Card counting is based around a theory of statistical analysis. Of course this directly relates to blackjack, because when a player knows the proportion of high cards left in the deck, or decks, they can then increase or decrease their bet accordingly.
A deck which is rich in face cards is good for the player, while the decks with a high proportion of low cards is usually bad for the player. In blackjack, the high cards are probably even, while in the low cards, the chances are heavily against the players. Counting the cards in the deck gives the player a rough idea of the proportion of high cards remaining in the deck.
Card counting techniques can be fairly simple to very complex depending upon the technique. Some can even create new, personalized strategies based on the cards currently being played. Counting tools which are publicly available can assist users in measuring the effectiveness of a method and, if used correctly, can increase the player’s advantage.
The basic idea of card counting is to keep track of every card played and every set of cards left in the deck. Every time a card is played, you add or subtract from the running count. All cards are given a value equal to the number on the card. For each card played, you can add or subtract from the running count. This running count tracks the history of the cards played from the beginning of the deck, up to the present time.
A card counter usually keeps a mental count of every card played. This is then used to determine the rate of played cards for the next hand. Basic card counting schemes, such as the KO card counting method or Hi-Lo count, assign a positive and negative value to cards that are left in the deck. Any positive value indicates a more cards of high cards are remaining in the deck. Any negative value indicates a smaller amount of high cards are remaining in the deck. Usually a card counter keeping a count of +2 cards (Naga303) will play around with a deck of cards with a running count of -4 cards.
- 4 cards remain in the deck gives the counter a balance of around 2:3 in favor of the house. This is a good situation, as the counter is hoping for a good shuffle. If you are rating the cards you are dealt, you are trying to figure out the number of cards remaining in the deck that will help you bet and also the values of those cards. You want to bet when the deck is rich in face cards and low cards.
- 5 cards are left in the deck and the running count is now 4:3 in favor of the house. Betting on the turn should be increased. The deck is now rich in high cards and you want to stay away from the quick throw here. If you have a six card or longer running count, you are sure you are past the opening bet range of the house.
- card counting is perfectly legal, but casinos are flipping a coin and will not hand over for counting cards. If you are caught you are either banned from the casino, or if you have purchased an incorrect ticket, you are automatically penalized.
- counting cards is perfectly legal, but some people get a thrill of counting cards being both illegal and suspicious.