Card Counting in Blackjack

Card counting is one of the most debated topics in blackjack, the big question is whether it should be used or not. This guide will throw light on all there is to know about this popular technique before applying it at any Singapore casino.

We’ve discussed everything from the way it emerged, how it works, successful tips to improve your card counting, types of card counting systems, and much more.

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What is Card Counting – In a Nutshell

Card counting or card reading is a maths-based technique used in some casino games, especially in blackjack, that helps players to determine the likelihood of the next hand being to their advantage or the dealers’. The objective of this strategy is to help players keep a count of the high and low-value cards, thus, helping to minimize the casino’s house edge. Having the idea of the pattern of remaining cards in the shoe helps players to make better decisions and reduce losses.

However, many players tend to believe that this method is only for blackjack pros. Actually, these strategies vary in complexity, so, there are basic card reading strategies and advanced systems that master greater accuracy.

A Brief History of Card Counting

The history of blackjack card counting stretches back to 1962. In his book, “Beat The Dealer”, Edward O. Thorp, an American Mathematician, wrote about optimal betting strategies for blackjack. Though the techniques he wrote down are no longer applicable, he laid down a blueprint of what card counting is. Al Francesco was the first card counter team to be successful in beating the casino.

Another famous figure in card counting is Andy Bloch. He was part of an M.I.T blackjack team that released a card counting DVD dubbed ‘Beating Blackjack’. He also appeared in the 2005 blackjack documentary, ‘The Hit Shoe’ by David Layton.

Many other people have managed to appear in the Blackjack Hall of Fame, such as Standardford Wong, Kent Utson, and Arnold Synder.

Card Counting in Blackjack Review

How to Count Cards Successfully in Blackjack

As aforesaid, this strategy is designed to help blackjack players increase their possibilities of winning at real money casinos. Blackjack card counters use this technique to change their gameplay based on the composition of the card formation. Basically, this is how card reading works. The steps involved are:

At first, a player assigns a negative, positive, and zero value to the face and number cards.

Then the player maintains a ‘running count’ based on the cards that have been dealt. 

Once the player feels confident of the ‘true count’, he can change the wagers based on his advantage. Since a few cards are left in the game, the player betters the true count and makes more solid decisions.

Nevertheless, this technique requires patience and attention to every detail. But one thing is for sure – given its effectiveness, it’s worth learning and applying.

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Tips to Improve Your Card Counting Techniques

Though this is a simple system, you need to master the way it works to profit. These tips we have shared will help Singaporean enthusiasts to improve their card reading techniques:

Create and master a specific method to use in card counting. Use the strategy to learn how to hit, split, stand, or double. 

  • Take time to learn from other professional card readers.
  • Master how to assign value to every card that is dealt by the croupier.
  • Always raise bets whenever you have a high count.
  • Avoid the player’s ID card as it can be used to track you faster. 
  • Pick your blackjack games wisely, preferably the variation you know only.
  • Always maintain a small spread at the beginning before maximizing.
  • Learn to take a short break when playing online or at land-based casinos.

Types of Card Counting Systems

As we already mentioned above, there are a couple of card counting systems you should be aware of before you start playing blackjack. The most well-known are:

Hi-LO Strategy

Actually, this is the most basic strategy you can apply. It’s pretty simple to follow and recommended for beginners. Counting in this strategy starts from the time the first card is assigned. The more positive numbers in the player’s count the more high-value cards are still in the shoe.

Omega II Strategy

The Omega II system is recommended for intermediate-level players. It was developed by Bruce Carlson and requires Singaporean gamblers to count some cards as two-point and others as one-point. If the players keep track in the right way, they can arrive at 0 after all the cards are dealt.

Wong Halves Strategy

This is the most elaborate method. Wong Halves is a three-level system developed by Stanford Wong. With this technique, the result of your calculations should be zero after all the cards in the deck are dealt. Note that the values assigned to the Wong Halves system vary.

Red 7 Strategy

The Red 7 is a one-level card counting strategy that is simple and easy to use. This system is based on the principle of high vs. low cards. The high-value cards are given a -1 value while the low-value cards are assigned +1. The neutral numbers are 8’s and 9’s and they are assigned a zero.

KO Strategy

The KO or Knock Out is an easy technique suitable for beginners and expert players. It was invented by Fuchs and Vancura in their book titled Knock Out Blackjack. However, this system is not balanced because when all cards have been dealt with, the final result does not add up to zero.

Team Card Counting Strategy

This popular MIT team card counting system is largely based on the Hi-Lo and the same values are assigned to the cards. The team in this technique involves three people – a big player, a controller and a spotter.

Card Counting in Blackjack

Pros and Cons of Card Counting

Like any other blackjack technique, card counting has some advantages and disadvantages, as well. Below are some points that will help Singaporean players determine whether or not to use this system:

Pros

Some of the advantages of using a card counting system are:

  • Long Term Profits: With card counting, players can overturn the house and enjoy long-term benefits. This can only be achieved if you follow the right systems.
  • Simple to Master: Card counting is not as complicated as many people tend to believe. You can learn and master the basics and apply them immediately.
  • Manage your Time: Many Singaporean players don’t succeed while controlling their time. But with this system, you get to control how long to play each session.
  • Applicable to Many Games: Card counting is not only limited to one type of blackjack game, this technique can be used on any variation you like. 

Cons

Here are some of the downsides of using card counting systems:

  • Thin Profit Margin: Card counting does not easily enable one to win huge amounts of money like it’s depicted in movies. There is only a small advantage you benefit from.
  • Requires Time to Master: You don’t start winning overnight witht his system. It requires time to learn and master how it works in the first place.
  • Big Budget: In order to start using card counting in blackjack, you need to have a sizable budget, that’s why many people shy from it.
  • Not Accepted in All Casinos: Not all casinos allow players to use this technique. Many operators have invested in technology to help track players using this strategy.
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Summary

Blackjack card counting has been a legal way of getting an edge over online casinos in Singapore for quite a long time. Though it is a profitable technique, it requires Singaporean players to dedicate time to master how it works. The secret to understanding card counting is being able to add or subtract quickly. Even though this practice has not been common in Singaporean casinos, it has recently caught the public eye. The best way to benefit from this method is by raising and lowering bets in your favor based on the ratio of cards at hand.

Yes, it is still applicable in almost all casinos in Singapore. Nevertheless, many of them are setting up measures to prevent this habit.

Of course, yes, card counting can be applied in Singapore online casinos. However, some casino sites have software to detect players using this technique, which makes it quite difficult.

You need to understand that card counting involves assigning a low and high value like +1 or -1, and a zero to each card that is dealt.

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