Winning Blackjack

I started dealing blackjack when I was 23, a pretty boring job if you think about it. Dealers don’t really pick up a strategy unless it’s been handed to them by a superior being, and they usually end up putting in all the hours required to learn basic strategy and the like. Card counting isn’t anything new, but the interesting part is that as someone new to the game I couldn’t fathom how anyone could be so stupid as to use an advanced Card counting strategy, with basic strategy being the only thing you need to know in order to survive in a game of continuous shuffle.

In all seriousness, though, card counting is something that you can do to help your odds of winning at blackjack, and there are some very sound techniques for doing it. The thing about card counting is that it’s been done by professionals for years now, so it’s no big surprise that people are starting to catch on and are beginning to use it more commonly. Card counting is not for the faint of heart, but it can be used, and when used properly, can increase your chances of coming out ahead by quite a bit.

What’s The Catch?

There’s usually not much in the way of a catch when it comes to card counting, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. A simple card counting system can be as simple as adding one for each 7. That means for every card you see dealt out, you add one to your running count. When the deck is shuffled, you start from zero and count to the right, which is why you never increase your count. Here’s a basic run down on the Count:


















As you can see, the most difficult part is building the running count as the cards are being dealt. Of the above, the hardest segment to fill is the middle portion. With only 6 cards available per shoe, having a running count of 17 might be rather risky. Of the above, the easiest way to increase your running count is fine and dandy counting. You can also increase your bet size as the count gets closer to zero, but you need to make sure that you’re betting the right amounts according to the count. That means checking the chart andimeters for the necessary bet increases for various hand combinations. Keep in mind that you’re not going to win every hand, so be patient.

A 16% advantage means that the poker house has a 2.6% advantage over the player. As far as advantage goes, no one really knows exactly what. Some estimates range from 15 to 20%, but nobody can prove one way or the other. Some say as high as 0.85%. Some even claim 0% or 1%. Nobody, however, has revealed the ‘secret code’ that fools the casinos and players alike into thinking a player can’t win at blackjack.

So, how does one move forward with a sound strategy for Bolagila? Let’s break it down into two parts. First, build a basic short-term strategy. Then, once you know the speed andmeter used by the dealer, put a floor rule of 30% or higher on your decisions to split, double down, etc. (known as the knockout rule). The knockout rule eliminates the risk of the dealer going bust because it limits the amount you can win if he goes bust. As you may see, it also speeds up play. Of course, it doesn’t matter if the dealer is dealing a doubling shoe of eight decks or a single deck, or how many decks are on the table, or what the rules are, so long as you play it safe and over the long term, you will come out ahead. Unless, of course, you decide to bust your hand, in which case you have it coming fast.