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Counting Cards Introduction: How to Count Cards VideoHow To Count Cards in Online Casinos (Blackjack Card Counting Software)
With Hi-Lo, the most common card counting system, the card values are as follows:. A card counter does this for each card that comes out of the shoe: card after card and round after round until the dealer shuffles the cards again.
Back in the days of single deck blackjack, this information would have been enough to start betting accordingly. If the running count increases, the advantage begins shifting to the player.
In an attempt to thwart card counters, casinos began using multiple decks. Nice try, Casinos! When using perfect basic strategy and card counting, we are able to use this information to bet according to our advantage.
The true count will also inform us of when to change our playing strategy. We provide free charts of playing deviations to our members.
Larger ratios between point values can better correlate to actual EOR, but add complexity to the system. Counting systems may be referred to as "level 1", "level 2", etc.
The ideal system is a system that is usable by the player and offers the highest average dollar return per period of time when dealt at a fixed rate.
With this in mind, systems aim to achieve a balance of efficiency in three categories: . Some strategies count the ace ace-reckoned strategies and some do not ace-neutral strategies.
Including aces in the count improves betting correlation since the ace is the most valuable card in the deck for betting purposes.
However, since the ace can either be counted as one or eleven, including an ace in the count decreases the accuracy of playing efficiency.
Since PE is more important in single- and double-deck games, and BC is more important in shoe games, counting the ace is more important in shoe games.
One way to deal with such tradeoffs is to ignore the ace to yield higher PE while keeping a side count which is used to detect addition change in EV which the player will use to detect additional betting opportunities which ordinarily would not be indicated by the primary card counting system.
The most commonly side counted card is the ace since it is the most important card in terms of achieving a balance of BC and PE. Since there is the potential to create an overtaxing demand on the human mind while using a card counting system another important design consideration is the ease of use.
The Running count is the running total of each card's assigned value. When using Balanced count such as the Hi-Lo system , the Running count is converted into a "True count," which takes into consideration the number of decks used.
With Hi-Lo, the True count is essentially the Running count divided by the number of decks that have not yet been dealt; this can be calculated by division or approximated with an average card count per round times the number of rounds dealt.
However, many variations of True count calculation exist. Back-counting, also known as "Wonging," consists of standing behind a blackjack table that other players are playing on, and counting the cards as they are dealt.
Stanford Wong first proposed the idea of back-counting, and the term "Wong" comes from his pen name. The player will enter or "Wong in" to the game when the count reaches a point at which the player has an advantage.
The player may then raise their bets as their advantage increases, or lower their bets as their advantage goes down. Some back-counters prefer to flat-bet, and only bet the same amount once they have entered the game.
Some players will stay at the table until the game is shuffled, or they may "Wong out" or leave when the count reaches a level at which they no longer have an advantage.
Back-counting is generally done on shoe games, of 4, 6, or 8 decks, although it can be done on pitch games of 1 or 2 decks. The reason for this is that the count is more stable in a shoe game, so a player will be less likely to sit down for one or two hands and then have to get up.
In addition, many casinos do not allow "mid-shoe entry" in single or double deck games which makes Wonging impossible.
Another reason is that many casinos exhibit more effort to thwart card counters on their pitch games than on their shoe games, as a counter has a smaller advantage on an average shoe game than in a pitch game.
Back-counting is different from traditional card-counting, in that the player does not play every hand they see.
This offers several advantages. For one, the player does not play hands at which they do not have a statistical advantage. This increases the total advantage of the player.
Another advantage is that the player does not have to change their bet size as much, or at all if they choose. Large variations in bet size are one way that casinos detect card counters, and this is eliminated with back-counting.
There are several disadvantages to back-counting. One is that the player frequently does not stay at the table long enough to earn comps from the casino.
Another disadvantage is that some players may become irritated with players who enter in the middle of a game, and superstitiously believe that this interrupts the "flow" of the cards.
Their resentment may not merely be superstition, though, as this practice will negatively impact the other players at the table, because with one fewer player at the table when the card composition becomes unfavorable, the other players will play through more hands under those conditions as they will use up fewer cards per hand, and similarly, they will play fewer hands in the rest of the card shoe if the advantage player slips in during the middle of the shoe when the cards become favorable because with one more player, more of those favorable cards will be used up per hand.
This negatively impacts the other players, whether they are counting cards or not. Lastly, a player who hops in and out of games may attract unwanted attention from casino personnel, and may be detected as a card-counter.
While a single player can maintain their own advantage with back-counting, card counting is most often used by teams of players to maximize their advantage.
In such a team, some players called "spotters" will sit at a table and play the game at the table minimum, while keeping a count basically doing the back "counting".
When the count is significantly high, the spotter will discreetly signal another player, known as a "big player," that the count is high the table is "hot".
The big player will then "Wong in" and wager vastly higher sums up to the table maximum while the count is high.
When the count "cools off" or the shoe is shuffled resetting the count , the big player will "Wong out" and look for other counters who are signaling a high count.
This was the system used by the MIT Blackjack Team , whose story was in turn the inspiration for the Canadian movie The Last Casino which was later re-made into the Hollywood version The main advantage of group play is that the team can count several tables while a single back-counting player can usually only track one table.
This allows big players to move from table to table, maintaining the high-count advantage without being out of action very long. It also allows redundancy while the big player is seated as both the counter and big player can keep the count as in the movie 21 , the spotter can communicate the count to the big player discreetly as they sit down.
The disadvantages include requiring multiple spotters who can keep an accurate count, splitting the "take" among all members of the team, requiring spotters to play a table regardless of the count using only basic strategy, these players will lose money long-term , and requiring signals, which can alert pit bosses.
A simple variation removes the loss of having spotters play; the spotters simply watch the table instead of playing and signal big players to Wong in and out as normal.
The disadvantages of this variation are reduced ability of the spotter and big player to communicate, reduced comps as the spotters are not sitting down, and vastly increased suspicion, as blackjack is not generally considered a spectator sport in casinos except among those actually playing unlike craps , roulette and wheels of fortune which have larger displays and so tend to attract more spectators.
A mathematical principle called the Kelly criterion indicates that bet increases should be proportional to the player advantage. This determines decisions and deviations when you change from basic strategy in play.
As you can see, Hi-Lo is not mentioned. This is because it falls in the middle of the pack for every factor. Hi-Opt II has an additional Ace count and Halves is just tedious adding further distraction and Omega IIs playing efficiency doesn't match the betting correlation.
Unless you're the best blackjack player this side of the Mississippi, stick to Hi-Lo. Learn the concept of "wonging," or back-counting.
It is called "wonging in" when you stay away from a table until it's hot enough to warrant joining. When the table grows cold, you "wong out.
Lots of casinos have banned mid-shoe entry for this purpose. If you do consider doing this, know that it looks fishy to even untrained eyes.
How else would you know when to swoop in for the kill if you weren't counting cards? The suspicions you do avoid, however, are changing your bets.
When you're wonging, you bet the same exorbitant amount every time. Method 4 of Act like a tourist. Card counters are notorious for playing blackjack for hours and hours, often without eating or enjoying the amenities available at the resort.
Acting like a tourist just looking for a simple good time may take the suspicion off of you. You want to blend in. Busting out your three-piece Armani suit is not what you want to do when starting your card counting career at your local casino.
Leave the Italian suede at home and act like a regular Joe. Let your bet ride, if you need to increase the bet. Dealers are trained to shuffle the deck upon an unexplainable increase in the bet.
For this reason, only up your bet in small increments and at seemingly random points in the game. This may seem counter to making money, but if you get thrown out, you'll be making zero.
No, card counting isn't illegal, but it is heavily frowned upon and you can be asked to never return. Appear to be interested in other things besides the game.
This is why we had you practicing with the TV, radio, and several messy, loud-mouthed children. If you are so busy counting your lips are practically moving, it's a dead giveaway.
Go ahead, get a drink, make small talk. Enjoy yourself. Counters have a reputation for being "zoned in" to the game. He will remain fixated on their cards while everyone else is looking at a gorgeous woman.
Don't be that guy. You need to be proficient enough at counting that you can carry on a conversation.
Chat with the dealer about how their day is going. If the pit boss comes up, chat with him, too. Tip the dealer. Many dealers know how to count cards.
A dealer that likes you will be more likely to wait before shuffling on a favorable deck and shuffle sooner on a bad one.
A dealer can help you or hurt you. Motivate the dealer to be for you. Same goes for the entire pit crew -- get them on your side, your not-so-heinous crime may slide under their radar.
Know who's watching you. At any time, there are hundreds of cameras going on in the casino in addition to the eyes of the dealers, those in the pit behind the tables , and the security staff.
If they'll catch a waitress for serving a customer every Because of this, it's very important to be on your best behavior.
If a casino suspects you're counting, they probably won't come right out and say it. They may have someone start a conversation with you to distract you, assign you a high-speed dealer, shuffle spontaneously or change the betting rules.
Do everything slow. When you hit a table, stay there for a spell. Why would you leave? And when you make your moves at this table, take a second to think about it.
Normal blackjack players haven't spent the past three months staring at this exact set up in black and white.
Everything you do needs to be nonchalant and casual. Do not jump from table to table every time the deck sours. This will bring you to the attention of the casino personnel fast.
Make minimum bets until the deck is richer. Increase casually because you're doing well -- not because you know what's about to come.
If it comes out of the shoe, count it. Your cards come from the same place as other people's cards. I Made It! Answer Upvote. Reply Upvote.
LeviL21 john henry Reply 9 months ago. PeterFish 3 years ago. JaguarS2 4 years ago. I still don't understand, sometimes 8 decks and 4 person how to remember the cards?
JadwinM lewishill63m Reply 4 years ago. Lets say your card count is 5 and you raise your bet proportional to your count. Burge nukez28 Reply 7 years ago on Introduction.