We’ve all seen it in the movies: those high-rolling Vegas gamblers who spend the whole day at the blackjack tables, steadily counting cards and winning at least enough to keep playing.
Chances are, you’ve seen the practice of card counting taking place in real life, but it’s doubtful that you would have noticed.
People who are good at counting cards can essentially run any blackjack table into the ground, and walk away with a pile of winnings without anyone knowing that there is anything illegitimate about the situation.
Blackjack card counting does not violate any laws, and therefore is not considered illegal, but it is discouraged heavily. If a casino employee finds out you’re counting cards, you will probably be asked to leave the premises.
So how does it work?
How do people cheat a game that seems to be purely luck-based? To put it simply, it’s very complicated.
There are several different forms of blackjack card counting, each with its own strategy, pros, and cons. They all share one common characteristic, however, which is the active counting of cards that are dealt.
Most systems start with a count of 0, which means when you first sit down at a table, the count will be zero.
The count will then fluctuate, either up or down, depending on the cards that are dealt.
Remember: when you’re counting cards, you have to pay attention to the cards that are dealt to the entire table, and not just to yourself. This makes it very hard to keep up, and essentially makes it impossible for anyone who’s not extremely smart and mathematically competent to count cards.
The basic principle of most card counting systems is simple: when the card count is positive, that means that more small cards have been played than large ones. This is what card counters look for.
Whenever there is a positive count that means that there are a lot of higher cards in the deck still. What this means to the player is that the dealer has a higher probability of busting, players can be dealt more blackjacks, and players will be dealt stronger starting hands.
So, whenever the card count is high, it would make sense to bet larger amounts of money. When the card count is low, it’s better to place small bets.
One thing that makes blackjack card counting extremely difficult is the fact that it just doesn’t stop. Even if you’re on a huge winning streak, you still have to pay attention to every single card that is dealt, and keep the count accurate.
If you slip up, you could end up with an inaccurate count, which will probably lead to financial loses. If you want to be good at counting cards, you need to practice a LOT, and keep your brain sharp.
Also, if you’re in a casino, watch out for security cards and anyone looking at you suspiciously. Though card counting is not technically illegal, it is against casino policy, so you could be kicked out for counting if you’re caught.