**What Is Counting Cards In Blackjack And Why Is It Illegal** – Since Edward Thorpe published the game in 1962, blackjack has grown in popularity as a game of cat and mouse. It was Thorpe’s basic technique, as well as his ten-count system, that pushed a pebble over a hill that created the great snowball effect in card counting that we know today. There are many systems that players can choose from and which system you adopt depends on what you want to achieve. Counting hi-lo is an easy technique to learn; It is recommended for most situations and will be the system we will focus on in this article.

The first step in learning to count high-low is determining the value of the cards. Each card has a certain value that must be memorized. All ten value cards, including the Jack, Queen, and King, plus the Ace, are rated negative (-1). Seven, eight, and nine are evaluated as zero, or even, and two, three, four, five, and six are evaluated as one (+1). By evaluating cards in this way, card counting becomes easier and can be done by most people.

## What Is Counting Cards In Blackjack And Why Is It Illegal

Learning how to count cards requires hours of practice at home. The first homework is to be able to quickly identify the value of a card without hesitation. Take a deck of cards and examine them until you correctly identify the value assigned to each card. For example, when using a hi-low system, if you see a jack, the correct answer is negative (-1). Keep practicing until you can go through the entire deck without making a mistake. This is also a good warm-up exercise to use before counting cards.

### Blackjack 101: Strategise Wins Using Card Counting

Now that you know the value of the cards, it’s time to count them. It is best to start counting after the dealer shuffles the deck and a new round begins. Counting cards is not the same as memorizing a deck of cards. Players mentally keep track of the ratio of high and low cards. Players will start from zero and add or subtract card values as they appear there, creating a tally or deck tally. If the count is high, the rest of the deck will have the number 10 which will make the situation more favorable for the player. If the count is low, the remaining deck will have more numbers which will make the situation more favorable for the casino.

The second homework assignment is to be able to count the number of cards accurately. With a deck in hand, start from zero and add up the card values. You know you have succeeded if you reach zero or even at the end of the deck. If you can do 9 out of 10 decks then you are ready to move on.

The third homework is the same as the second, but instead of counting one card at a time, now count two. A good card counter will count a deck with one error or less in 20 seconds.

Now that we can count the cards, what do we do with this information? The calculation system provides three important pieces of information. When to bet more, when to deviate from basic strategy and when to take insurance. Convert a running count to an actual count when making a bet or deciding to use an insurance professional card counter. The true count is the actual count or value of the deck when the player makes a decision. You need to convert your running numbers to actual numbers in all multi-deck games. However, single deck play will always give you the true count. To calculate the actual count, players must divide the running count by the number of decks remaining. For example, if the count is running +9 and 3 decks remain, then the actual count is +3. +9 divided by 3 is +3. If the count goes to +8 and there are 2 decks remaining then the actual count is +4.

## Casinoeuro’s Guide To Blackjack Card Counting

The fourth homework assignment is to be able to correctly recognize how many decks are left in the shoe and use that information to calculate the correct count. Buy shoes and a few decks of cards. Place the deck inside the shoe to get a feel for what it looks like. Then multiply by two. Keep repeating this step until you see 8 decks. Complete this exercise several times until you feel comfortable identifying the numbers on a stack of shoes. To test your knowledge, ask a friend to prepare the shoes, then go into the room and try to correctly identify how many decks are in the shoes.

The fifth homework assignment is to successfully calculate real numbers using your new skills. A good way to practice this is to ask the same friend to come back and play a mock game of blackjack for you. Calculate the true odds in your head and then check the deck and use a calculator to verify that you are correct.

Typically, the house edge for blackjack is approximately 0.5%, but using Edward Thorpe’s basic strategy can lower that number to even or 0%. This is why memorizing blackjack strategy is so important. This guide tells players what actions to take in certain situations. We have provided several blackjack strategy charts for single deck, double deck, and multi-deck shoes as well as games where surrender is available. Card counters will follow basic strategy most of the time. To gain an advantage over the house, counters must know when to deviate from basic strategy. These deviations or indices must be remembered and used in actual calculations. We have provided a handy chart outlining these indicators. This chart will tell you when to deviate from basic strategy. For example, when looking at the cross section TT vs 6 we see +4. This means that when the actual number is greater than +4, the player will deviate from basic strategy by splitting rather than standing. If we move on to 13 vs. 2 we see -1. This means that when the true count is less than -1, the player will deviate from basic strategy by hitting instead of standing.

The sixth homework is to memorize basic techniques. You can learn through classic strategy or, depending on your learning style, you can learn by simulating a game of blackjack with a deck of cards. This may be more helpful for some people than writing the answer down on a piece of paper. You know how you learn, so do what is most comfortable for you. Whatever the strategy, blackjack strategy should be practiced until it can be recalled instantly. The seventh homework is to memorize all deviations from the given index graph. Make homemade flash cards, write the same chart over and over again until you memorize it. These are all classic techniques that will help you learn these deviations. If possible, treat your friends to a mock game of blackjack while using your new skills.

#### Why Counting Cards In Blackjack Can Tip The Odds

Betting spreads and bankroll requirements are two other tools that are important to a card counter’s success. Spread betting is when a player increases or decreases his bet based on calculations. Small spreads are 2 to 4 units and large spreads are 8 to 16 units. The card counter raises its bet when the true count is positive and lowers its bet when the true count is negative. Spread betting is mainly used in multi-deck games and is not usually used in single-deck games. Overcoming a losing streak also requires a large bankroll. A bankroll of $20,000 is required if the player spreads between $100 and $300. If the spread is between $5 and $10, a bankroll of $2,000 is required. As you can see, with a lot of time, effort and money invested, this can quickly become a serious hobby. Card counting can add to the excitement of blackjack as players have fun testing their skills against the house.

Here’s a brief overview of popular blackjack card counting methods. There are options for beginners and advanced players.

High/Low Count – This is our recommended card counting method explained above that gives you many advantages over other counting methods without the hassle of learning.

Hi Opt 1 System – This was developed by Charles Einstein in 1968. This is similar to the hi/low system but the 2 and ace are assigned a value of 0. This makes the system more accurate, but more difficult as you need to count the sides of the ace.

### What Is Counting Cards In Blackjack

Hi Opt 2 System – This adaptation of the Hi Opt 1 system was developed by Lance Humble in 2017