Blackjack: Card Counting and You

Card counting is an invaluable part of playing blackjack, as it's the common tactic that leans the odds towards the players instead of the house. If a player wants to take the game seriously or even if they just to win more casual games, they need to know more about card counting.

Card counting started with Professor Edward Thorp. He began creating basic strategy from way back in 1962. Through complex mathematical computation, the professor figured out that if the deck has high cards left that the odds were heavily in the odds of the players. Card counting really began when blackjack players used the simple tactic of counting the fives that had been dealt. That was the first system really implemented and was called the five count.

There are many systems out there, but which one should a player use? As with many things, it is actually dependent on the player and their method of thinking. There are many other factors, as long what type of games are around your neighborhood, the skill level and how much time you want to invest in gambling. Beginners should learn the basic systems, such as the Hi-Lo card counting system or the KO count, as they are generally the easiest to learn for newbies. Do not worry if you do not take hold of it really fast, as card counting systems as inherently difficult. It could take months, or even years to fully take hold of a particular system. It may not even be worth it to push the issue into the more complicated card counting systems, as the gains in probability are very slight.

Of course for anyone who aims to pursue this lifestyle, there is an inevitable question - legality. It's a common topic and one that you should be aware of. Card counting, strictly speaking, without devices such as a computer, a calculator or the like, is considered perfectly legal as it is a particularly hard thing to prosecute even if it weren't. Most casinos however will not allow a known card counter into their casino, as it does not bode well for their gains and will, generally, ask counters to leave. Casino count as private property and as such, reserve the right to refuse service or patronage. Perhaps they cannot sue or take any specific legal action, but they can kick you out of the premises and ask you not to return.

Card counting does bend the odds in your favor, but it does not eliminate chance entirely. When you hit the tables, always be aware that while a good system will tilt the odds in your favor, no system will ever truly guarantee success.