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Playing Cards

Card Counting

In Blackjack, as each card is dealt, the deck changes in composition and thus the odds lilt subtly in favour back and forth between Dealer and Player. When card counting we seek to identify those periods which favour the player, and bet high, and those periods which favour the Dealer, and bet low. In this way we subtly swing the overall odds in favour of the player as each time the player is confronted with a situation he is more likely to win, and therefore wins more often times, his bets are larger and his rewards sweeter, and each time he is confronted with a situation he is more likely to lose, his bets are lower and his losses smaller.

In Blackjack, there are two things a Player has the power to make decisions over. One is the way he plays his cards, the other is how much he bets. Well, the Basic Strategy has the card playing sorted out. All we have to do now is turn our attention to betting big when we are going to win, and betting small when we’re going to lose.

In this way, Blackjack becomes more of a game of ‘chip management’, then it does a game of cards. By all means, enjoy yourself, but once you master the Basic Strategy, all that remains then is managing your bets through the fluctuations of the deck.

For all the hype around card counting, just remember that with every publication of books like “Beat the Dealer” (1963) Blackjack has only grown more popular, and the casinos ever richer. But if you’re happy to keep up your defences, minimize your losses and enjoy some social play, then mastering the Basic Strategy and knowing a little about card counting is probably your best option. Either that or just stay away.


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