Most people think that card counting is difficult learn. There are many different systems that have been devised, from simple to more complex. A more complex system will give a more accurate count, so it would be better, but even the simplest of systems will drop the house edge.
As a casino player, you want to reduce the house edge in any game you play. With blackjack having the lowest house edge in all casino games, if you’re able to reduce that even a little bit more, the better the chance of having a profitable gambling session.
The true system was developed by Michael Shackleford, better known as the Wizard of Odds, and for astute mathematical analysis of casino games.
HOW IT WORKS
The reason the system is based on aces and fives, is because those two cards have the biggest influence on house edge when they are removed from the deck.
Because you focus on only two cards, it’s easier to learn. The more complex systems have you thinking about more cards, making them more reliable. However, if you can learn this easier system, it makes learning more complex systems easier.
This modified version starts with a count of 10 (as opposed to 0), done this way so you won’t have to work with negative numbers. That can actually work with most systems, if you don’t like to work with negative numbers.
Each time you see a 5, add 1 to your count, each time you see an ace, subtract 1 from your count. You use this count to determine how much your bet should be. If the count is 11 or less, you stay with the minimum bet
When the count reaches 12 or 13, you want to double your bet. If the count gets to 14 or 15, you double your bet again. If the count reaches 16 or more, you again double the bet.
So, if thinking in terms of bet units and the minimum bet is 1 unit, as the count increases, you’re betting 1unit, 2units, 4units or 8units. It looks like this:
- Count is 11 or less – bet 1 unit
- Count is 12 or 13 – bet 2 units
- Count is 14 or 15 – bet 4 units
- Count is 16 or more – bet 8 units
Should the count get to 6 or lower, consider getting up from that table, as the house edge is probably higher than normal at that point.
That is the short and sweet of the system. The system should not take long to learn because it is quite simple. If you can learn it, and use it while applying perfect basic blackjack strategy, you will probably do better than break even in the long run.
Take the time to practice at home before trying it at a casino. You have to be able to count, without looking like you’re counting. As your skills improve with this simple system, don’t be afraid to move up to a more advanced system. Because you now understand the concept of card counting, it won’t be as difficult to learn more advanced techniques. Good luck!
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