6 Reasons Why You Should Never Count Cards

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Blackjack is a popular game that combines skill, strategy, and luck. It originated in 17th-century Spain and evolved over centuries, becoming a staple game in physical casinos and online gaming platforms.

The game gained significant attention with the introduction of card counting, a strategy popularized by Edward O. Thorp, “Beat the Dealer.” However, the effectiveness and practicality of card counting are often misunderstood and overstated.

This article aims to debunk the myths surrounding card counting in blackjack. It examines why this strategy might not be as advantageous as it appears, from modest financial gains to the high risk of being banned by casinos.

Additionally, the article explores alternative blackjack strategies that can enhance gameplay without the risks associated with card counting. As blackjack continues to evolve, especially with technological advancements, these insights are crucial for experienced players and game newcomers.

Overview Of The Blackjack Online Casino Game 

Blackjack, also known as 21, is a top casino game worldwide. A famous writer, Miguel de Cervantes, first discussed it in a story. Back then, it was called “Ventiuna,” Spanish for twenty-one. The game then spread through Europe. In France, it was “Vingt-et-Un,” and in England, it was just Twenty-One.

In the early 1800s, blackjack came to the United States. At first, it was less popular than games like poker. To get more people to play, some casinos offered a unique bet. With the Ace of Spades and a Black Jack card, you may win a lot of money. This is how the game got its name, “blackjack.”

How to Play

In the game of blackjack, your goal is to have a hand value that is nearer to 21 without going over in order to prevail over the dealer. One of the dealer’s cards is originally hidden, leaving each player with two cards at the beginning. The overall worth of your hand is the total of the card values: face cards have a value of 10, numbered cards have a face value, and aces might have a value of 1 or 11.

Your options include ‘hitting’ to add another card to your hand, ‘standing’ to keep your current hand, ‘doubling down’ to double your bet for one additional card, or ‘splitting’ identical cards into two hands. Exceeding 21 means an automatic loss.

After players complete their actions, the dealer reveals their hidden card and must draw until reaching at least 17. You win if your hand is nearer to 21 than that of the dealer or if the dealer goes over 21 (busting)—you get a refund on your bet if a tie results.

Why It’s Popular

The game became popular in the 20th century. Edward O. Thorp published a book titled “Beat the Dealer” in 1962. It talked about card counting – keeping track of certain cards to win more. This made blackjack more than just luck. It needed skill, too.

Blackjack Today 

Now, you can play blackjack in casinos and online. The game has changed with new rules and ways to bet. Through internet gaming, you may play from anywhere. Blackjack is not just in casinos. It’s in movies, books, and TV shows, too. It’s often seen as a glamorous and intelligent game. It shows up as a challenge and a strategy game, not just a way to gamble.

Introduction To Card Counting

In order to obtain a statistical edge over the casino, card counting is utilized in blackjack along with other card games. The technique involves tracking the ratio of high and low cards in the deck during play. In general, low cards—like two sixes—favor the dealer, whereas high cards—like tens and aces—are advantageous to the player. A skilled card counter can increase their chances of winning by keeping a running count and adjusting bets accordingly.

Contrary to popular belief, card counting is permissible under federal, state, and local regulations in the United States as long as the player does not have assistance from an outside source or a gadget for counting cards. Since casinos are private establishments, they are able to ban patrons who they believe to be engaged in card counting.

Steps and Procedures of Card Counting

How to Count Cards (and Bring Down the House) - Bet999

Understanding the Basics of Blackjack

Before starting card counting, you need to know how to play blackjack. The goal is to score more than the dealer’s hand without going over 21. The face value of cards numbered 2 through 10 is equal to their respective values. Kings, queens, and Jacks have a value of ten, while aces are valued at one or eleven.

Fundamental Idea in Card Counting

Monitoring the remaining high and low cards in the deck is the basic component of the card-counting process. High cards (worth 10 and Aces) and low cards (2-6) affect the game differently. A deck with higher cards favors the player, while more low cards favor the dealer.

Choosing a Card Counting System

There are many card-counting systems. The Hi-Lo system is suitable for beginners. Low cards (2-6) add one point (+1) to your count in this system. High cards (10, Jack, Queen, King, Ace) subtract one point (-1). Cards 7-9 remain unchanged and have no effect on the count.

Running Count

You keep a ‘running count’ during the game. Add or subtract points based on the cards dealt. For example, if the first cards are 2, King, and 8, the count is 0 (2 adds one, King subtracts one, and 8 does nothing).

True Count

When playing games with more than one deck, you must modify your running count. This is what we call the “true count.” The number of remaining decks is divided by your running count. This gives you a more accurate idea of how many cards are left.

Bet Sizing

Change your bets based on the accurate count. It’s a good time to bet more if the count is high. If it’s low or negative, bet less or don’t play. In this manner, when the chances are in your direction, you wager more.

Advantages of Counting Cards

Higher Chances of Winning: The odds can be somewhat shifted to the player’s advantage by card counting. Knowing the composition of the remaining cards allows for more informed decisions, especially regarding betting and playing strategies.

Making Calculated Decisions: A better informed judgment can be made by players when deciding whether to hit, stand, double down, or split after counting cards. For instance, the chances of hitting a blackjack are higher if the count is high, indicating a deck rich in 10s and Aces.

Effective Bankroll Management: Players can manage their bankroll more effectively by adjusting bets based on the count. Higher bets are placed when conditions are most favorable, and lower bets are made when conditions are unfavorable.

Confidence and Control: Card counting offers a sense of control and confidence at the blackjack table. Rather than relying solely on luck, card-counting players feel they have a degree of influence over the game’s outcome.

Enhanced Engagement and Challenge: Card counting adds a layer of challenge and engagement to blackjack for many players. It turns the game into a more cerebral endeavor, which can be particularly appealing to those who enjoy puzzles and strategy games.

Top 6 Arguments Against Card Counting

Think Twice About Counting Cards For A Living - Reasons Why Not to Count  Cards

Card counting, a strategy often glorified in movies and pop culture, is seen by some as a clever way to beat the casino at games like blackjack. However, there are several compelling reasons why card counting is not advisable. Here’s a detailed look at six of these reasons:

Small Profits: Card counting only sometimes leads to significant financial gains. It might increase your chances of winning, but the additional money you can make is generally modest. Counting cards isn’t a guaranteed path to wealth; it’s like playing a game where you can only win a little more than usual, sometimes not winning.

Not Fun: Anyone counting can transform a leisurely casino visit into a severe and strenuous activity. It requires intense concentration on the cards, leaving little room for relaxation, social interaction, or enjoyment. Imagine going to a party, but instead of having fun, you’re stuck doing a complex math problem the whole time. That’s how card counting can change the dynamic of your casino experience.

Difficult to Do: Card counting is a challenging skill to master. It involves remembering cards and discreetly conducting the count without alerting casino staff. It’s akin to learning a secret language and using it without anyone noticing. If you’re not adept at it, you’re likely to be caught quickly by the observant eyes of the casino personnel.

Need a Lot of Money to Start: Effectively using card Card counting in casinos can give you a slight edge. But you may still need to gain more quickly. It’s like starting a lemonade stand. You spend money at first and might wait a while to make it back. You need patience and money to see gains from card counting.

Getting Caught in Card Counting: Many physical casinos, like the top poker rooms in Las Vegas, watch for people who count cards. If they find you counting, they will make you leave and not let you come back. They also will keep you from turning your chips into cash. As a result, you are going to forfeit all of your chips. It’s like being caught in hide and seek. But you can’t play again in this game and lose your chips.

Banned from Many Casinos: Being caught card counting in one casino can lead to a broader ban. Casinos share information about card counters, and you could find yourself banned from multiple establishments, not just the one where you were caught. This is akin to being banned from one playground and finding all the other playgrounds in town close to you.

Other Blackjack Strategies

Blackjack is a game where luck meets skill. Gamers can increase their probability of winning by utilizing a variety of methods. These methods are based on the chances of certain cards coming up. They don’t always lead to a win, but they help players make more intelligent choices.

Basic Strategy: The Basic Strategy is the most essential and well-known blackjack tactic. For each potential card combo, there is a set of rules that specify the appropriate course of action to take (hit, stand, double down, split, or surrender). This strategy is based on mathematical probabilities and reduces the house edge significantly when applied correctly. Both novice and expert players can use the accessible Basic Strategy charts as a reference.

Bankroll Management: In blackjack, it’s imperative to manage your bankroll well, just like in poker. It entails determining your spending limit and staying within it. Players should also set win and loss limits to know when to leave the table. Additionally, managing bet sizes according to the ebb and flow of the game can help sustain the bankroll for a longer duration.

Understanding the Table Rules: Different blackjack tables can have slightly different rules. Some variations can significantly affect the game’s odds. For instance, a table that pays 3:2 for blackjack is preferable to one that pays 6:5. Also, understanding rules like the dealer standing on soft 17, the option to surrender, and the number of decks being used can influence your strategy.

Using Doubling Down Effectively: When using the “doubling down” tactic, you increase your wager by half in the midst of a hand in return for an additional card. When the dealer shows a weak card, and you have nine, ten, or eleven, it’s a smart approach. It increases your bet at a potentially advantageous time.

Innovative Use of Splitting Pairs: When you receive a pair, players can divide them into two hands. It’s critical to understand when to separate and when not to. For instance, split Aces and Eights without fail, but avoid splitting 10s or 5s. Splitting can turn an unfavorable hand into two potentially winning ones.

Steer Clear of Insurance Bets: If the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, participants can decide to make an additional wager known as insurance. However, statistically, insurance bets are not favorable to the player and are often considered a ‘sucker bet.’ It’s usually advisable to avoid taking insurance.

Learning to Surrender Wisely: Some blackjack games offer the option to surrender. This means you can forfeit your hand and half of your bet if you think you have a losing hand. Knowing when to surrender can save a portion of your bankroll. For example, submitting a hard 16 when the dealer shows a 9, 10, or Ace can be brilliant.

Observing Dealer’s Up Card: The dealer’s up card can give you insights into your strategy. The dealer is more inclined to bust if they reveal a weak card (2–6). You may choose to play more cautiously in this situation. If the dealer holds a strong card (7-Ace), you should be willing to take more chances.

Avoiding the Gambler’s Fallacy: The gambler’s fallacy is when people think that what happened in the past will change what happens next in games of luck. In blackjack, every hand you play is separate from the others. You shouldn’t make choices based on what happened in the hands before.

Using good strategies, you can play better and make smarter choices at the blackjack table. But remember, even with a sound system, you can only sometimes be sure to win because blackjack is still about luck.

Future Of Blackjack And Its Impact On Card Counting

Breaking the Bank: The Thrill and Danger of Card Counting

The future of blackjack is shaping up to be heavily influenced by technological advancements, especially within casino environments. Advanced surveillance systems and software are being implemented to monitor gameplay more closely, making it harder for card counters to remain undetected. Facial recognition technology can identify known card counters while betting pattern analysis software can detect card counting strategies.

Another factor altering the terrain is the growing acceptance of blackjack played online on trusted Bitcoin platforms like Bet999. In online versions, cards are dealt with using a Random Number Generator (RNG), rendering traditional card-counting techniques useless.

Additionally, many online games shuffle the deck after each hand, diminishing the effectiveness of card counting. Shuffling practices often limit card counting, even in live dealer games, which more closely mimic in-person blackjack.

Casinos continually evolve blackjack by changing rules or introducing new variations to maintain their edge. These changes might include more frequent shuffling, the use of multiple decks, or adjusting blackjack payout rates. Such modifications can reduce the advantage that card counting offers.

As players become better educated and skilled, thanks to numerous learning resources, casinos will likely adapt their strategies accordingly, potentially making traditional card counting less relevant.

The legal and regulatory environment surrounding gambling could also impact how blackjack is played and monitored. Tighter regulations on fair play could lead to more stringent measures against card counting. Although card counting isn’t illegal, the emphasis is likely on ensuring fairness for all players.

Changing player demographics and preferences might lead to more interactive and unpredictable blackjack variants. Younger players are often drawn to skill-based and immersive games, which could make card counting less applicable.

Despite these challenges, card counting might only disappear partially. Instead, it might evolve, with counters developing new methods to adapt to the changing game conditions, although it’s likely to become increasingly difficult.


While card counting may seem attractive, it’s fraught with challenges, including minimal financial returns, the need for high skill and a large bankroll, and significant risks such as being caught and banned from casinos. These factors make card counting an impractical choice for most casino-goers.

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