Card counting keeps track of all the cards dealt from the deck to determine the cards left in the deck and your chances of winning the hand. It is very important to know how card counting is used to apply it to your game. If you are able to keep track of each card that is dealt from the shoe, you will have a better understanding of what is to come and can apply it to your overall blackjack strategy based on the hand that is dealt to you. Remember that you must keep track of all cards dealt to all players, including the dealer, for card counting to work effectively.
Card Counting in Blackjack has become one of the most popular things to do at the Blackjack tables since the release of the movie, 21. The movie featured a college professor and several of his students successfully counting cards while playing Blackjack in casinos. and they win a lot of money before they got caught up in the fact that they had a whole team looking for tables and getting the money. The card counting theory has been around since the early 1960s, when Edward O Thorp first invented a system and would later be blacklisted by most casinos.
To count cards you need to know that when you sit down at the blackjack table your count will always be zero. In this card counting system we are looking for a positive count. This means that if our count is positive, there are more high cards left in the shoe than there are low cards. When this happens, you can count on one of three things: the players who are dealt more blackjack, the starting hands for the players will be significantly higher and the dealer will be more likely to bust. In theory, when the count is high and positive, the player tends to bet more because they are ahead. When the count goes negative your bets should decrease.
The example given will be for Single Deck Blackjack. Cards numbered 2-6 are low cards and have a point value of +1. Cards that are 7, 8 or 9 have no point value, so you don’t need to keep track of them. Cards that are 10’s, Jacks, Queens, Kings and Aces are considered high cards and have a point value of -1. You start the game from 0 and for each low card you add one and each high card you take one keeping the total in your head at all times while changing regularly. There are 20 high cards, 20 low cards and 12 worthless cards. So if you have a large negative amount, there aren’t many high cards left in the deck. This can be useful if you are struggling with whether or not to hit your 14 or 15.