What is Card Counting?
Card counting is considered taking note or a count of the cards that have been played to figure out if the remaining cards that are left in the deck will be of benefit to the player.
Card counting is popular when playing Black Jack. Many feel that counting cards is the only real way you can get an overall advantage over the casino. When playing Blackjack, the goal is to have all the higher value cards while staying away from the lower value cards. Low value cards are considered better for the dealer simply because the dealer has to follow specific rules in regards to hitting.
How to count cards?
Counting cards is relatively easy. There is no mathematical equation nor do you need photographic memory. Counting cards is just as it sounds. You only need to be able to add and subtract simple mathematics. If you can count to ten, you can count cards! There are basically 7 steps to counting cards in Blackjack and since you are reading this article we will assume you know how to play Blackjack and will understand the terms.
- Basic Strategy - Know your card counting strategy before you play
- Learn the Running Count
- Converting the Running Count to the True Count
- The Casino Environment - Watch the environment around you but don't get distracted.
- Bet Spreads
- Game Selection
Is couting cards illegal?
There is a misconception that counting cards is illegal. Actually, it's not illegal to count cards, as long as the counting is done only in your head. Where the legalities come in, is when you are caught with an electronic or other type of device for counting cards as they are played or dealt.
What happens if you're caught counting cards?
If you're suspected of illegally counting cards in Blackjack, more than likely you will be "back roomed". Backrooming is when the casino "thinks" you have been illegally counting cards, and will take you into a holding room and demand to see your ID. They will also take your picture, and give you a good talking to about how unfair it is to count cards. As long as you were not using a computerized device, there is no way for them to prove that you were card counting, and they cannot detain you. They will however watch you like a hawk if they thought you had an edge over the casino! As long as you were only counting cards in your head, you have not committed a crime.
If you can get the hang of how to accurately count cards, then in some hands you could actually have a overall chance of raising your percent of the win. You will not win on every hand, because no one is perfect and really unless you can see through the card, you really never know what is left in the deck. But on average, once you have perfected card counting, you have the odds in your favor.
Most of us Blackjack and other card game players do not have the time, patience or energy to perfect our card counting skills. Many of us, would rather just play the game of chance, if we win, we win. But there are professional card players out there that, by counting cards in Blackjack games, seem to make a lucrative career.
Counting cards is usually only performed to calculate risk and modify betting strategies. You have to know how to play, before you can begin to know how to count cards. Know your game, know your strategy, and then learn counting cards if it's the right thing for you.
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