Counting Cards at Blackjack and the Average Player


First, “counting cards” and “average player” are oxymorons. The average player is not capable of counting cards to provide himself with an advantage. The average player lacks the mental acuity, the skill, and the self control while playing. If the average player finds the mental acuity, develops the skill, and works at the self control until they are an advantage player, they are no longer average.

For the purposes of this treatise perhaps the concept should be changed to “Average Advantage Player’ That being the case, a reasonable comment upon percentage of return can be made.

Some players when calculating wins and losses include the complimentary items offered such as drinks, meals, rooms, and shows. Those items are not included in these comments.

Several assumptions have to be made.

The rules of the game must be assumed as they change from casino to casino giving the player a different percentage result. There are games that are being dealt that where it is impossible to gain an overall advantage. There are games that are being dealt that almost offer the player an even break without counting cards.

It is important to note that all casinos have their own set of rules and regulations that have to be adhered to and blackjack is a game that most players are fiercely passionate about and not like your regular poker online terpercaya because the higher your stakes, the greater will be your stature as an expert gambler.

The speed of the game enters into the calculation. The amount of money wagered if a game is proceeding at 60 hands an hour is different when a game proceeds at 100 hands an hour.

The ability of the player to boldly put money on the table is important as is the acceptance of the casino of dramatically varying amounts bet on each hand.

Finally, to succeed, the player must have not only enough money in reserve to withstand serious runs of losing hands but the fortitude to play through them. This, perhaps, is the biggest boulder in the road to success in blackjack.

Percentage of return can now be discussed.

There are appropriate strategies for play and definitions of good and bad games that have been published in books and are readily available. If a player can find a game that offers play and allows betting variation, it is possible to find a game that will offer the player a 1% advantage. This figure is arbitrary in that there are games that offer greater advantage as well as those that offer lesser.

When playing blackjack, the dealer will win the majority of the hands. The object in advantage blackjack is to play correctly so as to keep that dealer’s majority to the smallest possible number. Then when the composition of the deck is to the player’s advantage, the bet should be increased so that the money won makes up for that lost when the dealer has the advantage.

It is easy to calculate that if a player has an average wager of $10 in a game that runs at 60 hands an hour, that player is wagering $600 an hour. It is also clear cut that if the player has a 1% advance, he should expect, over the long run, to win $6 for every hour played. In reverse, it can be calculated that if a player wishes to win $25 every hour they play in a 60 hand per hour game, his average beg must be in the neighborhood of $45.

Remaining, however, with the average wager of $10 and 60 hands an hour, a spread develops between the minimum and the maximum bets. To develop an overall advantage, it is likely that most hours will require approximately 40 wagers of $5, 10 wagers of $10, and 8 wagers of $20, and 2 wagers of $75. Playing correctly and betting those amounts in a 1% advantage game will on the average produce $6 an hour profit. To increase those winnings to $25 per hour would require a spread of betting from $40 to $300 per hand.

There are at least two major problems for the advantage player.

Problem #1 is that the makeup of the cards to be dealt is a random occurrence. There is no guarantee that the composition will ever become favorable to the player. The casino does things like not dealing a group of cards at the bottom of the deck or shuffling when it wants to make sure that this advantage remains with the casino. It is possible that a couple hours might pass with the composition of the deck of cards requiring that the player bet only his minimum bet. This betting would occur at perhaps a 1% disadvantage and without any potential profits, a $5 player would be behind not only two hours work and $6 cash but also the $12 profit he’d expected.

It is also possible that the player would be behind or ahead much more than $6 or $12 but several hundreds of dollars based upon “luck”.

Problem #2 is a result of that “luck”. It is probably that times will occur when every small money bet that is made will be a winning bet and every larger bet made when the composition of the deck is favorable to the player will be a losing bet. If that happened in the averages discussed above, the player would lose $200 an hour.

This problem has two ramifications. One is that unless the player is well funded, his bankroll disappears before he has a chance to start winning. The amount of bankroll needed is discussed at length in most books regarding advantage play. Second is that the player must display that fortitude discussed above to continue play without deviation. Even though the player is probably devastated and feeling crushed, they cannot plunge or become timid if they expect to consistently win.

It should be clear at this point that the “average” player is probably at a loss when attempting advantage play. It is an “exceptional” player that can master the skills, mental acuity, and self control to become a blackjack player that can count cards and become an advantage player. It, however, is a goal that is fun to attempt and can not only be devastating but can be thrillingly rewarding.

That is not to say that blackjack is not a fun game. It is. When played with skill and a minor amount of care, it is close to a break even method to spend a pleasant afternoon or evening in an air conditioned fun environment drinking complimentary drinks, having a free meal, and occasionally seeing a free show or staying over in a free room.