Card Counting in Blackjack

Blackjack, like most card games, is as much about luck as it is strategy and math. You need luck because even the most skilled player cannot control what the next card drawn will be. Similarly, they cannot predict what face-down cards have already been dealt or what hand the dealer has.

Some players use gut instincts, or try to read faces for ‘tells’ as if they are playing poker. Other players try to count the cards.

Card counting in blackjack is a method which attempts to increase the advantage that the player has. It is not a way to predict what cards will be dealt next, but it does give a slightly broader picture of what is happening within the finite deck.

A card counter can employ any number of different systems to try and win the hand. Most of these involve watching what cards are dealt and either adding or subtracting 1 from a running total they maintain mentally. This total is, essentially, the odds that a favorable card will be drawn from the deck.

The player who is counting bases decisions on the current number they have figured out. A low number means the chances of getting a helpful card is low, and a high number means the opposite. They will wager their money accordingly, attempting to minimize their losses and maximize their gains.

The actual mathematical edge that card counting in blackjack gives a player may seem relatively insignificant to most people. However, for those who play cards for a living, even single-digit percentage advantages can make a huge difference over time.

Blackjack is usually chosen as the game of choice for card counting strategies because the game itself already begins with the highest odds for a player to beat the house and win. The odds can be much lower for other card games (like poker), regardless of the players level of ability.

Despite what some people think, it does not take someone with supernatural mental prowess to count cards. It just takes a person who understands one of the establish methods of doing it, and understands the game of blackjack.

It should be noted that card counting is not illegal. If the count is kept in one’s head, and no external device is used, then there is nothing criminal about doing it. Still, it cannot be used at most casinos. These are private businesses that have every right to deny services to any person for any reason. Most casinos are actively searching for card counters and regularly throw out those suspected of it, with or without evidence.

There are many books written on this subject, and there are at least a dozen different methods that can be employed. The simplest is called the ‘Hi/Lo’ method and is relatively easy to learn. Card counting in blackjack can give a definite edge over other players and the dealer, but luck will still determine the ultimate outcome of a hand.

To sharpen your skills, make sure to practice your skills on our free Blackjack Trainer, a interactive flash game which teaches while you play.

How to Count Cards in Blackjack

This article is part of our ongoing series on how to play blackjack, and it deals with card counting. When people talk about beating the odds of Blackjack the topic quickly turns to card counting, and how to do it. Most people think that they need an advanced degree from MIT in oder to be able to follow a proven card counting strategy, but that is simply not true. A basic card counting strategy is really quite simple to learn and employ, and can result in quite dramatic results. So, the Blackjack Trainer is going to outline a very basic card counting strategy which you can practice and develop. So lets begin with how to count cards.

If you don’t know what card counting is, then you should read this overview, Counting Cards in Blackjack. It discusses some of the basic points of what card counting is and is not, which we are not going to repeat in this posting. As well, the overview describes some of the variables that impact a card counting strategy, such as the number of decks in rotation.

Here are some key factors that need to be kept in mind when card counting;

  • the number of decks in play
  • how often the deck is shuffled
  • when the deck is shuffled
  • the number of aces that have been played

There are two numbers that the player needs to keep in mind when counting cards. We are going to go over a simple, single deck strategy to cover the basics. First, there are 13 cards in each suit from 2 – Ace, each with an intrinsic value. But Ten, Jack, Queen, and King all have a value of 10. So the

Free Blackjack Tutorials

Beware of other sites charging fees for the same information, the Blackjack Trainer free blackjack tutorial is available to everyone. This fee interactive blackjack game teaches by explaining when a player makes a mistake. There is not hitch or strings, we do not ask for an email address or any information, just click play and have some fun while you learn the world of blackjack.
You can find our free blackjack tutorials in our articles section, which explain every facet of the game. Again, these articles are free and you can read through all of our information.

The Blackjack Trainer was created by Blackjack enthusiasts to help other players improve their play. With thousands of hours spent at the tables, we’re crazy about Blackjack, and we want to share our wealth of information with you. We could charge a fee for the information on this site, but we’d rather provide it for free so that we can help as many players as possible.

Beware of other web sites that charge money for ”top secret systems” and “exclusive strategies”. Winning at Blackjack isn’t rocket science, and is much simpler than you may think! Everything you need to know to succeed at the tables can be found on this web site.

Basic Blackjack Strategy

February 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Blackjack Strategy

Would you like to know some basic blackjack strategies? Then you need to read through our section on the top, Blackjack Basics. Our posts on the basics of the game of blackjack will take you through all the steps to learning the game, and implementing some basic winning strategies. Remember, the basics can provide some of the most dramatic results, as not many people know how to implement the basic strategies of blackjack. So, check out this section, and begin the learning process. It will also provide a solid foundation for adopting some of the concepts discussed in our advanced blackjack strategies.

Top Secret Blackjack Strategy

February 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Blackjack Strategy

Are you looking for those top secret strategies to winning at blackjack? Then look no further, as the Blackjack Trainer is going to provide you with those very secrets. Read through our articles and tutorial section for the latest blackjack strategies and tips.

Online blackjack is a simple game to learn, but can be a difficult game to master. One of the first steps to learning how to win at blackjack is to play our interactive blackjack trainer game. In addition, it is highly recomended that you look at our Advanced Blackjack Strategies in our tutorials section, which describes concepts such as the mathematics and probabilities behind the game.

Blackjack-tips-and-strategies

February 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Blackjack Strategy

Intermediate skills and techniques to help you win.
How to bet, when to double down, how to count cards, and advanced techniques.

Topics

February 6, 2009 by  
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There is no longer a topics section to the Blackjack Trainer, as the site has been migrated to a new system. If you are looking for topics, then check out our Articles section, which has been broken down into organized categories which cover the entire scope of the game of blackjack.

We do invite you to test our our signature product, our Free Blackjack Trainer, which is an interactive flash game which teaches you winning srategies for blackjack in an easy to follow and fun environment. Go ahead and test it out.

Learn Blackjack

Beginner guides and tutorials
Blackjack is essentially a very simple game. Follow these guides and tutorials to learn the basics and you’ll be ready for our advanced strategies and tips.
New to Blackjack? If you’re a beginner player, start with our beginner guides and tutorials. You’ll learn the basic concepts required to play the game, including How to play Blackjack , Blackjack rules, as well as Blackjack terminology using our comprehensive glossary. Learn to win Once you’ve become familiar … Let’s go!

Getting Started

February 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Blackjack Basics

How to use this web site.

New to Blackjack?

If you’re a beginner player, start with our beginner guides and tutorials. You’ll learn the basic concepts required to play the game, including How to play Blackjack , Blackjack rules, as well as Blackjack terminology using our comprehensive glossary.

Learn to win

Once you’ve become familiar with the basics, proceed to our tips and strategies section. guides. We present all the necessary Blackjack strategies, including how to bet, when to double down, how to count cards, and advanced techniques.

Practice using our Blackjack Simulator

Use our Blackjack simulator to practice for free! You’ll find our interactive simulator on the home page.

How to Play Blackjack

February 6, 2009 by  
Filed under Blackjack Basics

The basic rules of the game.

Blackjack in a nutshell

Blackjack is a relatively simple card game played between one or more players and a dealer. Players and the dealer are dealt two cards each, and each player may choose to receive additional cards. The goal of each player is to beat the dealer by having a higher scoring hand without exceeding 21; a hand with a higher total than 21 is said to bust.

Blackjack hands are scored by their point total. Cards 2 through 10 are worth their face value, while face cards (Jack, Queen, King) are worth 10. An Ace is worth 11 unless this would cause the player to bust, in which case it is worth 1. A hand in which an Ace is counted as 11 is called a soft hand, because it cannot be busted if the player draws another card. A two-card hand of 21 (i.e. an Ace plus a ten-value card) is called a Blackjack or a Natural, and is an automatic winner.

If the player busts he loses, even if the dealer also busts. If both the player’s and dealer’s hands have the same point value, neither the player nor the dealer wins the hand. This is referred to as a push.

In Blackjack, players play only against the dealer, and not each other. Each player has an independent game with the dealer, so it’s possible for the dealer to lose to one player, but still beat other players in the same round. Until the dealer’s turn, only one of the dealer’s cards visible to the players. This is called the hole card.

Gameplay goes as follows:

  1. The players and the dealer are dealt two cards each.
  2. If the dealer has Blackjack and the player does not, the player automatically loses.
  3. If the player has Blackjack and the dealer does not, the player automatically wins.
  4. If both the player and the dealer have Blackjack, it’s a push.
  5. If neither the player or the dealer has Blackjack, then each player plays out his hand, one at a time.
  6. After all of the players have finished, the dealer plays his hand.

To play a hand, the player has the following options:

  • Hit: Take another card. The player may continue to hit until the hand is busted.
  • Stand: Take no more cards.
  • Double down: Double the bet and take only one more card.
  • Split a pair: When both cards have the same value, the player may split the hand into two hands, each to be played separately. This requires placing an additional bet equal to the original bet on the new hand.

The players turn is over after deciding to stand, doubling down to take a single card, or busting. If the player busts, he or she loses the bet even if the dealer goes on to bust.

After all the players have finished playing their hands, the dealer reveals the hole card and plays his or her hand. The dealer’s play is dictated by a strict set of rules; the dealer has no discretion in the decision-making process. In most casinos, the house rules say that the dealer must hit until he or she has at least 17 and then stand, regardless of what the players have. In most casinos a dealer must also hit a soft 17 (e.g. an Ace and a 6). After the dealer has completed playing his or her hand, the point total is compared against the hands of the players who have not busted to determine which players have won, and which players have lost.

Ok now it is time to test out your knowledge on our free Blackjack Trainer game. Don’t worry, it is a great deal of fun which teaches you the right decision while you play, by explaining what you did right or wrong.

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