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I have heard the term “card counting” many times. I think everyone has at least heard of card counting at some time. It is a strategy used to play blackjack. In fact, it is the strategy most often used in blackjack tournaments.
Card counting strategies were first discovered by Edward Thorp, considered the father of blackjack card counting. In his 1962 book Beat the Dealer, he applied his secret of card counting across the world poker tables, finding that if players were paid more for holding strong hands, they would deviate from basic strategy, and start playing with higher starting hands.
Free blackjack card counting systems were developed by the late Al Francesco using graph paper and Microsoft Excel. In his 1978 book Beat the Dealer, published after a unsuccessful attempt, he removed the mathematics from the game, and wrote the book assuming the reader could remember all the players’ playing decisions. He assured the reader that his system was guaranteed to win, using it to cancel out the casinos’ house edge. Today, blackjack card counting is the second most used methods in the world, only behind Ace tracking.
Why do we bother to use card counting?
Blackjack card counting can put the odds in your favor. When playing blackjack, you know the dealers facecount. You also know the cardcount out, and the 20,000,000 starting hands mean that you know approximately what will be dealt next. Our strategy is to exploit that knowledge.
When we use card counting, we know exactly what to do next, and we don’t need to calculate our 21,000,000 per session. We don’t need to monitor twenty thousand times how much to bet, when to hit, split, double down, etc. We just need to know the deck is rich in face cards and we know which ones to bet on.
Card counting is perfectly legal, but casinos have the right to refuse to allow card counters to gamble at their tables. With enoughistlepress storiesasking why blackjack card counting is not illegal, it seems that the casinos view card counting as cheating. However, whether it’s cheating or not doesn’t matter to us. Card counting is the only method that allows us to make our odds of winning better than the house.
So why is card counting illegal?
Why would any casino in existence allow anyone to use an electronic device to assist them in the operation of the casino? Why would they allowed anyone to play Blackjack card counting if it didn’t have the odds in favor of the player? The house advantage is still twenty-one percent. The casinos still rake in four hundred eighty million dollars each year. They have the same advantage the players have. Yet no one plays Blackjack card counting.
If you knew the Hi Lo Card Counting system and the statistical probability of the next card, you could play perfectly against the house. The casinos know the deck is rich in face cards and they slow down the hand when holding high cards. The average card counter has an almost seventy percent advantage over the house. When casino’s think they know the odds in their favor, that is what they will try to do, change the rules to let the players win, not play against them.
Casinos are greedy. If players won’t play, they will make a cheaper casino than themselves. If a Dewacasino is losing money, they may go under. Typically, though, they can live for a casino while its debts are still manageable. If a card counter wins, the casino doesn’t know if they used an electronic device. It could just simply be bad luck, an inferior beat. The casino doesn’t fear the player any more than the player fears the casino.
Think of it this way. If you owned a business, would you sell it to a Chinese competitor knowing you could build more and better machines? If you did not know, you would not be able to compete and you would be out of business. Same thing with casino’s. They are very profitable and strong. They don’t even know it.
They may be very profitable, but they are still casinos. When a casino sees that you are a card counter, they may decide to harm you in a way they cannot afford to do. That is why casinos shut down when they see counters at the tables.
A casino that allows card counting is just as profitable as one that doesn’t. If you decide to play blackjack gambling, make sure you learn the secrets of counting cards so you know when to slow down and when to speed up.