Card counting is promoted as a special method to help you make money out of playing blackjack at a casino. Even the casinos make a show of banning card counting at blackjack games. The fact is that card counting is not a special method - it is the proper way to play blackjack. Blackjack is all about memory and on the fly statistical analysis. Blackjack is a memory game, and s/he who has the best developed memory, generally wins the most.
In a casino situation, the only person who can independently verify the number of decks shuffled into the shoe is a seasoned and skilled card counter. Some have argued that it is possible that card counting is only banned by casinos that draw the cards for the shoe from a much larger number of decks than six or eight as claimed. Others, and in particular the casinos, and those that profit from books and material on the subject, argue that card counting gives the player an unfair advantage - implying that the method can be used to make money at the casino's expense!
The million dollar question is whether the advantages of card counting really exist, or whether all the hysteria is just a ruse to promote the know-how books, not to mention the belief that money can be made at the blackjack table.
There are three different approaches to card counting:
- There is the simplified ternary system where you add one for every card dealt above 8 and subtract one for every card dealt below 6. These numbers can be altered depending on what variation of this system you wish to apply. This method gives you an idea of whether the remainder of the shoe has a predominance of high cards (which are supposed to favour the player giving rise to an increase in bets) or low cards (which are supposed to favour the house giving rise to a discontinuation of play at that table)
- There is the total sum method where you simply add the value of every card dealt and compare this with what you would expect the average total sum of cards dealt to this point would be. This method is much more arithmetically intensive and yields a more sophisticated version of the ternary result described above.
- Finally, there is the total recall method which requires you to remember how many cards of each number have been dealt at all times throughout the game. If you know the number of decks in the shoe, then you can calculate the remaining number of every card that is left in the deck. Knowing just how rich the deck is in high cards could be very useful if you have 15 in your hand!
FieldCraft is considering the production of a card counting exercise program to teach blackjack players how to count cards, and improve card counting accuracy. However, the pilot study does not indicate a market for this product at this stage and there are concerns over customer expectations that learning to count cards automatically means success at the blackjack table when our statistics to date would seem to indicate otherwise. If you would like FieldCraft to go ahead with the card counting program; Contact us and tell us.