Blackjack Card Counting | Real Money Online Casino

Card counting

Card counting

Card counting became increasingly popular during the 1960’s and a bunch of books, tutorials and videos are available for the discerning Blackjack strategy player who’s looking to shave the house edge on every hand they play. If you fancy yourself a bit of a card sharp and you know where to put your money when the cards are drawn and the chips are down, then we welcome you to test your skills with us. We are finally available to Aussie players who like to win big playing all of their favourite games at the much more convenient and better paying venue that is the online casino. So, sit back in your most favourite and comfortable chair, get yourself a drink and enjoy the fact that you don’t have to dress up to visit Ignition Casino like you would at The Star in Sydney or The Treasure up in Brisbane. Come as you are and play as you want with us. 

How to count cards?

If you’re new to the concept of card counting and you’ve heard it bandied around in the films but you’re not entirely sure what’s involved, we’ve put together a run down on the basic strategy and how it applies to the king of all table games: Blackjack. If you know the basics on how to play Blackjack but you’re not confident yet, get started playing online with our Practice Mode sessions. In Practice Mode you’re not placing bets for real money and you can spend the session learning how the dealer words, what the table looks like and sharpening your skills as a card counting machine.

So, card counting is also called card reading and it essentially refers to the skill of keeping a running count of the cards the dealer is pulling on every Blackjack hand. You can use card counting to help in other games including all the Pokers, but traditionally card counting has been associated with Blackjack and now, thanks to fun-filled destinations like us, Blackjack online.

The casino films would have you believe that you need to be some super-human savant to master card counting or reading but that’s not true. A card counter is not memorising every individual card in a deck and then mentally placing it within their own hand or the dealers. Instead, a card counter appoints a point score to every card that they do see and estimates the value of that card. They keep track of the values in their heads, or they keep a ‘running count’. The usual strategy adopted is using statistical evidence that says high cards, particularly Aces and 10s, benefit the player and the low cards usually help the dealer. More high cards can help a player increase the chance of landing a natural Blackjack, they can help a player when they double down (because the dealer can’t double down) and the player has higher chance of being able to split their hand and thus increase your bet over two hands and two potential blackjacks.

Card counters assign a positive, a negative or a zero to each card and as each card is dealt, the sum in their heads is adjusted. The Hi-Lo method is a running count which never increases or decreases by a single value. Card values from 2 to 6 have a point value of 1, cards 7 to 9 are neutral cards have a value of zero and the higher cards all have a value of -1. Remember, the card counter considers small value cards to be in the dealer’s favour and the higher value cards to benefit the player. So, if the count is high then the bet is not a good one, statistically speaking. If the count is negative, then the cards favour the player and you might increase your bet based on the score so far.

True counts are more complicated, taking into account the number of decks left and include values of +0.5 and -0.5. They are more comprehensive counts, but the player’s mind must keep track of a lot more maths and accommodate their bet size accordingly while they’re counting. If you’re doing it right then you might be making quite a bit on your bets, but it will be slow work and someone using the Hi-Lo method could be cleaning up on another table playing faster, if less accurate, card counting.

Is card counting illegal?

If you’re doing the maths in your head, and only your head, then you’re not doing anything illegal. Established in 1979 and running ever since, the MIT blackjack team have been proving just that by beating casinos worldwide with only their brain power. Shoe or no shoe, they’ve been cleaning up at every house they can walk into.

You can expect, when you are very good at this, to shorten the house edge to 0.5% on some blackjack games or gain a 1% edge against the house. You calculate your expected advantage by your skills, how much of the deck has been cut off and the betting spread – your maximum bet divided by your minimum bet. 

Ready to get started? At Ignition Casino you can play Single Deck Blackjack, Double Deck, European, Perfect Pairs or Zappit - which eliminates hands of 15, 16 and 17 using the ‘Zap’ button. So get cracking card counters!

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