If you’re unsure as to what card counting is, it’s basically a strategy used for card games played in casinos, in order to determine whether the next hand is likely to give a probable advantage to the player or to the dealer.
Card counters utilise this strategy in an effort to attempt to reverse the inherent casino house edge by keeping a running tally of what’s been dealt and what hasn’t. It allows players to make more informed decisions based on their hands. Subsequently, they can alter the size of their bets. Knowledge really is power!
Although card counting is not illegal in the UK, casinos do not like card counters, and will likely ban players who have been caught in the act. If you’re keen to try this strategy to see if it works, it’s advisable to be cautious.
Critics say it is underhand and not in the spirit of fair play, but many others simply label it as a clever way of playing the game.
How do you count cards?
Let’s take Blackjack as an example. There are 52 cards in a standard deck, and each one is used in this game. Because the purpose of card counting is to provide you with an idea of the value of placing a bet, you must keep a tally of all the cards played.
As you’re playing against the dealer, you need to keep a running tally based on the value of any cards revealed.
In order to do this, you can come up with a value system for the cards in play. Assign +1 for cards 2-6, 0 for cards 7-9, and -1 for cards 10-Ace. This is known commonly as the “Hi-Lo” system.
Then, simply keep a numerical count totting up the values whenever the dealer pulls a card from the deck. This way, you’ll be able to monitor the running value of the cards left remaining in the deck.
After each round, if the count is in the negative, increase the size of your bet. This is because there will be more low-value cards remaining in the deck. If the count is positive, lower your bet instead.
Is card counting possible online?
This is the 64 million dollar question. Opinion seems to be divided as to whether you can count cards online or not. Some blogs say that it’s possible, and others state it’s an impossibility.
Thinking about it, there would be benefits of counting cards in online casinos. As you’re in the privacy of your own home, there’s no risk of being caught by the casino.
However, as traditional casinos have been trying to clamp down on card counting for years, online casinos are also wise to the game. Throw in the fact that they’re generally more sophisticated than in-house casinos in their technology and the chances you have to count cards become remote.
What’s more, while you could feasibly attempt to keep track of the cards during a game of online Blackjack, there is no way of knowing if the deck has been reshuffled or not.