Card counting was first introduced to the general public by blackjack legend Edward O. Thorp in his 1962 book “Beat the Dealer”.
For this reason, he is often credited with inventing this strategy . However, before Thorp exposed the strategy to the world, a small group of professional gamers were using it in Las Vegas. The first of these would be Jess Marcum. Little is known about Marcum, he wanted to stay under the radar so much, but we do know that this Tennessee-born electrical engineer was the first player to be banned from Las Vegas casinos for counting cards.
After card counting was brought to light by Edward O. Thorp, it caught the attention of gambling tycoons. In 1970, Ken Uston took the next step by introducing the process of team card counting. It’s about having a certain number of “lookouts” seated at the table, who count the cards and tell the “big player” when to join the table and bet big. This strategy is strongly discouraged and may lead to you being fired from the casino.
The Benefits Of Counting Cards In Blackjack
- Stay : The player can stay on totals of 12 to 16, while the dealer cannot.
- Insurance : On average, when the dealer has an extra ace, the remaining cards in blackjack will be tens at 30.87% (based on a six-game play), making insurance a bad bet. . However, if the probability exceeds 33.33%, it becomes a good bet. The counters know when the remaining cards are rich of tens, and then make powerful assurances.
- Doubling Up : Usually when the player doubles up he wants a ten. The player makes better doubles, thus approaching 21.
- Blackjack : Both the player and the dealer will see more blackjacks, but the player will be paid 3 to 2, and the dealer will not.
- Give up : The alternative to surrender is much worse when there are dozens. If the alternative is to take a new card, the player is more likely to lose. If the player stays, due to the high number of points, the dealer has even more chances to get a 10.
- Share : The player usually splits high cards and / or low cards from the dealer. In either case, a shoe of 10 helps the player get higher totals and increases the likelihood of the dealer getting caught.
Strategies For Counting Cards
To assess the richness of the game in good cards , the player will keep track of the cards he has already played. Strategies vary , but all assign a point value to each card.
For example, the hi-lo count assigns a value of +1 to 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, and -1 to tens and aces. Everything else is 0, or neutral.
At the start of a deck of cards or a shoe, the count is 0. Then the counter constantly adds and subtracts from the count, depending on the cards played. This running total is called the “current account”. A positive count means that a disproportionate number of small cards have already been played, which means the deck is rich in cards worth a lot of points.
To determine the “true count,” divide the running count by the number of packs remaining to be played or, in some strategies, by the number of half packs. This will give you the relative richness of the game in good cards.
The real account is used in two ways, to determine how much to bet and how to play your hand. Unless it is obvious, every situation has a situation where you have to play one way if the count is higher and another way if it is lower. For example, a 12 against a 6 might require you to stay if the actual count is -1 or greater, and take a new card if the actual count is less than -1.
The blackjack card counter will also bet more if the real count is high, which means the game is rich in good cards.