beating the dealer has now increased, tilting the odds in the player’s favor.
Card counting will tell the player whether there are more high value cards left in the remaining deck or more low value cards. While the prospect may sound a bit intimidating, players do not actually have to remember every single card dealt.
The is a very famous story about a group of MIT students and their lecturer that mastered card counting and won millions of dollars playing blackjack at casinos using this method. Their story was even turned into a movie, 21.
Choosing A Card Counting System
There are quite a few different card counting systems that can be used when keeping a running count while playing blackjack. Every card dealt will affect the running count and this count will tell the player how favorable the remaining cards in the deck are. Beginners are generally advised to start with the most simple and straight forward card counting system before moving on to more complicated systems.
There are four basic systems to choose from, i.e. the High Low system, the Knock Out system, the Hi Opt I system and the Hi Opt II system.
Running Count Becomes True Count
The running count can be converted to the true count by dividing it by the number of decks left in the shoe. If the true count is high then the deck is in your favor and you stand a very good chance of beating the dealer.