Counting Cards

One of the unique aspects of Blackjack is that players can create an edge on the casino by using card counting. This has definitely contributed to the game prestige and popularity with casino visitors.

Counting cards relies on the notion that by counting cards, the player can tell which cards remain in the game and thus make a more educated guess when he determines the size of his bet and makes his choices in the game.

Counting cards basically helps the player to know if the deck has more high-value or low-value cards. This influences the game in two ways:

As the dealer is forced to HIT until he reaches 17, decks with more low-value cards increase the dealer's chances to win, while decks with more high-value cards increase his chances to BUST and thus lose his hands.

When the player has to make his move in the game, he may act differently if the deck has low-value or high-value cards. For example when the player’s hand is 16. If the player knows that the deck has more high value cards he may decide to STAND, although this is not the best hand for him. If, however he knows that the deck has more low-value cards he may choose to HIT.

As card counting is highly favorable to the skilled player, casinos around the world have done their best to fight this phenomena, with limited success. The phenomena, and casino struggle against it have also been the topic of numerous Hollywood films. 21 and Rain Man are the most famous movies dealing with the topic.

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