How does card counting work? Is it legal or not?

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card counting work

To find out if card counting works or not, you will first need to find out how it is calculated. Find out what your options are as a player and put them into practice. Do not be the last to know! 

Card counting in blackjack

To find out how the blackjack card counting system works, the first thing you need to do is make sure you know exactly what the game is all about.

Card counting consists precisely of that, in counting which cards come out of the deck to know if you have more or less chances of winning. In other words, if you know which cards are left in the deck, you will know if the dealer is more or less likely to go over 21.

As for everything, there are many theories, but we are going to talk about the most common ones. Let’s go by steps:

High-Low or High-Low

This card counting system is the best known and practiced , and probably the one that most familiar to you.

High-Low is an easy system to understand and perform, so don’t worry if you weren’t the best in your math class. The method is based on the following card counting table :

LetterPunctuation
2-6+1
7-90
10-Ace-1

As you can see, we divide the cards into three groups : from 2 to 6, from 7 to 9 and from 10 to ace and we give them values ​​of +1, 0 and -1 respectively. With these values, if we added all the cards in the deck, the result would be 0.

The main objective of this method is to know if the cards that have not yet been dealt and remain in the deck are high or low .

Let us imagine that the remaining cards in the deck are of great value. This situation will be favorable for the player, since he will know that the croupier is more likely to go over 21. In the same way, the advantage will be for the croupier if the cards that have not yet come out have a low value.

Keep in mind that if you do this calculation with two or three rounds, it will not be very accurate. The fewer cards left in the deck, the closer you are to the true result.

Ace-Five or Ace-Five

This is the easiest card counting system , and therefore the least effective . In it, only aces and fives are taken into account, that is, the cards that have more and less value within the deck.

The fives add 1 and the aces subtract 1. The rest of the cards in the deck are ignored without giving it any importance.

The conclusion to be drawn from this method is that higher results will be better for the player. However, and as we have already anticipated, the advantage that the player can obtain using this system is very slight.

Uston S.S.

This method is similar to the previous ones, but the difficulty to carry it out is greater . Instead of dividing the cards into three groups, we divide them into 6 as shown in the card counting table below.

LetterPunctuation
2,4,6two
53
71
80
9-1
10-Ace-two

The system is not overly complicated, but you have to remember the values ​​and be able to memorize them.

Although these are the most common, there are other blackjack card counting systems that we are only going to mention. Below you can see the list from simple methods to the most advanced ones.

  • speed count
  • Unbalanced Counting Systems
  • The Knock-Out Count (and derivative systems)
  • Revere Counts
  • The Zen Count
  • Wong Halves

Counting in online blackjack

When we play online, we will not be able to use the same systems that we have mentioned, since a new deck is used at the start of each game.

To put it simply, card counting generally doesn’t make much sense in online blackjack.

Card counting software

The Internet advances with everything else, which is why there are card counting software such as «Flash». Using this program is very easy, you only have to tell it the cards that come out of the deck and it will do the calculations for you.

Also, there are card counting simulators for both blackjack and texas hold’em to help you practice.

However, and as we had anticipated, we cannot trust these programs in excess. Whether we use a simulator or card counting software, we probably can’t apply it to the online casino we’re playing at.

Is it legal to count cards?

In the same way that you organize certain calculations in your poker games, you cannot prohibit someone from doing theirs in 21.

Card counting in blackjack is legal , but that does not mean that it is well received, much less that this type of practice is well seen in casinos.

If you are going to use any method: dissimulate . Casinos are private places, and while they can’t ban you from doing the math, they can ban you from entering, if not ask Ben Affleck .

In casinos, vigilance is paramount, so at the slightest suspicion that you carry out this practice, you are out. Our advice is that if you use any, be the simple method and do it carefully.

Conclusions

– Card counting will not make you rich, but if you know how to do it well, it  can make things easier for you on more than one occasion. Unfortunately in most cases life is not like in the movies, so if you don’t control, don’t get involved.

– Although we know that you always want to go further, our advice is to focus your efforts. Use the High-Low method to start with , and don’t change until you have it fully under control.

– In addition, many casinos, just like online casinos, have continuous shuffling machines, which makes counting cards pointless.

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