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Card counting in Blackjack: Its nature, function and forms

Card counting in Blackjack

Ever stopped to think why Blackjack is such a popular card game? Whether one considers conventional setups or online casinos, Blackjack is one casino card game people prefer. And the best thing about the game is if we actually look at the history of the Blackjack card game we will be able to find a number of successful players who managed to get the upper hand over the system and win consistently. One of the ways players use to minimise the house advantage and turn the advantage towards themselves is using the concept of card counting.

What is card counting?

A system used to tip the odds in the player’s favour card counting is widely used when playing a Blackjack card game. To explain it in the simplest terms this is a system where every card in the deck is assigned a value, and the player keeps a count of the cards using their values as the cards keep coming out of the deck. This way players are able to determine what type of cards are still remaining in the deck so that they can decide on whether or not to place bets, minimise the risk and win big, or place a small bet to minimise losses. This is basically what card counting is and why it is used.

Card counting in Blackjack

Various forms of card counting

There are various forms and various levels of card counting currently being used in a Blackjack card game. Basically, most of the different types or forms of card counting come under three levels – level I level II and level III; while level I is the beginners level, the 2nd and 3rd levels are more complex and complicated. Beginners start at the level I with card counting and as they become proficient move up to the harder levels.

Level I card counting methods include the popular Hi-Lo method, Red Seven method, KISS method and Knock Out Blackjack method. Among all the Level I methods Hi-Lo method is a balanced method and is the most preferred method. In this method, high-value cards are assigned a positive value, and low-value cards are assigned a negative value, +1 and -1. If the card counting value is negative it means the deck has low-value cards, which means the dealer is at an advantage. In such a situation card counters either place minimum bets or avoid placing bets altogether. In the case the card counting value is positive it means the deck has more high-value cards. In such a situation, since the players are at an advantage the card counter can place a higher bet with a minimum risk. When the whole deck is empty card counters end up with a zero when using the system.

While level I methods like Hi-Lo use -1, 0 and +1 the level II methods like the Omega II assign -2 and +2 to some of the cards in the deck. Among the level II methods, the Omega II method is balanced while Wong Halves is the balanced method in the Level III methods. Wong Halves is the most accurate system in card counting but is the most complicated too since it assigns values infractions!

Is it card counting illegal?

Right before you jump into one or more of the card counting methods to ensure you come out with profits while playing Blackjack card game one issue you must be aware of is whether the system is legal or not. The answer to the question isn’t straightforward as card counting isn’t illegal according to the law, but casinos have the power to remove suspected advantage players at the Blackjack card game. Having said that, casinos can only ask players to leave but can’t confiscate their chips or winnings!

What happens if you get caught and how to avoid it?

Since casinos have the inherent right to deny service to any person, they can ask people suspected of card counting to winning at a Blackjack card game to leave. So, the best way to employ your knowledge and skill to make money is to avoid getting detected. Superficially you can try looking like a tourist who is out to just have a good time and not make money; this includes dressing the part, spending some time before actually playing hard and being discreet about card counting. Another way is to form card counting teams and avoid detection as a team but still make money out of the casino!