Blackjack – The Myth of Counting Cards
Counting cards was a process made famous by Hollywood movies like 21, in which a crack team of so-called card counters devised a system that gave them a shot of beating the house when they stepped through a casino door.
Here are the ins and outs of card counting in Blackjack, even if the system is impossible to emulate at our online blackjack tables.
Counting the Cards
Counting cards at a Blackjack table means assigning a value to each card that is dealt by the dealer.
Cards numbered 2 to 6 are given a value of +1, 7-9 have a value of 0, and 10 to Ace are worth -1.
The more -1s a player counts at the table the better their chances of beating the house, meaning they should bet big.
The opposite is true if more +1s appear, signalling that a player should bet as little as possible without giving the game away.
Multiple Decks Make Things Tricky
Most casinos now use multiple decks of cards at their Blackjack tables. This adds an additional level of complexity to card counting.
What is known as the magic “True Count” is attained by dividing the standard “Running Count” (as explained above) with the number of decks remaining. The True Count is then what should be used when a player comes to bet.
Working in a Team Helps
Working as part of a card counting team can make the process even more efficient because less mistakes are made, just as is the case in Ben Mezrich’s 21.