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How to play Blackjack - Blackjack Card Counting Overview

So you want to know how to play Blackjack and you think card counting is the answer? Well, it is one of the most popular ways to beat the dealer and many people swear by it. Back in the 1950's, the first basic strategy system and simple card counting systems were devised.

The systems didn't get much attention until the 1960's; when a mathematics professor by the name of Dr. Edward Thorp published a book titled 'Beat the Dealer'. His book showed the public that it was possible for a clever player to actually have a greater advantage over the casino at blackjack.

Card counting can put the chances in the favor of the blackjack player, but it has boundaries and is not the "holy grail" that many blackjack players believe.

It is a belief that has seen several blackjack card counting myths emerge that cause many players to lose. Here are some of the more frequent ones.

Myth 1: A Complicated Strategy Will Be More Successful

A card counting system can be complicated or it can be simple, it depends on the system.

The book included a simple counting system to keep track of the ratio of high to lows cards in a deck. This is now used as the basis for most card counting strategies used in blackjack today. The quick and easy reason why card counting works is this:

Blackjack Card Counting Techniques

Advantage
The player gains an advantage when a deck has a shortage of cards valued 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Disadvantage
When a deck has a shortage of cards valued 9, 10, Ace; the player has a disadvantage.

If you can tell when the deck is rich in 9's, 10's, and Aces you can do one of the following things:

  • Bet more money when the deck is favorable to you.
  • Alter your strategy play to account for the favorability which will increase the odds of winning a particular hand.

If you would like to take a closer look at the strategy of card counting.