Card Counting To Win at Blackjack
Counting cards is a useful system that can increase your odds if employed correctly. Once you have familiarized yourself with basic strategy and card values, you can count cards and play effectively to overcome the house advantage.
Learning the card values is nothing more than simply memorizing the value assigned to each card. However, you must also understand what that value means to you and in what way you should respond. If you understand what the value represents, you will know if it’s more feasible for you to hit or stand, and even to double down or split in any given situation.
To get started, we’ll cover the 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, which all have a value of +1. These cards have a value of +1 because when there are fewer of these cards remaining in the deck, there is a better advantage for the player. The higher the number, the better your chances are of winning. Knowing this information is useful to any player because you always know how the dealer will act. High cards give you (and the dealer) a better chance of hitting blackjack, but they also increase the dealer’s chances of going bust since he has to draw until his card total is at least 17.
Another major advantage to card counting is to know when the deck is rich with 10-value cards (10, J, Q, and K). You can take advantage of this opportunity to double down or split Aces to double your winnings. Knowing when the deck is stacked in your favor will allow you to increase your bet accordingly to maximize your opportunity for profit.
When the count is lower, it means that more 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace (-1) have been played and the remaining deck is rich with small cards. When this happens, keep your bets low and follow the basic strategy to minimize your losses. Effective card counting combined with basic strategy can diminish the house advantage to less than 1%, and effective doubling down and splitting when necessary will further push the advantage towards the player.
The cards valued at 0 (7, 8, 9) don’t provide any major tactical advantage or disadvantage, so they are given a null value. Because these cards don’t change the count in any way, you can ignore them if you choose. However, keep in mind that these cards can be helpful to you if you follow basic strategy. You can split a pair of 8’s when the number is high for a chance to increase your winnings. Additionally, the 0 value cards can be useful when the count of the deck is high.