Facts about card counting in blackjack

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Facts about card counting in blackjack

What is card counting?

Card counting is a very simple method which is used to foresee whether the person will win or lose the next hand in blackjack. The counting cards method was first used by mathematician Roger Baldwin to beat a game of blackjack in 1956. It is after Baldwin that other people like Ken Uston, Stamword Wong, Lawrence Revere and Edward Thorpe added their own ideas into the card counting strategies. Card counting is used to figure out when the ratio of the big cards outweighs the ratio of the small cards, and this is very crucial information required to beat the game.

So, basically there are three types of outcomes that can be achieved by applying the method of card counting-

  • It tells us, when exactly the dealer can be more likely to break i.e. get over 21
  • It tells us when the players are more likely to get better hands.
  • It tells us when the players have increased chances of getting blackjack.

Card counting strategies

Three different types of card counting strategies exist. The complexity and accuracy of a card is determined by the value which is assigned to the individual cards. In the game of blackjacks, the dealing of the cards affects the cards that remain in the deck and hence, adding values to each individual dealt card allows in determining mathematically if the chances of the player winning has increased or not. Now, not all the cards that are dealt have the same effect on the remaining cards in the deck. Each card affects the remaining cards slightly differently than each other. This is the main reason why the level 2 and level 3 card counting exists. Level 2 and 3 are more accurate, and hence, the profit is more.

Types of card counting

  • Level 1 card counting- this is the most basic strategy and can be easily and quickly learnt. However, this technique is the least accurate and hence might affect the overall profit of the player. In this strategy, all cards that are dealt with are assigned a value of either +1 or -1.

The values that are assigned generally are like this-

  1. The cards 2 through 6 are counted as +1
  2. The cards 7, 8 and pare assigned no value and hence ignored when dealt.
  3. The cards 10 and ace are assigned with the value of -1.
  • Level 2 card counting- this strategy has different values assigned to each dealt card instead of just +1 and -1. In this strategy, some cards are assigned with the numbers +2 and -2. This strategy is more accurate than level 1 and is not too complicated either for the players to learn this strategy.
  • Level 3 card counting- this is the most difficult of the three. Like level 2, some of the cards that are dealt are also numbered differently, +3 and -3. Since this technique is more complicated, it tends to increase stress of the players which in turn causes them to make a lot of mistakes. Thus, the overall profit can be hampered.

One of the most important factors that affect the overall card counting advantage is the players’ knowledge of the basic strategy, and in which condition to violate those basic strategies.