Blackjack is a viral casino game that is widely loved all over the world. The goal of blackjack is to beat the dealer.
Unlike other card games, where you play against the other players, here, your primary objective is to get closer to a total of 21 than the dealer without going over.
Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? Now, it may seem like Blackjack is all about chance. You have to make do with the cards you’re randomly dealt with.
While this is true, there are ways you can increase your chances of winning. Read on to find out how.
Before we get into the specifics of card counting for blackjack, let’s go through what blackjack is, and how one would go about playing it.
Blackjack is a casino game that is played against the dealer, and your only objective is to beat them. All cards have a numeric value. The number cards (2 to 10) are taken at face value, which means that a 2 card will be worth 2 points, an 8 will be worth 8 points, and so on.
The face cards, namely the jack, queen, and king, are all worth 10 points, and the ace can either be worth 1 point or 11 points, depending on whatever is more convenient for the player. You will have to aim to get closer to 21 than the dealer without going over.
To begin with, each player is dealt 2 cards, face up. The dealer is dealt 2 cards, and one is face down. The player must decide if they want another card to increase their total, or if they want to stick with their cards. If the player chooses to stay, the dealer’s other card is revealed. Then the winner is determined based on the total of both hands.
All this is relatively easy to understand, and a lot of the game is based on chance since you can’t help with which cards you’re given. But it is essential to know when to hit and when to stay, or double down or split. One way you can do this by using a basic blackjack strategy.
Developed by mathematicians, it would tell you your next move based on your cards, as well as the dealer’s cards. Here’s a chart to help with that. But even if you’re using strategy, the house still has an advantage.
Blackjack Card Counting
The only way you can have an advantage over the house is by counting cards. Counting cards encompass predicting the value of the next cards based on the ones that have already been dealt to determine who the next hand will be advantageous to, the player or the dealer. Being able to count cards gives you an edge over the house.
To be able to count cards, you would have to be very familiar with basic strategy. One card counting strategy encompasses assigning values to cards. 2 – 6 would be given a value of +1. All the face cards and aces would be assigned a value of -1, and the 7, 8, and 9 cards are assigned no value. You must keep a count of the cost of every single card as they’re dealt with.
You do this for all the rounds and keep in mind the running value, which will either be a positive or negative number. Positive means you have an advantage. This means that there are more high cards that are yet to be dealt with, which is suitable for the player.
If the casino uses multiple decks, you would just divide the running count by the number of decks left to determine the true count. Again, a negative value would be bad for the player, and a positive value will be good. This essentially is the basics of counting cards. This, combined with basic strategy, will give help you beat the dealer.