How Blackjack Card Counting can Improve the Odds

Blackjack card counting is a skill that many people have tried to learn but very few have actually mastered. It requires basic mathematics skills and the ability to pay close attention to detail in order for it to work.

The Basis of the Strategy

Blackjack card counting revolves around assigning a value to specific cards in the deck and keeping a running total. For instance, if players assign a positive number to high cards and a negative number to low cards, they can easily determine the likelihood of receiving a high or low card next. There are dozens of card counting strategies and some are much more complicated than others, but they all have the same goal of reducing the house edge.

Winning the Game

When players keep track of the cards that have been discarded from the shoe, they have a better idea of the cards that are left in the deck. Therefore, if a player is holding a decision hand of 16 or 17 and they are unsure of their next move, they can simply determine the likelihood of receiving a small card of five or lower by remembering the cards that have already been played.

Estimate the Dealer's Hand

Since players can only see the dealer's up-card in a game of blackjack, card counting can help players understand the probability of the dealer creating a certain hand total. For instance, if the dealer has a Queen face-up and the player is concerned about a blackjack or a score of 20, that player can refer to the cards in the discard pile. If there are more low cards than high cards left in the shoe, the player may choose a more aggressive course of action.

Card counting has been going on for decades and players all over the world swear by it. It only really works in live situations since online casinos often use random number generators that bypass the discard pile counting technique.