Anyone who has seen the movie “21” probably has their hopes up. After all, if a few students and a math professor could make millions counting cards why couldn’t You master it? Truth be told, the movie was actually based on real events that happened between 1979 and late 90s.
Today most blackjack tables are equipped with shuffling machines, including BitCoin Live Dealers. Shoe consists of between 2 and 8 decks of cards that are continuously shuffled, thus making most counting techniques irrelevant.
If You are lucky enough to find a casino that offers a single deck blackjack that is shuffled by hand or just about any game variations, where the dealers shuffle cards by hand, it might be possible to count cards. This would allow You to potentially gain an advantage against the house.
High-Low Counting System
This is the most common way to count cards and actually one that can be mastered in a short period of time. It was also used by the MIT team and visualized in the movie “21”.
Every card in the deck is assigned with a point value of either minus one, neutral or plus one. This makes keeping track of the current count fairly easy by keeping track of every card dealt on the table.
The values assigned to cards are as follows:
2 to 6 – value of +1.
7 to 9 – value of 0.
All tens and aces – value of -1.
Start counting when a new shoe is being played. In brick & mortar casinos this is way more complicated than online, where You can actually use a pen and paper.
Why This Works in Theory
It’s simple math really. When You assign each card a value using high-low BlackJack system, You’ll be more aware of what cards are left in the shoe. If the count reaches +10, for example, it means that smaller cards have been dealt with a higher frequency.
This means that big cards are coming and these benefit players more than the dealer, as the house follows certain drawing rules while player is free to play the hand as they please.
So when the deck gets hot, meaning the count is heavily into positive numbers, players should bet more. Vice versa, when the count gets double digits into negative, players should play for the minimum bet.
Of course, this is just a very basic strategy advice for those that are starting out in the world of BlackJack and card counting. There’s a very good book for those that are curious about the more advanced techniques used. This is authored by Don Schlesinger and known as BlackJack Attack: Playing The Pros’ Way.
Why This Does Not Work In Practice
Typical site like mBit Casino will offer BitCoin BlackJack with eight decks of cards and while they do not use an automatic card shuffling machine, shoe is replaced every time it reaches the middle point (approximately 4 decks in).
Unfortunately this is not good enough for players to be able to beat the house using the high-low counting system. Having that said, we do believe that it can help reduce the house advantage in a perfectly legal way.
If You can keep track of cards until approximately half of the shoe and the deck count gets really high (lets say +15), it means that the deck is hot and it is likely that high cards will be coming out. At least more likely than in the beginning of the shoe.
Can You Get In Trouble For Doing This?
No, card counting is perfectly legal and casino can’t seize Your winnings or sue You for practising it. They however can ban You and close Your account, only after they have paid any winnings in full.
As always, we would suggest sticking with big, well known brand names to avoid any potential problems. Two sites that we can endorse for someone looking to practise card counting are mBit Casino and CloudBet.
We will be following up this article series with more advanced articles on card counting and whether You should use basic strategy shortly.