No gambling establishment is without mega popular blackjack. What makes this game different is that it is one of the few games where you can influence the outcome with your decisions. As a result, players are able to minimize the casino’s advantage to less than 1%. The rules of blackjack are not complicated at all. You only need a short practice to gain confidence.
The basic rules of Blackjack
You’re probably already familiar with what the game looks like and what’s going on at the table. Now let’s explain in detail. One or more players are sitting at the table. Each of them plays for himself and against an agent. Two cards are dealt in turn to all participants and count how many points each has. The main goal of the player is to outplay the agent. For that he must have more points. However, at the same time, you can not outscore, that is, get more than 21. If a player has more points compared to his agent, but the sum does not exceed 21, he comes out the winner. All participants can decide whether to take more cards or stop. If the points are too few, there is a high probability of losing. However, with each additional card the player runs the risk of over-carding. Therefore, it can be difficult for an inexperienced person to make a decision. However, professional players use a basic strategy, where there is no need to invent anything and there is a ready solution for every situation. The whole intrigue is that the agent will have one card covered, and you won’t see the other. This complicates things. You don’t know for sure if you should fold, or if you already have a better hand, or if you should take a chance on more because the dealer has more anyway. To learn how to play, it’s best to run the free mode and practice for a while. This is very useful and safe as you won’t be spending your money. Demo versions can be found in almost any online casino.
Card denominations and counting rules
To be able to determine the winner, each card is characterized by a different number of points:
- From 2 to 9 have their own meaning. For example, 3 is three, 5 is five;
- But from 10 to the king all have ten points;
- Ace is a separate category. It gives either 1 or 11. And what value this card will take is determined automatically. If 11 points does not give an override, then the ace will make the same amount. If it does, then the Ace yields only one.
According to the rules of the game, there are two types of blackjack – natural and regular. In both cases, the sum of points is equal – 21, the only difference is how many cards were needed. Natural blackjack is two units of the deal, one of which is an ace. This is the only way to get this combination, which is the highest in this game. If you contrast natural and regular, the participant with natural wins.
Rules of the game
You make a bet. Most often at the bottom of the screen you will be offered the denominations of chips. Then you press the “Surrender” button. After that all participants get two cards and he takes turns deciding what to do. One player plays first, then the other, and so on in order. In the classic version, the agent’s second card deals with the shirt up. However, there is one variation of the game – open blackjack. This is when both cards are open. This enables players to make more rational decisions. However, the payout for winning here is reduced and equals 1:1. Once all players have played, it’s the agent’s turn. He opens his hole card and can also decide whether to fold or stop. Information should be written on the table as to the circumstances under which he stops. Usually it’s at a set of 17 or if an overcall occurs. Stopping at 17 or higher occurs regardless of how many the player has left. For example, an agent may play against just one person who will be 18 and himself is 17. Then he still has not drawn another card, despite the fact that he is guaranteed to lose in such a case.
Starting to counting cards in Blackjack
One of the most controversial activities in casinos is counting cards in blackjack. You’ve probably heard more than once that so-called meter-keepers are being kicked out of gambling establishments. Casinos do this for a reason, because the particularly talented ones actually make money at it. They learn how to count cards in blackjack, how to become inconspicuous, can collude with other players and must make a good income. If you want to see the Hollywood version of how roughly this works, turn on the movie Twenty-One. The story is based on real events, but supplemented by many fictional facts. But the main point remains. Counting cards was really made by MIT students, who had their own system of signs. And they actually made a lot of money from it.
How do you count cards in blackjack?
The principle is very simple. All card denominations are divided into three groups that give +1, 0 or -1 points:
- Cards from 2 to 6 give +1;
- Starting 8 to 9, they’re 0;
- From 10 to A give -1.
Why is this done? It allows you to “weigh the deck,” so to speak, and determine more accurately which card the agent will deal next. Such knowledge is the key to winning at blackjack. When a new deck is taken, the player must keep track of all the cards that leave the deck and keep score. For example, the agent himself has two tens, and he deals 6 and 8. So the count would be -1, -1, 0, +1, resulting in a sum of -1. The bigger the number, the fewer small cards are left in the deck and the game becomes more profitable for the player. The lower the number, the more there is change and the risk of losing increases. Here’s a simple example. We play a single deck. For several rounds, all small 2 to 5 and no other cards disappear from the pack. During the next hand, the player and agent get the same cards: 6 and 10. What is the probability that he will not overcall by taking another one? This probability is 4 out of 32, i.e., 12.5%. After all, the overcall will be in any case, if the ace doesn’t fall, of which there are 4, and the total number of cards in the deck is 32. If, on the other hand, a jack, queen, king, and ace of all suits were left in the pack, the odds would be quite different for the same deal. It turns out that to strengthen the set, the player would fit all of the denominations from 2 to 5. There are four of each, so there are 16 in total. The number of remaining cards, as in the first case, is 32. It turns out that the probability to strengthen the hand and not to overcall is 16 out of 32, i.e. 50%. This shows how profitable it is to count cards in blackjack. If the player does not keep score, he does not know in either case what is left in the deck and what his chances are of getting what he needs. And through observation, he makes the most rational decision possible. When the score is negative, the odds go down because there are more small cards left in the pack. But when the score is positive, it means there are more big ones in the deck, so the stakes increase. That being said, one should additionally know the basic strategy that tells in which situation and how a player should act for optimal play.
Card Counting Technique
To simplify the task, it is recommended to count not one card, but two. So, for example, if three players are dealt: 10 and 5, A and J, 9 and 8, then you will take into account not -1+1-1-1-1-1-1-1+0+0, but by another: -1+1=0; -1-1=-2; 0+0=0, total -2. The point is that often a pair of cards dealt to he gives zero, so there’s no adding and subtracting the whole chain, if the pairs are zeroed. This way it will be easier to count, and it harder to make a mistake. In general, choose the option that suits you best. 1 player may be comfortable with one technique, the other with another. In a more advanced version, the player must consider not only the amount of points, but also how many decks are left. Then the current score, which he gets, must be divided by the number of packs. The result is called the real score. On this basis, some suggest to determine the size of the bets. The higher the real score, the higher the value will be.
Card Counting Trainer
There are special programs that help you practice card counting. For example, on the “casino 888” blog there is such a simulator. On the right, it shows how many points each group of cards gives, which is very convenient. The simulator offers to set the rate of change, the number of decks used (1 or 6) and at what interval to request the results of calculation. Such simulators are a very convenient way to learn and hone your blackjack card counting skills. At certain intervals, the player must enter a number and then find out if he did it correctly or not. There are more realistic simulators. For example, the player will observe not just cards, but cards dealt to the agent and him. So it is possible to get used to counting during the real game. You can train and run a demo mode in blackjack online casinos. But then you won’t have any clues as to how correctly you’ve calculated the amount.
Is it allowed to count cards in a casino?
There are two different things to consider here. Whether or not it is allowed and whether or not it is legal. On the legal side, there is nothing wrong here. At least as long as you’re not colluding with other players or using some kind of device. But is it permissible? No. Casinos don’t like counters, they kick them out and shut them out of the gambling room. So by not breaking the law, you are disrupting the peace of the establishment, and for that you are not allowed to enter. The fact that a player is involved in card counting can be determined. After all, he will regularly raise or lower the bets depending on the score. And this attracts attention.
Can I count cards in online casinos?
Counting cards in online casinos is useless, because unlike land-based establishments, they have an incessant shuffle. That is, the deck is mixed after each deal. Thus, counting cards at all loses any meaning. Suppose you know all the names, and in the next hand, it turns out that they have been added to the pack again. You can use the online game only to practice technique. But there are still live casinos, which do not use a system of continuous shuffling. But here, too, not every table will do. You need to know after how many decks the cards are sent to the shuffle. For example, 4 out of 8 means that after 208 out of 416 titles have been played, new ones appear and the counting goes the new way. For those involved in card taking, the longer one plays with an old deck, the better, as the game becomes more and more predictable.