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Real stakes for Blackjack card counting systems

If you want to win money at Blackjack, a card counting system is a good solution. However, if you are playing at a table that uses a shoe containing more than one deck, counting will not be the only thing that you will have to do. In short, you will also have to weight the total that you obtain with your counting system with the number of decks that remain in the shoe.

The true count

Counting cards is one thing, but at a table using several decks, it isn’t enough. The basic function of any card counting system is to determine whether there are more or fewer strong cards in the shoe, that is to say, Aces and ten value cards – King, Queen, Jack, and 10. The percentage of ten value cards will be higher with a +10 count when there are two remaining decks to be played than when there are five. This is the reason that a system to determine the true count is required.

Determine the true count

To calculate the true count you must know beforehand how many cards remain in the shoe. For this purpose, make a rough estimate of the number. Next, you only have to divide the count by the number of decks that remain to be played.

For example, if the shoe still contains approximately two decks of cards, and your count is equal to +10, the true count is +10/2, or +5.

Determine the number of decks remaining in the shoe

We advised you to make a rough estimate of the number of cards contained in the shoe. This practice is pretty complicated and not very reliable. There is another solution. It is a matter of determining the number of decks used based on the number of rounds played. When six people are playing, you can count on each person playing three cards per hand on average, one round represents a third of the deck. Two additional rounds will be necessary to finish the deck. This method is a little long, but more effective, especially in casinos that try to hide the number of remaining cards in order to avoid any attempt at card counting.

Bet according to the true count

The more positive the true count is, the more advantageous the cards remaining in the shoe are. For a shoe containing six decks, each additional point added to the true count gives the player an advantage of 0.5%. When the dealer shuffles the cards, the count returns to zero. The house’s advantage is then 0.5%. With a true count of +1, your chances are equal to the house’s. With a true count of +2, you have an advantage 0.5%. Here is how we advise you to bet:

  • True count at +1 or less: bet the minimum.
  • True count at +2 or +3: bet twice the initial bet.
  • True count: +4 or +5: bet three times the initial bet.
  • True count: +6 or +7: bet four times the initial bet.
  • True count: +8 or more: indulge yourself.