If you’ve seen the movie “21” and/or know the numerous stories of blackjack card counting success, then you are no doubt intrigued.
And what gambler with a pulse wouldn’t be intrigued by the thought of winning thousands of dollars each night in blackjack?
Unfortunately, blackjack card counting isn’t something where you just wake up one day and decide to do. In fact, even those who dedicate months of practice to counting don’t make much money because they have no clue how to avoid detection from the casino.
So is it even worth trying to count cards in casinos? Let’s settle the matter right here.
The Player’s Advantage
Contrary to what one may think, the process of learning to count cards is not extremely hard. When counting, you want to determine the point where the deck offers more big cards (10 through A) and fewer small cards (2 through 6); 7, 8, and 9 are considered neutral cards.
More big cards left in the deck favor the player while an abundance of smaller cards favors the dealer.
The key is to keep count of the big and small cards from one hand to the next so you know when to make your bets progressively higher. When there are more small cards left in the deck, you make lower bets. If done correctly, players can gain a 0.5% to 1.5% edge on the casino.
How Frequently does Counting Work?
Seeing as how the theory behind card counting isn’t tough to figure out, why do so many players fail at it? For one thing, even the best card counters only gain the aforementioned 0.5% to 1.5% advantage so there is a small margin for error already. And when you throw in the fact that some people aren’t very good at counting cards in the deck, things only get tougher.
Even if you are an excellent card counter, most casino employees are trained to spot counters a mile away. Pit bosses are more than happy to throw a card counter out so players have to be just as deceptive as they are good at counting. In short, counting is a very skilled process that only the best can pull off time and time again.
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