Posts Tagged ‘Counting’

Blackjack Card Counting – Getting The Odds In Your Favor To Win

April 9th, 2011

Blackjack card counting can give you an edge against the casino when playing help you win over the longer term and it’s statistically proven to help you can win

Here we will look at the basics, some misconceptions and the odds that you can get in your favor to win big at blackjack card counting.

1. Card counting is simple

Contrary to what many players believe card counting is relatively simple and it is easy for ANY player to blackjack card count and win.

2. Card counting theory

Blackjack card counting was born when the book Beat The Dealer was published and proved mathematically that you could put the odds in your favor.

Card counting allows the player to keep track of how many high cards or low cards have already been dealt, and how many are still to come.

When high cards are expected, the player has an advantage, and can increase the bet size. When predominantly low cards are expected, bets are reduced to the minimum size as low cards favor the dealer.

Thus, the player has a better chance of winning when they are dealt high cards, and the dealer benefits from getting low cards.

This is because the dealer is forced to hit on any hand under 17; high cards therefore will bust the dealer.

Being dealt high cards of course increases the players odds of getting a blackjack, which has the highest payout ratio of all the hands (3-2) high cards are also better after you have split pairs or doubled down.

3. Your choices allow you to get an edge


Keep in mind the dealer has no choices to make but you do and if you make the right choices in relation to the odds that you see from your card counting, you can gain an edge over the casino longer term

4. Card counting is a long term strategy

Blackjack card counting is effective in the long run but it is not a short term strategy. In the short term results can of course vary dramatically, this is because it is a probability theory and is not predicting it is simply allowing you to calculate the odds.

5 The edge gained when card coining

A typical blackjack card counter will play with an edge of about 1.5%, depending on the card counting system used, the skill of the player, and the casino rules the player encounters.

2% is considered the MAXIMUM edge that a player can gain against the casino, but 1.5% is probably about

the maximum for most players.

The player’s edge in multi-deck games is less than in single deck games and is less than 1%.

Playing single deck blackjack is better than multiple deck for blackjack card counting due to calculating the probability of cards coming out of the deck.

6. The best card blackjack counting system

There is no accepted best blackjack card counting system

In recent years there has been a move to highly complicated card counting strategies, but don’t be fooled into thinking as it’s more complicated it will be more successful.

There is no correlation between the complexity of a system and its expected success.

Complicated systems can also be harder to apply and therefore are more prone to errors.

A simple blackjack card counting system applied with no errors – will be far more effective than a complicated one that is applied with errors.

7. How Easy is it to learn?

Blackjack card counting can be as simple or complicated as we have seen.

A simple card counting system can be learned in an hour and no mathematical knowledge is required.

8. Success depends on your choices!

How successful you are with blackjack card counting is down to you – How you bet and how you apply your system.

Shorter term results will vary but longer term you can get an edge with any card counting method simple or complicated.

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On blackjack card counting and more tips and strategies to win in blackjack and all major casino games visit our site for articles, features and downloads at: games/blackjack.html

The Best Way to Win Blackjack – Blackjack Card Counting Practice

March 27th, 2011

If you want to know the best way to win blackjack, then read this. You will learn how to perform a blackjack card counting practice.

One best way to win is through the use of a knockout card counting system. This system has been proven to be very effective in making people win when playing blackjack in casinos. Most of the professional casino gamblers know about this strategy. That is why those who are new in game should also learn about this.

Here are some useful facts that may enhance your chances of winning. The knockout card counting system considers the 7 as a low card and thus gets a plus value unlike in the normal card counting system where the 7 is neutral.

This strategy is not balanced. If you begin the counting at zero using this strategy you will not end up at zero if you count down the entire deck. Most of the time, you will end up on a positive four because the 7 is not neutral, instead, it is a plus one. So, it adds four more points to the deck.

This system can also be confusing to the beginners. That is why before you learn this; it is wise to get accustomed first with the normal card counting strategy. In the Knock out counting system you need to be able to keep track of the count of the cards all the time without moving your lips or pausing. Learning this is the best way to win blackjack. It is even better to practice this strategy at home with a deck of cards so that you will be familiarized with it quickly. When you are practicing this strategy you need to also train yourself to be able to identify the cards that cancel each other such as the negative cancels out the positive. For example, a 4 and a Jack would be able to cancel each other.

Knowing how to count the cards is one way of knowing if the odds of the current game are favorable to you. This is because if you already know the odds, you will have the idea of what cards will come out next. For most of the professional players, doing this will enable them to make the best decision if they will surrender or if they will double down. Card counting strategies are always helpful in making decisions with regards to betting.

There are also other ways and techniques on how to win in blackjack. You can also use the blackjack matrix or strategy cards and you can utilize the different betting systems. However, it would be for your great advantage if you know a card counting strategy mixed with other strategies. This will surely increase your chances of winning huge amounts of profits by effectively beating the dealer. As per the professional gamblers, the use of the knockout card counting system is the best way to win blackjack.

If you want to learn more about the best way to win blackjack, then check out insider tips at

Blackjack and Card Counting: Different Popular Methods

March 6th, 2011

Unlike other casino games that rely solely on luck, blackjack is a game where players can make use of certain mathematical and card counting skills to gain an advantage over the dealer. The term card counting is not a process of memorizing each and every card coming out of the shoe as what an autistic savant like Rain Man would do. Counting cards in blackjack means keeping track of the ratio between high and low values of the cards left in the deck.

The principles behind this process were first discovered by Edward Thorp, considered the father of blackjack card counting, who published the book “Beat the Dealer” way back in 1962. This book is practically the main proponent for the blackjack revolution, prompting casinos to take action against this method. The process of card counting is actually not illegal since technically you’re just keeping track of the cards and not cheating in any way. However, casinos obviously frowned upon this practice and would ban players caught counting cards.

Before you can successfully apply the different popular methods for card counting in blackjack, you must first understand the basic mechanism of how the process works and how you can practically and successfully apply these methods – and achieve success in this game.

Popular Methods for Blackjack Card Counting

There are two basic systems for blackjack card counting: balanced and unbalanced. In a balanced card counting system, counting down the entire deck of cards would give you an end count of 0. The popular methods for this involved the Hi-Lo, Hi-Opt 1 and the Hi-Opt 2 systems. Unbalanced counting on the other hand is a system of counting cards where you will not end up with count of 0 after you have gone through the whole card deck.

* KO Card Counting Strategy

KO or Knock-Out card counting system will not end up with a count of 0. The strategy involves adding an extra +1 value for every 7. Since there are four 7’s in a single deck of card, you will end up with a count of +4 if you counted down the whole deck. The developers of this strategy, which is attributed to authors Olaf Vancura and Ken Fuchsln, described that it would be difficult for players to mentally convert the true count and the running count back and forth – particularly if you’re playing in an environment full of distractions such as in casinos.

You will only be using +1, -1 and 0 in this strategy so it’s really not difficult to keep count but it is very important that you keep your focus and attention on the table. You’ll need to master the value of each particular card so you can have the most accurate count as possible. You need to know the running total throughout the game and the count will not reset until a new shoe is shuffled. A high positive count will tell you that there are only smaller-valued cards left on the deck. The opposite is then through if you have a negative running count.

The following are the designated card values in this strategy:

• 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s, 6’s and 7’s = +1

• 8’s and 9’s = 0

• 10’s, J’s, Q’s, K’s and Aces = -1

Although the KO card system was designed to make it slightly easier for the player to perform card counting, you will sacrifice some percentage of your accuracy. It all boils down to how much you are willing to invest for something that is easier to use but with less chances of winning. This system however, is just right for people playing the game once-in-a-while or for recreational purposes.

* Hi-Lo Card Counting Strategy

This strategy was created by Harvey Dubner and is a simplification of Dr. Edward Thorp’s Ten-Count system. Also called the High/Low System or the Plus/Minus system, the Hi-Lo card counting strategy will make it easier for beginning or intermediate blackjack players to use in an actual blackjack table and is most often used by blackjack teams.

To learn this system, you need to master the respective values of each card in the deck. As a general rule, the small cards 2 to 6 are counted as plus 1 while the big cards 10 to A’s are counted as minus 1. The middle cards or neutral cards 7 to 9 will not change the running count. This is considered a balanced system. In summary:

• 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s, 6’s = +1

• 7’s,8’s and 9’s = 0

• 10’s, J’s, Q’s, K’s and Aces = -1

You need to take note of how the running card count is affected as each card is dealt but would need special note of how many smaller cards are already played. The less small cards remaining in the deck will increase your chances of getting higher values or even a blackjack, and the reverse otherwise, allowing you to make adjustments in your betting patterns.

* Hi-Opt 1 Card Counting Strategy

Hi-Opt or Highly Optimum card counting strategies are designed for use for more advanced blackjack players. There are two versions for this system and the first one is also referred to as the Einstein Count. It is more mathematically advanced and can provide a slightly bigger edge for the players using this system however — it is more complicated to use and will require more focus on the table.

To avoid confusion with other card counting systems, the player must master the following chart that designates the values for every card:

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A

0 +1 +1 +1 +1 0 0 0 -1 -1 -1 -1 0

Although the Aces are not generally tracked in this system, some variations to the strategy make use of external things to keep track of how many Aces have already been played such as using chips, fingers or even your feet.

* Hi-Opt 2 Card Counting Strategy

The Hi-Opt 2 card counting strategy is the more advanced high optimum card counting system and is used by more advanced blackjack players. This is more complicated to use and usually only seasoned professionals make use of this system, giving them only a small extra edge when used. The system requires an even extra effort of focus on the table and incorporates some cards valued at 2 which make it even more complicated.

The value designation for each card is shown below. From the chart alone, you can see that this is more complicated than other systems that only use 1 plus/minus 1 value:

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 J Q K A

+1 +1 +2 +2 +1 +1 0 0 -2 -2 -2 -2 0

Again, Aces are not generally tracked in the running card count but are tracked externally using marjers such as chips, fingers or even your feet. As a balanced system, your count should end up at 0 after all cards in 52-card deck is played – otherwise something went wrong with your count.

Making Card Counting Effective

The success and effectiveness of card counting does not entirely depend on how well a player can count or keep track of the cards, but more on how he can perform the same skills while in an actual blackjack casino table laden with all the noise and distractions that are typical with such places. Aside from that, the player must learn how to camouflage how they count during the actual play – and avoid getting the attention of the casino pit bosses.

Martin Zimerman is an expert Blackjack player. For more information on Blackjack training, and how to defeat the casino’s huge edge, go to

How to Beat the House Advantage – Blackjack Basic Strategy & Card Counting (How To)

January 13th, 2011

Winning at the game of blackjack is not so difficult or impossible. All it really takes is an understanding of basic blackjack strategy to know the best calculated times to stand, hit or surrender as well as an ability to keep track of the card count and knowing how to bet. Above all, good money management skills and patience are golden.

You must treat blackjack as a job and not so much as a game if you want to win money. Don’t be foolish and don’t be greedy. Many players lose all their money because they get greedy with their bets or they are in too much a hurry to win everything back. This happens especially at casinos where people become intoxicated and exhausted from hours of play and drink. Remember to bet small and be patient. Unless you have a huge bank, it’s not a wise idea to keep doubling your bets after a loss.

Before going to another casino it is imperative to know the basic strategy for blackjack. Knowing this alone will drop the house’s advantage to .44% above the player’s. The basic strategy for blackjack tells you the best choice for hitting, standing, doubling and surrendering against whatever cards the house has.

Just playing with the basic strategy will make the game much more fair for you. However to actually win money and know when to set down big bets you need to learn to count cards. Card counting in blackjack has the potential of increasing the player’s advantage well above that of the dealer. Player’s benefit from high cards and dealer’s benefit from low cards because they have to worry about busting. So knowing the probability of getting a low or high card is very important.

In counting cards simply remember that you start at zero and are always counting by one. Cards 2-6 have the value +1 and cards 10-Ace have the value -1. Cards 7-9 are neutral and have the value zero. As the hands are dealt, you start counting. You want to make higher bets when the count is very high (meaning a lot of low cards have been dealt, making the likelihood of dealing high cards on the next round increases).

You can find a copy of the basic blackjack strategy chart at []. I suggest printing it out to keep with you when gambling online or at the casino.

Dispelling Blackjack and Card Counting Misconceptions

December 7th, 2010

It seems like every day I hear or read a new misconception or an old myth relating to blackjack and card counting. Since I have been a card counter for over 30 years I feel that it’s my duty to dispel some of these myths and misconceptions.

Myth: The object of Blackjack is to get as close to 21 as you can without going over 21.

Truth: That’s totally wrong. The object is to Beat the Dealer, nothing more.

Myth: Card counters, if caught, are taken into the backroom and are mentally and physically abused.

Truth: That may have been true in the old days when the mob ran most of the casinos, but it just doesn’t happen today. In fact, with a good lawyer you could probably retire from counting if it happens to you.

Myth: Card counters must remember every card in the deck.

Truth: Not even close. Counting cards is basically the act of adding and subtracting cards as they are seen. Cards are given a value of +1 or -1 in order to get a running count total. This total is used to determine how much the next bet will be. In some cases it will determine how you will play the hand. This part is called a basic strategy deviation.

Myth: Card counting is illegal and if caught the card counter can go to jail.

Truth: Nowhere in the world, that I am aware, is card counting illegal. Nowhere! However, casinos WILL take steps to stop you from counting. Two countermeasures they use are to shuffle the cards when a suspected card counter makes a big bet. The other is to bar counters from the casino.

Myth: Card counting doesn’t work. It’s a myth.

Truth: It works. The players advantage can be a double digit percentage in some cases and a double digit disadvantage in some cases. All card counting does is point out the times when the player has either an advantage or a disadvantage. The player then raises or lowers his bet accordingly.

Myth: You have to be an MIT grad to be able to count cards.

Truth: There are some very good card counters that didn’t even graduate high school.

Myth: Even if you are a great card counter you won’t get away with it for very long. The casinos will bar you in a very short time.

Truth: I, for one, have never been barred and I’ve been counting cards for 31 years and I’m not an isolated case. This is true because I decided early in my career that longevity was better than making fast money, getting barred and then getting a (shudder) job.

Myth: Basic strategy doesn’t help you win. There’s too much luck involved.

Truth: Basic strategy players cut the casinos advantage from an average of 2.5% down to 0.5%. This is proven by math and is always true. The luck evens out in the long run and the math prevails.

Myth: Bad players will always adversely affect the outcome of hands.

Truth: It has been proven time and again that bad players making bad plays will have no long term effect on other players hands. They will help, hurt or be a no factor. In the long run they will neither help or hurt as their play will have mixed effects and even out over the long run. What is true is that players losing because of a bad play will remember, while players winning because of a bad play will dismiss the bad play and believe that they were supposed to win, therefore they did.

Myth: The harder counting strategies are the best.

Truth: The opposite is usually true. The easier the counting system is to learn the better, unless you are an MIT grad. The easier the count, the fewer mistakes you will make. Mistakes cost you money, so keep it simple.

If you are interested in learning basic strategy and card counting, is a great place to learn. The lessons are free and they’re easy to learn. There are basic strategy charts and links to other sites with great information.

Ed Irion has been a professional Blackjack player for 31 years. He has made millions of dollars playing Blackjack in casinos all over the world. He still plies his trade in the casino today using many aliases. This article is part of a series of articles to help you learn and better understand Blackjack.