If you’ve ever had the chance to see the blackjack Movie, ’21’ starring Jim Sturgess as part of a hot shot Las Vegas card counting team, you’ll know that it was inspired by real events. Card counting is without question the hottest casino strategy available, with the power to turn the tables on any casino, to create a few percent of advantage for skilled gamers. However – what about the typical casual blackjack player on the Internet? Is card counting a mere fantasy world, and what are the alternatives?
Hardcore card counting
Professional level blackjack card counting is all about precision and knowing exactly which move to make at the right time. You need the basic ability to know how to score each card dealt from the blackjack pack, plus the slick know how to implement killer moves when the time is right. However, blackjack card counting strategies generally take thousands of hours to learn – and only a small percentage of blackjack players have the brain power to crush the house. In addition, to take advantage of the small gaming edge – you need a hardcore bankroll, the ability to sustain your high stakes during volatile blackjack sessions and a seriously cool head. So – what’s for sure is that while anyone can potentially learn to card count – the real Vegas level strategies are beyond the scope of most casual blackjack gamers.
Casual card counting
While real card counting may be a mission too far for you right now – the basic concept of the strategy can still be used by recreational blackjack gamers. The first step to understand is that the basics of blackjack card counting is based on the weight of high to low cards dealt and left ‘live’ in the pack. If the deck contains a rich supply of high cards, then the game generally favours the player, and vice versa. Most gaming experts agree that in standard deck blackjack, a ratio of more than +5 high:low cards on the table (dealt) is indicative of a possible edge to the player. Naturally, whatever your blackjack experience, you can start making this casual observation next time you play. Of course – the question is how to use it for maximum impact? Well, serious blackjack card counters increase their stake level when they have the edge, making more daring and rewarding bets. So – try experimenting with casual counting and see if you can work out ways of using it to your advantage.
Basic blackjack strategy
While it’s no match for professional blackjack card counting, there is one concept that all blackjack players can use to help combat the casino. In fact, the use of ‘basic blackjack strategy’ is explicitly necessary if you don’t want to maximise the casino edge! Fortunately, this blackjack approach isn’t too complex, and will soon boost your entertainment levels, in addition to the prospects of more regular winning sessions. Fundamentally, you can start using four basic tips, widely accepted to limit the house advantage to around 1.5% – assuming you get a decent run of luck.
- Hit up to 17+, or soft 18, assuming the house has 7+
- Hit up to 12+, when the dealer has 6 or lower
- Double bet on hands of player 10/11 to a house 9 or lower
- Split 8 cards and aces
Once you’re up and gaming with the rules above, try going a stage further by using a full version basic blackjack strategy (surf the web to locate a printable system). After a few weeks, you’ll be able to play at high speed and elevate yourself to intermediate level blackjack gamer!