Blackjack card counting - how does it work and how legal is it?

Card counting in blackjack

Blackjack is one of the most played casino games and looks back on a long history. But not only the touch of classic casino charm attracts players to the blackjack table, but also the opportunity to have high chances of winning through strategies such as counting cards.

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The dream of taking happiness into your own hands

Before we get started, though, let's be clear one thing: what makes card counting so successful? For all casino games there are numerous strategies and tricks that promise that you can actively gain an advantage as a player. But rarely do you hear of a case in which a certain technique really led to a permanent win. In most casino games you mainly use a bonus or free spins in order to still win without using real money. So you can only increase your chances and hope. However, card counting is considered to be one of the few strategies through which you can really and actually take luck into your own hands. How does it work?

The principle of advantage of card counting

Blackjack is a game of chance, so luck is always a factor, but not all. When counting cards you can get a decisive advantage through mental dexterity, in which you can keep an overview of which cards of the deck have already been drawn and which consequently still have to be in the stack by closely observing the game. It is precisely this skill that can be used mathematically to influence the game in your own favor.

The principle behind it is actually quite simple: if you know which card could appear next and with what probability, then you have an enormous advantage when playing. Of course you won't always know exactly, but the probability of certain cards is higher than for others because they have already been dealt. In addition, it does not depend on a specific card, but only on the value of the card. The already relatively high advantage in blackjack over the casino can, together with the blackjack cards count, make this game very lucrative. Read more about the blackjack card counting guide here.

Nice to know: Edward Thorp, the math professor who made card counting famous

Card counting is a technique that has long been known and fascinates players. The first tables of the blackjack basic strategy existed as early as the 1950s, but the big breakthrough came with a book called "Beat the Dealer", which was published in 1962 and caused a great stir in the gaming community. The author, US mathematics professor Edward Thorp, is regarded as the forefather of successful card counting.

With "Beat the Dealer" it was mathematically proven to the community of gamblers for the first time that with the help of card counting it is possible to reduce the house edge extremely and to play blackjack with much more control over loss or gain. The famous game of chance was not a pure game of chance, because it was proven possible with cleverness and pure brain power not to give up to pure chance. A sensation!

How is that possible?? At the bottom of all of this is the fact that in blackjack, previous events in the game will affect future events - unlike roulette or slot machines.

Brain jogging? Card counting is more of a brain ultramarathon

For the most part, blackjack is played with six decks. Since there are 52 cards in each deck, you get a pile of 312 cards in the sledge - quite a lot! It is extremely difficult not to lose track of things, because after all you are not allowed to use any aids such as pieces of paper and paper or pocket calculators. It all has to come off in your head, and if you make a mistake, it's all over. It all becomes even more difficult because you have to continue playing normally while counting cards and maybe even talk to the other players at the table to camouflage yourself in order to appear as relaxed as possible (you will find out in the paragraphs why camouflage is so important at the end of the article). For anyone who is not an absolute genius, this is an incredibly big challenge.

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The Hi-Lo method

Because of this, there is a technique here and there that will make card counting easier. The hi-low method is one such technique. Instead of memorizing every card, hand and its value, the cards are divided into three groups: Cards two to six are counted as +1, cards seven, eight and nine count as 0 and high cards, i.e. 10, jacks, kings, Queens and Aces are counted as -1. The player adds or subtracts according to each new card that is turned over and only has to remember the current "running count". On the basis of this running count value, the player can estimate very well whether there are more high or low cards in the remaining pile and can accordingly make his decisions more advantageously, because high cards are better for the player: it is more likely to get a blackjack get, or at least a hand that has a very high value and which therefore can beat the dealer's hand.

If you know the running count and can successfully estimate the remaining number of decks, you can divide the former number by the latter number and thus get the so-called true count. This says the same as the running count, but is much more accurate. So you can know even better how to play your hand.

The technique of so-called "wonging"

Another method of counting cards is called Wonging, named after the blackjack book author John Ferguson, who published books on card counting under the pseudonym Stanford Wong. With this technique, you start counting when you are not even sitting at the table, but just watching as an observer. If you see an advantageous situation and there is a free seat at the table, you sit down and can start straight away to win in a targeted manner. The advantage of this is, of course, that you cannot lose any money while observing because you are not playing, and the distraction is also limited. The disadvantage, however, is that casino staff can easily tell if someone is wonging and, as we will explain later, this usually does not have any good consequences for the exposed player.

Card counting in a team

There are legendary stories of teams developing strategies to effectively apply card counting techniques through teamwork and thus run the casinos for their money. Just think of the famous MIT team - students and alumni of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who banded together in a highly organized manner and successfully applied their strategies for more than 10 years. But how did that work exactly?

For example, one or more members of the team play at a table and can thus observe the course of the game with the help of counting techniques without being noticed by obvious "wonging". They use secret signals to tell another team member when it is time for them to interfere in the game - with higher stakes, of course. So you help him win and later the money will be shared. If a member of the team is caught and is banned from the house, the project is not over, because a single person on the team can be replaced.

The downside to such success, however, is that the casinos keep a very keen eye on people who act like members of a typical card counting group. Above all, the player who seems to wander aimlessly from table to table, always betting high and then winning, attracts a lot of attention.

Blackjack cards count online casino is also possible? Does it also work in the live casino?

& quot; Counting Cards isn't illegal, it's frowned upon .... & quot;

It is not possible to count blackjack cards in the online casino in software-based blackjack games, because every hand is dealt by the system. After each hand played, the decks of cards are reshuffled by the computer system, which deals the cards again. So it is impossible to know which cards are already out and which are still in the deck.

Playing in the live casino is something completely different. Here you play against a real dealer and with real decks of cards. This means that there is a higher chance that counting blackjack cards online will help you, especially if you also have a good bankroll.

Why blackjack online card counting doesn't work and what strategy to use instead

As already described, blackjack online does not count cards, but there are some strategies that have helped players and also one or the other team of players to a high profit. Each card counter uses their own strategies to beat the casinos' systems. However, it becomes more and more difficult as the number of decks is increased again and again to reduce your chances of winning. Learn our methods here and try them out on your next casino visit. The higher the stake, the higher the winnings!

Counting cards is hard, but winning doesn't have to be hard!
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Everything about blackjack cards include USA - How legal is it to count cards in US casinos?

Who does not know this scene: the security staff drag a defending player through the casino and put him in front of the door. The player is accused of having counted cards and is banned from entering the house. So it is generally thought that card counting is illegal, but actually it is not, because using your brain for math is nowhere illegal, not even in the United States. After all, you don't use any illicit tricks or aids, just your own brain capacity and cleverness. Counting blackjack cards in USA is not illegal, but is banned in many casinos around the world, because the casinos can create their own house rules.

So, unfortunately, mastering card counting is only the first half of the challenge. The second half is the camouflage that should be taken seriously these days, because the casinos spare no effort and now have advanced technologies such as face recognition on cameras. Because of this, and through trained, highly attentive casino staff, it is next to impossible for a player who has been caught somewhere and has been banned from the house to simply continue at another casino. So the top priority is: don't get caught, even if you have to use a simplified counting method to pay more attention to camouflage. Because if you get caught, the profit is certainly zero.

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