Card counting is a blackjack strategy for predicting whether the player or the dealer has the stronger position on the next hand. Players count cards to stay on top of how many high and low valued cards are dealt in order to reduce the casino’s edge.
Once they have an edge, they bet more, but when the dealer has an upper hand, they bet less. They also alter their strategy based on the results of the game.
If you count cards in blackjack, it’s fairly easy to tell if other players are doing the same. Counting cards influence your gameplay in some ways. When the “count” is high, you will tend to bet high, and when the “count” is low, you will tend to bet low. Counting always flows in the same direction, irrespective of how you do it.
While still, card counting is legal casinos oppose it and will try a variety of techniques to uncover suspected counters. You’re not going to be able to play long in any casino if you are caught counting cards.
Ways casinos apply to uncover card counting
- Casino staff and security will be watching the betting spread of the player because they know that card counting varies bets. In general players in blackjack do not vary their betting value.
- Casino staff will watch closely the behaviour of the player. They will suspect you if you are to serious, or if you move your lips. Also if you are caught focusing on other players hands, they might find you interesting.
- Card counters typically start betting with a minimum bet when the dealer shuffles the deck of cards at the beginning of a new round. Shuffling gives a higher edge advantage to the house thus pushing blackjack players to bet less. Card counters start raising their bets after they are dealt the cards. This is a good oportunity for security and casinos to catch any card counters.
- Most players leave the same amount of bet following a push. Depending on their current status, card counters often change their bets.
- Big casinos hires consultants from third party or experienced Blackjack players to analyze players with the help of a live feed or a video.
- Casinos have records of known card counters. With today technology they can easily check the suspected card counter and compare the data to their database.
- A casino will often check recorded videos of a suspected card counter after he leaves. If they will have a strong opinion, the next time you will be barred from entering the casino.
- Counter catcher softwares are used to input each after-shoulder card. The software determines whether a player is doing card counting or not.
One common misunderstanding is that a counter of cards always wins. They don’t always win. They will win over the longer term. Theoretically, they have an advantage of anywhere from 0.5% to 1.5% over the casino.
Card counters must learn how to manage money, how to avoid detection from casino monitoring, which regulations to avoid, and how to handle financial and emotional swings in addition to the weeks of training. Is it, therefore, worthwhile? You can still win without card counting and money can be done in a variety of ways.
Card counting isn’t for everyone. It is, however, up to you to master the trade and bring the house down.