Using a Blackjack System – If you’re new to the game of blackjack, there are a few things that you might want to know about before sitting in a casino and playing for hard-earned money.
The basics of the game are simple, but the complications can be confusing, especially for the beginning player.
Experienced players can easily confuse the concepts of card counting and running count, and they use these terms interchangeably.
Card counting is the practice of monitoring the ratio of high cards to low cards in the game of blackjack, and running count is the counting of the cards as they leave the blackjack shoe. These terms refer to the overall count of the cards remaining in the deck.
The Rule of 8 Using a Blackjack System
There are several different systems that use the rule of 8 to count cards, but the most basic involves a count of the number of decks left in the shoe and the player’s hand. When the deck is shuffled, each card is assigned a point value equal to its face value.
Two-card hands have a value of +1 and their worth is reflected in their face value. The value of tens is (-1). Cards 2-6 are worth their face value. Sevens are worth 0 and 8s are worth -1.
The total count is then adjusted by +1 for small cards (2-6) and -1 for ten-point cards (10), conclude whether the player should continue to draw (hit), or whether to stand (stand) with the hand he’s been dealt. This interval is the initial phase of the count, and is sometimes called the “feeler period.”The Hi-Lo Count
Before moving on to more complicated systems, it might be worthwhile to explain the logic of the Hi-Lo count. It is a simple method of adding up the cards to determine the odds of the player making a strong hand.
Two six-card hands, like a pair of threes, have a value of 20. If you add up the cards, you end up with a figure of 32. This means you have a 32 percent chance of receiving a pair of twos. This percentage is the same as the poker “draw” odds, explained in another article.
The Ace and Ten Count
The ace, the card with the highest number, carries a little more significance in this counting system. The card numbering starts at one and follows the same order as the card values. Therefore, when you see the Ace and 10, you have a handy method of keeping track of the count.
When the cards are dealt, you add one for each card in your hand. If the card is dealt as a two-card hand, you add two. This process is repeated for each card and the count is added. If you have a three-card hand, you add three. This process keeps you on track of the running count.
The Ace and Seven
This counting system is a consideration when you receive a starting hand such as the ace, two, three, four, and five. The seven is fairly special, though, because you are given an option of whether to count its high points or its low points.
If you have a good starting hand, you may want to count the ace as ten or twelve. If you have a lousy hand, you may want to count the seven as five or eight.
However, since the ace is both high and low, you have to add a one to the end of the number to determine whether you are holding a good or a bad hand.
With the tenet of the ten counting cards, you will more often than not end up with a number of ten spots on the table when you are done with your counting.
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The seven does not carry the same emphasis. While the ace and seven do carry their fair share of cards, it is not often that you will have a ten hand on the table when you have dealt the seven.
While card counting is frowned upon, it is legal in most states, so long as you are not using this against your favorite team.
Counting the cards to determine hand probabilities is a strategy that can help you to enhance your blackjack strategy if you use it to your advantage.
While the method itself is simple, the strategies behind counting high cards are quite complicated and require a great deal of practice and careful attention.
Once you begin to apply the methods used in this article, you will undoubtedly see a much improvement in how you play the game of blackjack.
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