Card counting has made blackjack into the most popular table game at the casino. With the possibility of giving the edge to the player, it is no wonder this topic has made blackjack so popular. The first book written on this topic was in 1962, which was called Beat the Dealer by Dr. Edward Thorp. Since then countless others have followed including many systems to beat the casinos. In the early to mid 90’s the MIT Blackjack Team took millions of dollars from casinos playing blackjack and using an innovative team approach to counting cards, as depicted in the movie 21. The amount of coverage in the press and books that followed has once again has contributed to blackjack’s popularity among casino players. I am not going to go into detail on this subject, as there are far better experts on this topic. I will give you a taste of this subject though. If you wish to explore this topic further, consider buying a book on this subject.
The basic premise is that a player will track the ratio of high cards to low cards left in a deck to determine when the odds will turn in favor of the player. It is based on the fact that high cards (any card that counts as a 10 or aces) are better for the player and lower cards (2 though 6) are better for the dealer. The rational is that the higher cards give a player better odds of hitting blackjack which pays higher than simply winning the hand. So if you know that the ratio of cards remaining in a deck has a larger number of high cards compared to low cards, the odds tilt in your favor.
Sounds simple right? Card counting is in fact extremely time-consuming and difficult to master. You should know that over the years as card counting has become more sophisticated casinos have taken escalating measures to stop people. This includes using multiple decks and reshuffling them often. You can still find casinos that deal single deck blackjack. But check the rules though as they most likely have changed them to put the edge in the casinos favor.
Counting Cards in Online Blackjack
Counting the cards while playing blackjack in an online casino doesn’t work. Anyone trying to sell you a blackjack system for an online casino that says otherwise, just wants your money. Here’s why. First, most of the online casinos that I have every played at use multiple decks, anywhere from 4 to 8. Second, at every online version of blackjack I have seen, the cards are shuffled after every hand. Not literally, but the random number generator (RNG) used by casino software is set so that it uses every card from all decks each hand. So with the multiple decks and shuffling after every hand, the advantage that would be gained in counting is reduced to nothing when playing at the majority of online Blackjack tables.