JC cardcounting

Jackpot Casino: How does card counting work?

Despite the misconceptions, there is no law against card counting as a strategy. However, casino places from Las Vegas can ask players to leave the premises if caught. So, how does card counting work that casinos frown upon it? Learn all about it here at Jackpot Casino.

Step 1: Assign a value to every card

Numbered cards from 2 to 6 are called low cards and they are given a value of +1. This means that every time you see cards of 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 you add 1 to your running count.

Cards from 10 to Ace are called high cards and they are given a value of -1. Every time you see cards of 10, Jack, Queen, King and Ace you subtract 1 to your running count.

Meanwhile, 7 to 9 cards are called neutral cards and they have a value of 0 which means you can just ignore them when counting. A nice shortcut is when you have a high and a low card in a hand, you can just cancel each card out.

Step 2: Keep a running count based on those values

Don’t start counting until the second card has been dealt to each player on the table. After that, start to count the card as it comes out of the shoe based on the assigned values. Keep your running count until the dealer shuffles the deck and you have to count every single card including the cards for other players.

In a standard 52-card deck, the deck will start and end at 0 but you can use the same running count system no matter how many decks are in the shoe. If you drop the count, the house will win.

The point of the running count is that when the low cards are coming out, it means there are more high cards in the shoe which is good for the player. This is also called high count when lots of small cards are being dealt. 

On the other hand, a low count is when the high cards have been dealt which means there are more low cards in the shoe, and that’s bad for the player. At this point, the casino advantage goes higher and higher.

Step 3: Calculate the count per deck or the true count

You can get the true count by dividing the running count by the number of decks to be dealt. For example, after 1 deck your running count is 15 and you see that there are 5 more decks to be dealt, divide 15 by 5 and your true count is 3.

Step 4: Use the true count for betting and playing decisions

A negative true count or deep count is bad and a positive true count is when you want to stay in the game. The true count will determine your bets and how you play your hand.

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