What is card counting?

When the dealer shows the cards that have been dealt, the card counting allows the player to infer what the remaining cards have not been dealt and decide what to do in their next moves.Therefore, the player is able to determine whether or not he has an advantage over the dealer and act accordingly, for example, by making a larger bet.

Keeping control of the cards that have been dealt is not in any way illegal, as it is mainly based on statistics and mathematical probability. After each round there are fewer remaining cards in the deck and a correct count may allow players to determine the value of the cards remaining tobe distributed . On the other hand, the greater the number of players involved in the game, the more difficult it is to keep track of the cards dealt. An experienced player must be able to pay attention to the cards dealt to the rest of the participants at the table, which further increases the complexity of this strategy.

In the beginnings of blackjack in casinos, these used only a standard deck of cards. However, as the tracking of cards dealt from a single deck is relatively easy and players could override the house advantage, most casinos currently add up to eight cards in the shoe.

In addition, card counting is very important for blackjack players, as their chances of winning depend heavily on the value of the cards. Cards with figures such as kings, queens and jacks have a value of 10 points, the ace, on the other hand, is a special case since its value can be 1 or 11, so the ace can also be a value card high. What makes the ace so special is that it allows players to determine its value depending on the situation, as they can use it as 1 or 11. For example, if the player has received an ace, 6 and 10, should Count the ace as 1 because otherwise the total value of the hand would exceed 21 points, resulting in loss for the player.

This is an important factor since the cards of higher value, increase the likelihood of players to win, while letters of lesser value are more beneficial to the dealer , as they decrease the probability of drawing a face card and overcome 21 points.

Although card counting is not considered illegal, most dealers are wary of this practice and recognize it as a problem. Because of this, keep an accurate count of the cards have been dealt is only one aspect of the strategy card counting , it is also important to do so as discreetly aspossible. This requires practice and knowing how to keep your composure.

Card Counting Systems

Choosing an appropriate card counting system depends to a great extent on the skill and experience of blackjack players. There are simpler counting systems that are more suitable for beginners as well as more complex counters that can be used effectively only by expert players.The following card counting systems are presented in accordance with their level of complexity , starting from the simplest to the most elaborate.

Thorp Ten-Count System

Let’s start from the beginning. The first system of counting of letters that is known, was introduced in the sixties that was when blackjack gained its popularity. The man behind this system was Edward Thorp, a professor of mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Thorp systematized the system called Ten Count in his book Beat the Dealer. Today, the system is used in specific cases, as it was originally created for playing blackjack from a single deck and today most casinos employ more than one deck to decrease the likelihood that players have the cards correctly. However, it is a suitable system for beginners who wish to practice and improve their skills.

What is the principle of the Thorp system? The cards are counted throughout the game paying special attention to their value. This helps players decide when and how much to bet. The greater the total of the cards dealt and the more cards with value 10 remain in the deck would be a favorable situation for the players to choose to make a higher bet.