Blackjack card counting is a technique that players use to improve their odds of winning. This technique allows you to predict which cards will appear in later games.
This article will take a look at how many decks works for card counting in blackjack where you can accurately keep the true count.
Blackjack Card Counting Basics
Card counting in blackjack is a technique that players use to beat the casino’s edge. Blackjack is considered to be a player-friendly casino game. Following the basic blackjack strategy alone can help players significantly improve their chances of winning. With card counting, you can significantly boost your blackjack odds against the house.
Players take a lot of time in mastering the technique of card counting though the basic process is very simple. To begin with, the cards are categorized into three groups, small cards 2-6, medium cards 7, 8, and 9, and big cards J, K, Q, 10, and Ace. The cards are assigned with specific values such as 2-6 are valued at +1, 7, 8, and 9 are 0 and the big cards are -1. Now, as the game progresses and these cards are dealt, the player’s count increases by +1, decreases by -1, or remains the same, depending on the card in hand. Once the running count is kept, players need to arrive at a true count by dividing the running count by the number of decks remaining.
There are several ways for players to practice card counting in order to get the true count. One of these methods is through a mobile app or desktop software. Playing blackjack games against yourself is another way to practice this technique.
The count keeps varying and as a rule, the higher the count, the better it is for the player since the next cards will be higher ones. With this information, the player adjusts their bet based on the information they gathered through the true count. Because of the information, players increase their chances of getting large returns and minimizing their losses.
Ideal Number of Decks for Card Counting
Simple on the surface, card counting is a difficult technique to master. Players find it quite tricky to implement the technique while playing at a casino. That is why a single deck of cards is ideal for card counting among beginners. The fewer the decks, the easier it is for the players to keep the running count and then, finally arrive at the true count. One or two decks allow for better deck penetration, which is one of the primary goals of card counting.
That being said, casinos, from the time they became aware of players counting cards, have put in place certain strategies to deter card counters. Using 6 to 8 decks of cards has, therefore, become a standard practice in casinos. When more decks are used, players should be very careful in keeping a running count and true count.
However, this does not mean that card counting is impossible when there is an 8-deck shoe. Players only need to consider 416 cards in play instead of just 52 to still keep a true count running on their heads and predict the next set of cards that will come out. Anyone who is serious in using card counting to make money will need to be prepared in penetrating 8 decks.
Card Counting for Multi-Deck Shoes
Blackjack card counting is difficult to execute in a game with multiple decks of cards. However, certain card counting methods, if mastered well, can be used for multi-deck games too. The most common among these is the Hi-Lo card counting system. In this, cards 2-6 are assigned +1, cards 7, 8, and 9 are 0, and cards 10, J, Q, K, and Ace are -1. The running count starts with 0 as the game begins and then slowly, as the cards are being dealt, the count keeps varying. To arrive at the true count, the running count is divided by the number of decks in the shoe.
Accordingly, if the running count is +7 and there are 4 decks left, then the true count would be 1.75, rounded up to 2. The more the player practices counting cards, the better they improve their blackjack odds. Also, as a thumb rule, players should bet more when the true count is high. Increasing a bet after a win, decreasing after a loss, and staying the same after a push makes for a natural play and doesn’t raise the suspicion of the casino authorities.
How Many Decks are Used in Online Blackjack?
In the digital casinos such as Caesars Casino, there are no physical decks as such and in the live dealer blackjack games, Digital blackjack games utilize a complex RNG system to determine the player and dealer’s cards. There are no virtual cards in a virtual shoe for you to keep track of, making card counting impossible for regular online blackjack on US gambling sites.
Fortunately, you can still utilize blackjack card counting on live dealer games found in casinos such as Golden Nugget Casino. Live casino games have actual croupiers that deal with real cards from an actual shoe, allowing you to keep track of the cards in each game.
So, to sum up, the effectiveness of card counting depends on the number of decks of cards used. While players can easily track the cards when there are a few decks in play, it is still possible to count the cards when there are 6 to 8 decks.