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## How to Count Cards in Blackjack Strategy of counting cards in blackjack

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## Card Counting - the ultimate guide | Count Cards in Blackjack Strategy of counting cards in blackjack

## How to Count Cards in Blackjack Strategy of counting cards in blackjack

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## Strategy of counting cards in blackjack

Do you remember this?Cruise is winning and winning big.

The scene shifts to the casino surveillance room famous eye-in-the-sky where two casino employees are trying to figure out how Cruise is winning all that money playing blackjack.

But something is not right â you know there is no one in the world that can count into a 6-deck shoe.

The quick and dirty answers to both questions are, No and No.

What follows are in my opinion the most popular myths and the corresponding truths.

MYTH: CARD COUNTING IS ILLEGAL.

Using your brain when you play blackjack is not illegal; neither is card counting.

MYTH: YOU MUST HAVE A PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORY TO BE A CARD COUNTER.

The general public believes that a card counter memorizes every card in the deck just like Rain Man did in the movie.

Card counting, in fact, requires nothing more than simple addition and subtraction in some counting systems, a little division, too.

If you have average intelligence meaning you can read, write, and can mentally add and subtractyou can learn card counting.

MYTH: CARD COUNTERS WIN ALL THE TIME.

So did the MIT students.

Remember that card counting is nothing more than mentally adding plus values and minus values, and you can do that with six and eight decks as easily as you can with a single deck of cards.

MYTH: YOU NEED A TREMENDOUS BANKROLL TO BE A CARD COUNTER.

If your bankroll is meager, you just need to play at a lower minimum bet size.

MYTH: IT TAKES A LIFETIME TO.

However, the newer systems that have been developed focus more on simplicity and ease of use, and although they may not have the same profit potential as a more complex counting system, they take only hours to learn by average players.

MYTH: THE CASINOS WILL KICK YOU OUT OR WORSE BEAT YOU UP IF THEY CATCH YOU CARD COUNTING.

That has happened in the past but nowadays smart lawyers have defended abused card counters and won several high-profile cases against casinos.

Casinos nowadays have become much more careful of how they treat suspected card counters.

Why bother with card counting?

Because if you want to win at blackjack, card counting is a proven technique that works.

EFFECT OF CARD REMOVAL Picture a fishbowl containing 100 black marbles and 100 white marbles.

You can bet as much as you want on which colored marble you will randomly select from the bowl.

You begin by betting one dollar on a white marble.

You close your eyes, stick your hand into the bowl, and randomly pull out a marble.

What are the odds it will be white?

Obviously, the odds are 50-50 since there are equal numbers of white and black marbles in the bowl.

Suppose you picked a white marble on your first try.

Congratulations, because you just won a buck.

You bet another dollar on white.

What are your chances of picking another white marble the second time?

If you said 50-50 you are wrong.

Remember, we removed one white marble on the first pick.

The odds more info picking a white marble on the second try are no longer 50-50.

In fact, you would have had a half percent advantage if you bet on a black marble on your second pick because there were 100 black and 99 white marbles in the bowl.

But if you were a smart player in this game, you would have bet on a black marble for your second pick.

There may be a point when there will be a large imbalance of black vs.

The above game is an example of a dependent-trial process because the odds change depending on what marbles were selected in previous picks.

CARD REMOVAL IN BLACKJACK Suppose you sit down at a with two other players and during the first round after the shuffle, you notice that four aces were played.

What are your chances of getting a blackjack on the second round?

How much would you bet on the second round?

Because all four aces in the deck have been removed in the first round, your chance of getting a blackjack in the second round is 0; therefore, if you were a smart, observant player, you would bet the minimum in round two.

On the other hand, if no aces appeared in round one, it would have been wise to bet more money in round two because you had a greater chance of getting a blackjack and a bonus payout.

The point is this: ; the odds change depending on what cards were played and removed in previous rounds.

The effect of removing aces is fairly obvious but what about the other cards?

Do they have the same importance when taken out of play?

Mathematicians have studied this by simulating millions of hands of blackjack on a computer.

They can then compare the house edge with one 2 removed with the benchmark game to determine what the effect is when a 2 is removed.

It shows the approximate gain or loss i.

What would happen if we removed, say, an ace and a 5?

In other words, the removals of an ace and a 5 nearly cancel each other, leaving us almost right back where we started.

If you glance again at the table, you can see that the small cards all have a positive effect when they are removed from play and the 10s and aces have a negative effect.

Also the removal of a 5 has a much greater effect than the removal of an 8.

Any card counting system has to somehow accurately reflect the different strengths of the cards.

So how did the mathematicians do this when they were developing their card counting systems?

If you consider the rules and the playing strategies used by players i.

When the remaining undealt cards are richer in large cards, you are more likely to be dealt a blackjack, and this favors here player.

WHEN YOU DOUBLE DOWN, YOU ARE USUALLY HOPING TO GET A LARGE CARD.

When wewe are hoping to draw a large card to give us a strong pat hand.

Furthermore, most doubles occur when the dealer has a weak upcard.

Therefore, you are more likely to make a pat hand and the dealer is more likely to bust with a weak upcard when the unplayed cards are richer in large cards.

AN ABUNDANCE OF LARGE CARDS FAVORS PAIR SPLITTING.

This is especially the case when splitting aces, and 7s, 8s, and 9s.

INSURANCE CAN BECOME A PROFITABLE BET FOR THE PLAYER.

However, when you have knowledge of the composition of the unplayed cards, the insurance bet can become profitable.

Specifically, when the unplayed cards are sufficiently rich in 10s, the likelihood that the dealer will have a 10 in the hole increases, making insurance a profitable bet for the player.

HOUSE RULES DICTATE THAT THE DEALERS MUST HIT 16 OR LESS AND STAND ON 17 THROUGH 21.

Obviously, when the deck is richer in large cards, the dealer has a higher probability of busting when drawing to a stiff 12 through 16.

Moreover, when the dealer has a stiff hand and the deck is rich in small cards, the dealer is more likely to achieve a pat hand.

This is one reason why a deck rich in small cards favors the dealer.

For the above reasons, it should be clear to you why small cards favor the dealer more than the player and large cards favor the player much blackjack vs switch than the dealer.

After the dealer shuffles the cards, there are an equal number of small and large cards in the deck s.

During the play of a shoe, the composition of the unplayed cards changes.

By tracking the depletion of small and large cards, card counters know when the relative composition of the unplayed cards is richer in large or small cards.

When the deck becomes richer in large cards, the click at this page counter has the edge and he bets more.

Mathematicians developed card counting systems as a tool that players can use to determine when they have the edge and should bet more.

The first systems that were developed assigned a value, or tag, to each card.

For example, suppose player 1 has a two-card hand consisting of a 6 and a 4 and then draws a 10 for a 20.

A card counter would add the tags for each of the cards to arrive at the sum of +1 again, this is known as the running count.

Note that because the tag for a 10 is â1, you must subtract 1 from your running count.

Remember your rules for adding positive and negative numbers.

A card counter will continue to mentally add the tags of the small and large cards as the cards are exposed.

The player carries over the running count from one round to the next.

At the end of each round, the counter will have either a here running count, a negative running count, or possibly 0.

Suppose the running count is positive after the first round of play.

What does this tell the card counter?

In order for the running count to be a positive number, there must have been more small cards played in the previous round than large cards remember the small cards have a tag of +1 and the big cards have a â1 tag.

Card counters indirectly have knowledge of the ratio of large cards to small cards on the next deal by keeping track of all the cards that were played in the previous rounds.

I hope you are pleasantly surprised to see how card counters track cards.

How do they accomplish this?

This is what creates the basic edge that card counters have over the casino when the count is positive, and this is how card counters can beat the game of blackjack.

DIFFERENT CARD COUNTING SYSTEMS There are dozens of different card counting systems that have been developed and published, with different levels of complexity, meaning the highest value assigned to a ranked card.

However, from our discussion of thethe effect of removal EOR of, say, each small card 2 through 6 is not the same.

The 5, for example, has a greater EOR than, say, a 2.

Therefore, some card counting systems that aim for more accuracy try to incorporate this fact by assigning a tag of +2 to the ranked cards that have a greater EOR e.

Obviously, as the levels of the counting systems increase, the complexity of learning the system and playing it without mistakes also increases.

For readers of this guide, I would recommend you begin your card-counting journey with a Level 1 system.

Although later on, I will describe a few simpler systems that are not as powerful as level 1 systems but take much less time to master.

To give you a flavor of the different types of card counting systems that are available to players, see the table below.

This is for information only.

LEARNING THE HI-LO CARD COUNTING SYSTEMS This sub-chapter, and the following three sub-chapters, will teach you the complete Hi-Lo card counting system.

However, if you practice the drills outlined in these sub-chapters, you will find that the Hi-Lo card-counting system is not as difficult as it first appears to be.

HISTORY OF HI-LO In 1963, computer mathematician Harvey Dubner gave a talk at a Computer Conference in Las Vegas in which he explained the Hi-Lo point count system that he devised.

His counting system was much simpler and more practical than Dr.

Several other mathematicians have studied and optimized the Hi-Lo over the years, most notably, Stanford Wong in his classic book Professional Blackjack.

Hi-Lo has been the gold standard of card counting systems for many years.

It works well, is relatively easy to learn, and it will give you the edge when you play blackjack.

CARD TAGS FOR HI-LO As blackjack online big win in sub-chapter 10.

The neutral 7, 8, and 9 ranked cards are assigned a tag of 0 i.

LEARNING THE TAGS OF EACH CARD The first thing you have to master is to be able to quickly recognize the tags for each card in a deck.

Focus only on what visit web page tag of the card is and not on its rank.

Keep doing this drill until you can accurately recall from memory the tag of each card.

Now take the deck of the cards and repeat the above drill, only this time, add or sum the tags of the cards.

For example, the table below shows a random sample of six cards, what the tag is for each card, and the arithmetic cumulative sum of the tags i.

The sum is +1.

The sum is still +2.

The sum is now +3.

By the way, if you did the drill accurately, what should the final sum be?

You need to keep practicing your card counting with a deck of cards until you can consistently obtain a final count of 0.

At this point in your learning curve this may seem like an impossibility, but trust me, after a little practice, you will be surprised at how quickly you will be able to count down a deck of cards.

The reason you need to practice speed as well as accuracy is because in a casino the cards are sometimes dealt rapidly by the dealer and you need to be able to keep the count accurately under these conditions.

By canceling a low card with a high card, card counting becomes a lot easier.

The following table shows an example of this drill.

Notice that the first two cards 2-5 each had a +1 tag, so the sum or running count is +2.

Let me pause for a moment and ask you this question.

But if I ask you how much is â3 plus +5 would you be able to give me the answer just as quickly?

We deal with positive numbers all our lives but rarely do we deal with negative numbers; therefore, adding and subtracting negative numbers is often a challenge for players.

Perhaps the following diagram will help.

In other words, adding a negative number to a negative number gives a larger negative number see above diagram.

Try determining the running count for the following four hands using the above diagram as a guide.

elements casino blackjack drills may seem hard at first but with a little practice you will be able to handle adding and subtracting positive and negative numbers accurately.

With this tool, you can practice your card counting including cancellation at different speeds with either a single deck or six decks of cards.

The Trainer has instructions written by me that explain how to use the software.

This is a valuable tool that will help you master keeping the running count quickly and accurately.

Try the six-deck mode so you get some practice counting six decks of cards.

Once your card counting accuracy is at 100%, increase the speed setting and repeat the drill.

You can incrementally increase the speed setting and practice your counting at progressively faster speeds.

PRACTICING WITH NOISE Casinos are often noisy with plenty of distractions.

Once you feel comfortable keeping the running count with a deck of cards or with the Interactive Trainertry practicing card counting at home with the radio or TV on.

Remember your goal is to be able to consistently count down a deck of cards accurately in casino blackjack bet365 live than 30 seconds.

Next up: How to bet using the running count.

Next up: How to bet using the running count.

The 7, 8, and 9 is assigned a tag of 0.

HOW TO USE THE RUNNING COUNT TO BET IN SINGLE AND DOUBLE-DECK GAMES Now we get to the meat-and-potatoes of card counting; namely, sizing your bets based on the running count.

Ditto if the payoff is 7-6 or even money.

The house edge against a basic strategy player zooms to over 1% in a 6-5 single-deck game, making it nearly impossible to beat even with card counting.

And unfortunately, many casinos have implemented single-deck games with the 6-5 blackjack payoffs.

Bottom line: Avoid any 6-5 single-deck game even if you are a card counter.

But not all is doom-and-gloom because there are still single-deck games that pay 3-2 for a blackjack just not as many of them.

However, the issue with these games has to do with how the casino reshuffles the cards in single-deck games.

If there are five players, the dealer will only deal only one round and then reshuffle the cards.

Just think: you carefully count every card in the first round and have a juicy +6 count going in to the next round.

You are all set to push out a max bet because you have a big edge when the dealer abruptly starts strategy of counting cards in blackjack the cards.

Some casinos use a Rule of 7 better while others use a Rule of 5 worse.

The only way to know when the dealer will shuffle the cards between rounds is to simply watch a game and see how often the cards are shuffled.

The more positive the RC, the greater your edge and the more you will be betting.

They usually increase their bets after then win a hand.

The point is that the above betting scheme is not carved in stone.

The same caution applies here as to the single-deck game: making big jumps in your bet size from one round to the next might attract attention from casino personnel.

When playing in a multi-deck game six- and eight-deckswe have to add another tool to our arsenal, namely converting the running count to a true count.

If you answered no, you are correct.

A +6 running count in a single-deck game after the first round is a significant advantage for a player, justifying a larger bet size on the next hand.

However, a +6 running count after the first round in a six-deck game is not nearly as significant because there are more than 5.

In order to get a more accurate estimate of your advantage in multiple-deck games, we need to normalize i.

Suppose you made a gallon of sweet tea and the recipe called for three scoops of sugar.

Next day you decide to make four gallons of iced tea in a bigger container.

How much sugar would you add?

Suppose instead you added only four scoops of sugar to the four gallons of ice tea.

The amount of scoops of sugar you added per gallon of tea was only one scoop, instead of three, which means the four gallons of iced tea would be significantly less sweet than the original gallon of sweet tea.

In order to accurately determine your advantage in a multi-deck game, you need to convert or normalize the running count to a true count per deck.

You are probably wondering how you will be able to determine the number of unplayed decks of cards.

Fortunately, the casinos have provided us with a device to do this.

The dealing shoe is to her left; the discard tray to her right.

The discard tray is where the dealer places the discards from each round in a neat stack that can be seen by everyone.

By glancing at the stack of cards in the discard tray you can estimate the number of unplayed decks of cards by a simple subtraction.

You glance at the discard tray and estimate four decks of stacked cards.

By subtracting the number of decks in the discard tray 4 from the number of decks being used 6you arrive at two unplayed decks these decks are currently located in the dealing shoe.

You would then mentally divide +8 by 2 to arrive at a true count of +4.

The calculation of the true count for negative running counts works the same way.

Assume a six-deck game.

PRACTICING CONVERTING RC TO TC The key to determine the true count is to estimate accurately the number of decks in the discard tray.

This is how I recommend that you practice doing this.

Label each stack with a sticky note.

Randomly place the stacks one at a time on a table, and practice estimating the number of decks in the stack by eyeballing the height of the stack.

You need to keep practicing this drill until you can accurately determine the number of decks in a stack of cards.

Drill 2 I will share with you another very good drill that blackjack pro Kevin Blackwood described in his book, Play Blackjack Like the Pros.

After you number them, keep then in order.

Now guess roughly how many decks of cards remain in the discard tray.

For example, suppose you estimated three decks blackjack free msn the discard tray and the number on the top card was 200.

You were way off in your estimate because three decks of cards is 156 cards.

You need to practice this drill until you can accurately estimate the number of decks.

This is important because you are going to be betting real money based on the estimated number of decks in that tray and you want to get it right.

Drill 3 Assume a six-deck game.

The second column lists what the running count is for each hand.

The number of decks of cards in the discard tray is listed in the third column.

Do the mental calculation to determine the number of unplayed decks in the dealing shoe and what the true count is for each hand.

Once you estimate what the true count is, you will be using it to determine how much to bet and whether to deviate from the basic playing strategy covered in 10.

Otherwise, you maintain the running count from one round to the next until the shuffle.

At the start of the next shoe, begin your running count at 0 again and repeat the process.

For example, if your true count is 2.

Therefore, in a six-deck game with a house edge of 0.

As a card counter, you will be sizing your bets based on the true count.

The more positive the true count, the greater your edge and the more you should bet.

SIX- AND EIGHT-DECK BETTING SCHEME As a card counter, you will be sizing your bets based on the true count.

The more positive the true count, the greater your edge and the more you should bet.

The above is an ideal bet spread, meaning you bet exactly according to the true count on every hand.

The issue with this approach, as I mentioned in sub-Chapter 10.

For now, keep this point in mind and in Chapter 10.

Card counting is legal as long as you are using your mind, and not an electronic device, to keep the count.

The way I remember how much I need to bet on every hand is as follows: The above is a suggestion; use whatever technique works for you so that you remember how much to bet at each true count.

Besides using the true count to vary our bets in multi-deck games, we can also use it to vary please click for source playing strategy.

HOW TO USE THE TRUE COUNT TO VARY YOUR PLAYING STRATEGY IN MULTI-DECK GAMES In the previous sub-chapter, you learned how to very your bets in multi-deck games using the true count.

The reason is that the more positive the count, the more inclined you will be to stand, double, split, take insurance, or surrender.

The following table contains what is known as the Illustrious 18 for multi-deck games.

It summarizes the most important hands for deviating from basic strategy the ones that give you the most bang for your buck.

The first column lists the play, the second column lists the index number, and the third column lists the action you should take on each hand.

Note: The table contains the indices for multi-deck games with s17.

Where two indices are shown, the second is for h17 game.

If you want the indices for single- and double-deck games, see Table 10.

MULTI-DECK INDICES For example, suppose you have a 10-6, the dealer has a 9 upcard, and the true count is +6.

The index in the above table for 16 vs 9 is +5.

Therefore, instead of following the basic strategy decision to hit, you should instead stand.

This makes sense, because with a high positive true count, you are more likely to break if you hit in a ten-rich deck.

You surrender when the true count is equal to or exceeds the index number.

For example, write 16 vs 10 on one side and stand at 0 or higher on the other side.

Then as you run through your flash cards, recite what the index number is and the strategy link />For example, 16 vs 10, 0 or higher stand.

Drill 2 The following table lists 15 plays and the corresponding true count multi-deck game with s17.

Assume surrender is offered.

Jot down how you would play each hand.

ADVANCED BASIC STRATEGY CARDS My good friend and fellow blackjack expert Kenneth Smith has developed a unique set of basic strategy cards that have the Hi-Lo index numbers from +5 to â5 printed on the cards.

YOUR EDGE By following the above betting and playing strategies for single- double- and multi-decks games, your edge as a card counter will be about 0.

UNBALANCED CARD COUNTING SYSTEMS In Chapter 10.

There is a new-breed of counting systems that use only the running count for betting and playing decisions.

This makes card counting much easier for many players.

As I described in 10.

Before I explain how this can be, let me first delve into some history.

Other blackjack authors then began to refine his system.

It was in 1983 that blackjack expert and author Arnold Snyder published the first unbalanced point count card counting system called the Red Seven Count.

Snyder published the Red Seven Count in his book Blackbelt in Blackjack.

However, with the advent of high speed computers years later, the unbalanced Red Seven has proven to be quite a powerful counting system without the necessity of converting a running count to a true count.

This unbalanced system assigns a tag of +1 to the 4, 5, 6, and the black i.

All other cards, including the red deuce, have a tag of 0.

What creates the unbalance in this system is the assignment of the tag 13 blackjack +1 to the black deuce, meaning if you add up the tags in a deck of cards you will arrive at a final running count of +2 not 0 like Hi-Lo.

The starting running count in the KISS Count for a six-deck game is +10 more about starting counts shortly.

You simply add +1 to your starting count of +10 for every 4, 5, 6, and black deuce that is played and subtract â1for every face card that is played.

After one-deck of cards is played, the expected average running count should be +12 i.

Suppose instead your running count was +22.

You would have seen 10 more +1 cards to arrive at +22, meaning there are still 10 face card left in the unplayed five decks, or two extra face cards per card i.

Suppose you keep playing and after two decks have been played your running count is still 22.

This means the unplayed four decks of cards contain an extra 8 face cards or two extra face cards per deck.

If the running count stays at 22 after the play-out of the third, fourth, and the fifth deck, the number of extra face cards per deck in the unplayed decks is summarized in the table below.

Remember the rule: for every increase in the true count by one, you edge goes up by half a percent.

In other words, the pivot is the only point where the ratio of low to high busted blackjack is exactly known, regardless of where you are in the decks.

You are probably wondering what happens when the running count drifts above or below the pivot point.

However, the error is not very large, and over all, unbalanced counting systems give nearly the same performance as a similar balanced counting system.

DIFFERENT UNBALANCED SYSTEMS There are several different unbalanced card here systems.

Some are Level 1; others are the more complex Level 2 and 3.

Besides the Kiss Count discussed above, the following table summarizes some of the more popular unbalanced card counting systems.

HOW TO USE UNBALANCED CARD COUNTING SYSTEMS With an unbalanced card counting system, you base your betting and playing strategy solely on the running count.

When the running count rises to a specific value of the running count where you have the edgeyou begin to increase your bets.

Below that value, you bet the minimum.

However, I received permission from Huntington Press, publishers of the book Knock-Out Blackjack by Olaf Vancura, Ph.

DOUBLE-DECK GAME In a strategy of counting cards in blackjack game, you start your count after the shuffle at â4.

When the running count rises to +1, you begin to increase your bets according to the following schedule.

SIX-DECK GAME In a six-deck game, you start your count after the shuffle at â20.

You begin to increase your bets when the running count rises to â4.

Note: With unbalanced card counting systems, you can customize the starting count to a positive number to avoid the use of negative numbers.

For example, in the above two-deck example, you could begin your running count after the shuffle at +13 and begin increasing your bets when the running count rises to +18 or more.

Besides varying your bets based on the running count, you can also use the running count to vary your playing strategy.

For example, a basic strategy player should never take insurance.

But by using the K-O count, the insurance bet becomes profitable when the running count is +3 or greater.

For details on all the preferred strategy plays, consult the book Knock-Out Blackjack.

Note: The third edition of Knock-Out Blackjack also contains.

Don: Anthony is sending me a paragraph about the new basic strategy that was developed with K-O that eliminates indices for playing strategy.

This new material will appear in the third edition of the book, which Anthony is publishing.

Suffice it to say that unbalanced card counting systems work nearly as well, and for recreational players that find the true count calculation too taxing, they ought to consider using an unbalanced counting system.

I would be thrilled if every blackjack player would learn Hi-Lo or one of the unbalanced counting systems that I reviewed in Chapter 10.

If you fall into this group, or you are a basic strategy player using a progressive betting system, 6 deck strategy blackjack me show in dollars and cents what a simple entry-level card counting system will gain you.

If you assume a player that learns a simple entry-level card-counting system has a modest 0.

Need I say any more as to why I encourage you to keep reading this chapter and setting a personal goal to at least learn one of the card counting systems I am about to explain.

SPEED COUNT Speed Count was developed by Dan Pronovost in 2002.

The latter varies very little with the rules and number of decks.

What Dan focused on is that in the 2.

You start your Speed Count at 30 after the shuffle double-deck game or 27 six-deck game.

You wait until a player completes his hand and then you add one to your Speed Count for every low card i.

At the end of the round, you then subtract the number of hands that were played in the round from your Speed Count.

When your Speed Count rises to 31 or higher after each round, the advantage has shifted in your favor and you bet more.

Our starting Speed Count after the shuffle is 30.

Here are the cards dealt to each player and the dealer.

Player 1 was dealt a 2 and 8, he doubled down and drew a 7.

The Speed Count increases by one due to the presence of strategy of counting cards in blackjack 2 in the hand.

Player 2 was dealt a soft 15; he correctly doubled down and drew a 5.

This player has two low cards in his hand 4 and 5 so the Speed Count increases from 31 to 33.

On one split he drew a 4 and 10 and on the other a 10.

You now have a slight edge and you would bet more in the next round.

The Speed Count system also includes the Optimum Basic Strategy OBS.

This is a modified basic playing strategy that has been fine-tuned specifically to the betting with Speed Count that eliminates strategy indices.

Not only does OBS boost your edge slightly over the traditional basic strategy, it also gives the player built-in camouflage to disguise the fact that he is, in fact, an advantage player.

The Speed Count system includes conservative and aggressive betting spreads much the same as balanced and unbalanced counting systems sometimes do.

The greater the spread, the greater the edge but the more risk to your bankroll.

Depending on the rules, you can easily obtain a 0.

For more details on Speed Count, consult the Golden Touch Blackjack Revolution e-book www.

K-O ROOKIE This unbalanced card counting system is a simplified version of the K-O system that I described check this out sub-chapter 10.

If you feel you can get away with a 1-5 bet spread, you can obtain a 0.

If you use only a conservative 1-2 bet spread, your edge decreases to 0.

The system also has starting and key counts for single- six- and eight-deck games.

For more details on the K-O Rookie, consult the book Knock-Out Blackjack by Olaf Vancura, Ph.

KISS COUNT 1 I described this unbalanced counting system in sub-section 10.

Summing up all the tags in a deck of cards gives a running count of +2.

The system varies the starting count depending on the number of decks of cards e.

The following betting spread is recommended: 1â6 units for double-deck, and 1â10 for six decks.

The KISS Count also has rules i.

You can achieve about a 0.

For more details on the KISS Count 1, consult the book Blackjack Bluebook II by Fred Renzey.

The system, as described in the book Blackjack Bluebook II, is used for six-deck games.

Specifically, it tells you after two decks have been played whether the unplayed four decks are richer in tens and aces, in which case you increase you bets.

Here is how it works.

After the shuffle you simply add all the tens including picture cardsand aces that you see during the play of the first two decks.

Once there are two decks in the discard tray, you stop adding the tens and aces.

There are sixteen 10s and four aces in a deck of cards; therefore, in two decks you should see, on average, a total of forty aces and tens.

According to Renzey, about 20% of the time significantly fewer than forty aces and tens will appear in the first two decks leaving a surplus of these valuable cards in the unplayed decks.

During the play of the first two decks, you bet 1 unit.

There are also several recommended playing strategy changes at FC 36 and 35 as well taking insurance at 32 FC.

It has since been optimized by Michael Shackleford who published his version on wizardofods.

The 5 is given a tag of +1 and the ace â1.

This assumes that on average all the other cards in a deck will be evenly distributed.

These systems take about as much time to learn as it takes to master the basic playing strategy.

In addition, to achieve the same edge as an unbalanced or balanced counting system, you will need more bankroll to achieve the same expected return.

HOW TO ENHANCE YOUR EDGE In the previous sub-chapters I explained how you can get the edge by card counting using a balanced, unbalanced, or entry-level card counting system.

What follows are some methods that you can use to enhance your edge.

PENETRATION Blackjack dealers never deal all the cards.

Most of the time they will deal out anywhere from 50% to 80% of the cards, then shuffle.

The click the following article of cards dealt is known as penetration.

All else equal, the deeper the penetration meaning, the greater percentage of cards put into playthe greater the advantage to a card counter.

In fact, penetration is one of the most important factors that card counters will consider when deciding whether or not to play a game.

Look at it this way.

At the start of a shoe, we know the count is 0 and the card counter is facing a slight disadvantage.

After one round, it is rare that the count will stray very much from 0.

However, as the dealer keeps dealing into the shoe, the variability of the count will gradually increase, getting wider and wider as the penetration increases, presenting an opportunity for the card counter to increase his bets when he has a healthy edge over the house or take a break if the count becomes very negative, meaning the counter is at a great disadvantage.

The simulation was done using the Hi-Lo counting system with the Illustrious 18 see Chapter 10.

The first column lists the three penetrations: 4 decks, 4.

By increasing the penetration to 4.

With the penetration at 5 decks i.

Note: This is why casinos never deal all the cards in blackjack; if they did, card counters would have a field day.

The percent penetration occurs when the dealer places the cut card in the pack after the shuffling and player-cut is competed.

Usually, casinos give dealers instructions on where to place the cut card; however, sometimes dealers have some leeway as to where they place it.

For example, in a six-deck game dealt from a dealing shoethe dealer read more the shuffled cards next to the shoe and then slides the cut card through the notch and into the stacked of cards, before placing them into the shoe.

The notch on every shoe has been calibrated so that the penetration will be virtually the same on all tables.

In a double-deck game, after shuffling and allowing a player to cut the cards, the dealer places the shuffled cards into the discard tray.

The dealer then slides the cut-card through the notch in the discard tray into the stack of shuffled cards before dealing the first hand.

This is not always a bad thing because in some casinos, the notch is calibrated at 1.

However, you need to check and confirm this via.

What follows is a guide to help you determine what penetration you should be looking for to enhance your edge.

A 60% penetration means 1.

Anything less is not worth your time.

SINGLE-DECK As a reminder, never play any single-deck game where the payoff for a blackjack is only 6-5 or worse even money.

If there are five players, the dealer will deal only one round then shuffle.

Obviously, any game where the dealer shuffles after one round is a worthless game for a card counter.

Even a two-round-and-shuffle game is marginal at best.

Therefore, as a general rule, for single-deck games, you should play when there are no more than two other players resulting in three rounds to make it worth your while.

Note: There are instances where a casino will use a Rule of 7.

The best thing to do is to observe a few rounds to check when the dealer shuffles as a function of how many players are on the table.

PLAYING RULES You should seek out games with as many player-favorable rules as possible to increase your edge.

A double-deck game, for example, with s17 and das is worth more to a card counter than one with h17 and das but with this caveat: given a choice between a game with more favorable playing rules and one that has better penetration, most of the time the deeper-penetration game is more beneficial for the counter.

For example, a double-deck with h17 and das with a 1.

NUMBER OF DECKS As a general rule, card counters will have a greater edge with the fewest decks but that assumes all else is equal which it seldom is.

Besides the fact that the inherent edge in a double-deck game is less than it is for a six-deck game, the frequency of positive counts is always greater in the former vs the latter meaning, card counters will have more opportunities to raise their bets in a double-deck games vs six- and eight-deck game.

For this reason, I play mostly double-deck games vs.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS When the count goes positive and the counter has the edge, ideally he would like to play heads-up against the dealer so that he has the best chance of being dealt the high cards in a deck rich in tens and aces.

Another factor that makes playing heads-up i.

Remember, card counters have the edge, so the more hands that they play per hour, the greater will be their hourly win rate.

In addition, playing alone, you cannot sit out any hands, because there are no free poker full bankroll tilt players at the table to oblige the dealer to continue the game.

The key to getting a reasonable edge, especially in multi-deck games, is to use a larger bet spread.

The greater the spread, the greater the edge but also the greater the amount of attention that may come your way, and the more bankroll you will need.

Nevertheless, you should use the recommended bet spreads summarized in sub-chapters 10.

I get this information by either glancing at the stack of cards in the discard tray or the pack of unplayed cards that the dealer is holding in her hand.

Whatever happens on that last round, I leave the table.

This is a very good situation for a card counter.

Back counting involves counting down a game as a spectator and then when the count goes positive, entering the game with big bets.

Check out my tips on how to get away with siting out a few hands in sub-chapter 10.

PLAYING WITH A TEAM This is a powerful strategy used by card counting teams.

Blackjack Hall of Famer Don Schlesinger calculated a 76% increase in profits by adding just one spotter.

Casinos defense against team play is to post No Mid-Shoe Entry signs at their tables, which basically prevents the BP approach to team play.

This approach is also very profitable.

There are other types of team play too numerous to describe in this Guide but I think you get the idea of how they work.

It was in the late 1970s when casino gambling was first legalized in Atlantic City that we used this team ploy.

To take advantage of these tremendous playing conditions, my wife and I formed a mini-team.

Here is how I described it in my book Blackjack: Take the Money and Run.

I kept the count and always made a minimum bet.

When the count became positive, I signaled her to increase her bet.

She is talking, having a good time, and not watching the cards on the table like a card counter would do.

Between the two of us, we were able to make very large bets when we had the edge in a manner that drew no suspicion from the floor supervisors.

You also have to be sure that the games you select to attack are in fact beatable.

Pre-game scouting is a must.

EXIT STRATEGY You can improve your edge as a card counter if you avoid making bets in negative counts.

I suggest you also take your chips with you.

Time your break so you return right after the shuffle.

Note: Before you use this ploy, check that there is cell phone service in the room.

I usually do this if the count is very negative roughly three-quarters of the way into the first deck.

The point of these exit strategies is to minimize the number of bets you make in negative counts which in turn will increase the frequency of bets you make in positive counts and will increase your overall edge.

This is an important way to boost your edge, especially in six-deck games.

CASINOS' COUNTERMEASURES AGAINST CARD COUNTERS Even though card counting is technically legal if you only use your brainit is frowned upon by casinos.

DISCOURAGING CARD COUNTING Here are some techniques that casinos use to discourage card counters.

See for a discussion on this.

HOW THEY CATCH INDIVIDUAL CARD COUNTERS Casinos use some or all of the following techniques to catch suspected card counters.

Most gamblers leave the same bet out; card counters, on the other hand, often change their bets depending on what happened to the count after the previous round was completed.

They know that card counters will stand on 16 when they have a big bet on the felt and hit when they bet small.

They know card counters take insurance only when they have a big bet on a hand, because the count was very positive.

Sometimes the casino has software that allows the surveillance technician to input the cards and bets made by the player, and the software will compute if the player is varying his bets and the play of the hands in accordance with the count.

The casino will take a photo of the player and compare the facial features against a data base of known card counters and cheaters.

Note: If any of the above casino countermeasures occur when you are playing, my advice is to say nothing, leave the table, and head for the exit.

Do not cash out your chips because casinos often get good mug shots at the casino cage.

You can come back to the casino later to cash out or have someone else cash out your chips.

Being backed off is a risk that every card counter has to accept; however, the key is to play in a manner that reduces this risk.

I will cover this in the next sub-chapter.

Just pick up your chips and head for the exit.

Do not go the cashier cage to cash out you chips.

Should you return to a casino that recently backed you off?

He returned to a casino that had a juicy double-deck game exactly six months after being backed off.

My recommendation if you have ever been backed off is to keep notes of what happened; specifically, the name of the casino, what shift it was, and the name of the supervisor who backed you off.

BARRING Being barred is more serious than being backed off.

Often but not always the supervisor will read a statement that basically says you are not only barred from playing blackjack but you are no longer allowed on the premises, and if you return, you will be arrested for trespassing.

Nowadays, if you are barred from a casino that is owned by a large corporation e.

Therefore, if you are a high-stakes player, you need to be much more careful when you play to avoid detection.

Read the next sub-section for details.

CATCHING CARD COUNTING TEAMS Casinos are well aware of the threat that a well-financed team of card counters can pose to their bottom line.

They know card counting teams use signals, play in groups, have a BP that jumps from one table to another, and that often the team plays together at other casinos.

Legally, casinos are not allowed to question and detain a customer unless they have evidence that the patron has broken the law such as cheatingand they are awaiting law enforcement to arrive to arrest the customer.

If a casino employee asks you to accompany him to the office, you have the right to refuse unless you are being held for a crime that you committed.

I can recommend Robert Loeb co- author of Blackjack and the Law and Bob Nersesian author of Beat the Players and The Law for Gamblers: Legal Guide to the Casino Environment, spring 2016 publication.

HOW TO DISGUISE YOUR SKILLS One warm evening in Las Vegas, a young man was walking on the famed Strip, contemplating what had just happened.

He was a good card counter, he could count down a deck of cards accurately in 20 seconds flat, and knew his strategy deviations cold.

At his level of skill, he had nearly a 1% edge over the casinos, meaning he was capable of winning more than he would lose over his lifetime of playing blackjack.

Yet, moments earlier, he had been barred from playing.

Note: Disguising your playing skills is imperative if you are card counting in a land-based casino.

If you are playing an online casino where the cards are shuffled after every hand, card counting is useless see Chapter 14.

CAT AND MOUSE GAME Casinos do not like to lose money; they prefer to cater to players who know how to lose, rather than to the very small minority that know how to win.

They know that card counters have the edge over them, and as I discussed in section 10.

Over the years, casino bosses have developed a stereotype of a card counter.

What follows is their perception of the characteristics of a card counter vs.

Therefore, your first goal, if you want longevity as a card counter, is to try to emulate the above characteristics of a gambler when you are playing.

By doing so, you will give the perception that you are an unskilled player, and your play will not draw attention to the ever-present pit bosses.

What follows is a smorgasbord of tips on how to stay under the casino radar.

Unfortunately, as a skilled card counter, you need to check your ego at the door when you enter a casino and take on the role of a typical unskilled recreational gambler when in reality, you are an advantage player with an edge over the casino.

NON-PUNITIVE CAMOUFLAGE This involves putting on an act that gives the casino bosses the perception that you are a typical recreational gambler.

These ploys cost you nothing or in strategy of counting cards in blackjack cases, very little and can give you longevity as a card counter when you use them.

Check out the attire of the recreational players and follow their lead.

This gives the indication that you play slots, which most unskilled recreational players will do for fun.

Placing anything on the table other than a drink is a no-no and you will be asked to pick it up; look embarrassed when this happens but continue holding the strategy card in your hand and referring to it âŠ this is perfectly legal and it gives the perception you are an unskilled player.

If you lose the initial buy-in, just dig in your pocket, purse, or better yet, a fanny pack, for more money.

Try to strike up a conversation with them and fellow players while playing.

This is something you need to practice at home â keeping the count while talking or listening to someone else talking.

Milk it while you play.

Appear confused, and if a floor supervisor is close by, get his attention and ask him how he would play it.

Or, ask one of your fellow players or the dealer for advice.

Recreational players tend to be messy whereas card counters are more precise and neat.

This is very slightly punitive but since your disadvantage off the top of a freshly shuffled deck is relatively small, the cost is not much.

Gamblers usually keep the same bet up after a push.

Likewise, if you push a hand and the count goes up, leave the same bet up.

Here again, gamblers rarely increase their bets after pushes.

Note: The last two ploys are very slightly punitive but are worth making several times during a session at little cost.

This is slightly punitive but the cost is minimal; use this ploy only a few times per session.

At the end of the session, it will appear that you won less or lost more than you actually did.

The dealer will admonish you for standing on a busted hand.

Make a few bets then leave.

When the dealer adds up the cards in your hand, she will tell you that you busted and how you should have tossed your cards face up on the layout.

If you want to play longer, do so only during the shift change for floor supervisors; ask them beforehand what time this occurs.

If the hand wins, give the dealer her winning chips but let the original bet you made for her ride on the next hand.

This allows excellent camouflage.

Better yet, use the Big Bettor ploy discussed in Chapter 10.

The larger your bet size, the more diligent you need to be to disguise your skills.

PUNITIVE CAMOUFLAGE This type of camouflage involves making a bad play i.

Mathematicians have done extensive calculations to determine the cost of deviating from the basic playing strategy.

WHAT IF YOU ARE ASKED TO LEAVE?

The key is to minimize this risk by using an act when you play.

Just pick up your chips and quietly leave the casino.

Then when you get back home, think about how you played and what adjustments you need to make to your camouflage techniques the next time you play.

Think of the experience as just another lesson learned and move on.

KEY TAKEAWAYS In order to have a long life expectancy as a card counter, you need to develop an act that disguises the fact that you are an advantage player.

BANKROLL AND RISK OF RUIN This chapter covers information that most players find boring.

However, this information must be understood and practiced if you ever want to be a successful card counter.

There are two things you must have to beat the casinos: a winning system that you play accurately and a bankroll to support your betting.

I always considered myself lucky because when I first started playing blackjack nearly 50 years ago, I understood the importance of not overbetting my bankroll.

I began my card counting career with a 1 to 4 bet spread, playing a single-deck game in Las Vegas.

The rest is history.

Not once did I ever go broke, because I never overbet.

When I had success at the tables and my bankroll grew, I would increase my minimum and maximums bets and still maintain the 100 to 1 ratio.

Likewise, when my bankroll took a big hit, I would drop down in my betting units.

Slowly, but surely, my bankroll grew over the years and so did my betting stakes and profits.

If you do, you will succeed as a card counter; if not, I guarantee at some point you will go broke.

Call it your 401-G G for gambling.

The 401-G should contain funds that you use solely for playing blackjack and nothing else.

HOW MUCH BANKROLL DO I NEED?

Your edge at blackjack will manifest itself over the long run.

This means in the span of a day, a week, or even several months of playing, you can experience losses.

My worst losing streak was 11 sessions in a row, even though I was playing with close to a 1% advantage.

You have to have the bankroll to withstand those short-term losing sessions, and trust me, you will have them.

Nowadays there are blackjack software programs that you can use to determine how much bankroll you need to minimize the risk of going broke.

We call the latter the Risk of Ruin or ROR.

If, for example, you play blackjack with a 20% risk of ruin, it means that, for a given bankroll, if you keep playing without changing your betting scheme or bet sizes, you will eventually lose your entire bankroll 20% of the click here />As a general rule, successful card counters maintain enough bankroll so their ROR is 5% or less.

Note: Playing for the same stakes, the lower the ROR, the more bankroll you will need compared to a higher ROR.

Some players can tolerate a higher ROR; it depends on your risk tolerance, but my recommendation to be safe is to use 5% ROR.

There are two types of ROR.

One is known as a session or trip ROR; the other, is the lifetime ROR.

The session or trip ROR will tell you what the chance is of going broke for a specific session or trip.

The lifetime ROR is the chance of losing your entire blackjack bankroll, no matter how long that may take.

Nowadays there are computer software programs that allow you to calculate the following: what bankroll you need for a specified ROR or vice versa meaning, for this much session bankroll, what is my ROR.

EXAMPLE OF DETERMINING BANKROLL AND RISK OF RUIN There are several relatively inexpensive blackjack software programs that you can use to determine your bankroll requirements and ROR.

The ones I recommend are Blackjack Audit by Dan PronovostCasino VĂ©ritĂ© by Norm Wattenbergerand Blackjack Risk Manager by John Auston.

Note: I used the latter for the following examples although all three can do the calculations.

You are going to use the Hi-Lo card counting system and the game you plan to play is six decks, s17, and das, with 75% penetration 4.

You want to know what is your chance of going broke before making as much money as you can i.

No sweat â you can get the data from, say, the BJRM software.

You could also use a blackjack simulation software program e.

You can use the software to calculate what bankroll you need for a 5% ROR or any specific ROR.

Here are the calculated lifetime bankrolls and the corresponding RORs.

A very smart choice that I always recommend to my students.

While you are waiting to save money to fund your 401-G, keep practicing your card counting and basic strategy at home.

So with a few key strokes and a software program that you can use at home you were able to determine the following in short order.

Your trip risk of ruin is only 5%.

This chapter is packed with useful information on ROR for blackjack players.

A model for how to grow your bankroll with minimum risk was developed by J.

He proposed that on every hand you should bet an amount that is in direct proportion to your bankroll and edge, and in inverse proportion to your variance.

The problem with optimal Kelly Betting is that you must accurately calculate how much to bet on every hand by multiplying your current edge on the hand times your current bankroll.

More accurately, you would divide your edge by the variance, which is the square of the standard deviation, and then multiply this result by your bankroll to determine the portion of your bankroll you should bet.

Moreover, exact Kelley betting can be very volatile and increases your risk that you could be spotted as a card counter by casino personnel.

To minimize the latter and still use the concept of Kelly Betting, players nowadays use what is known as Half-Kelly Betting, meaning you would never bet more than half of your optimal bet on any hand.

My advice is to use the proportional betting ramp for whatever card counting system you plan to use.

They work and, in my opinion, are less taxing to use in a casino than Kelly Betting.

Winning at blackjack is a journey.

Along the way, you need to play beatable games with an accurate counting system and enough bankroll to withstand the short-term losses.

Bottom line: Prepare yourself for losing trips because you will experience them, and be sure that whatever your betting level, you are able to financially and emotionally make those big bets when you have the edge.

Written by Henry Tamburin Ph.

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Determining Your Blackjack Bets: A Card Counter's Guide

## Learn Blackjack Strategy From The Basics To Card Counting Strategy of counting cards in blackjack

## How Does Counting Cards in Blackjack Work? | Mental Floss Strategy of counting cards in blackjack

One of the easiest and most popular blackjack card counting strategies is the Hi-Lo Count. The reason this strategy is so popular is that it is simple to learn andÂ ...To win at blackjack by counting cards is hard, but possible. This is what it takes.. Always use an optimal strategy adapted to the rules of your casino. Here is anÂ ...

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