Blackjack Card Counting
Another important strategy to move on to, once you have learned thoroughly the basic blackjack strategy, is card counting. Card counting has a very important place in blackjack as it allows you to predict when you have an edge over the house. Simply put, you list out the rate of occurrence of high cards versus the low cards in a hand.
Ideally, if you are counting cards, you would want to have more high cards compared to the low cards in the card deck, as that gives you a very good chance of ending up with a 21 or at least somewhere quite close to it. Not only that, but it also means the dealer is not safe from going bust.
Card counting is not easy; it requires practice and also a skill, not to mention a very sharp eye and some basic knowledge of math. Card counting can be traced back to the year 1962 when Dr. Edward O. Thorp brought out Beat the Dealer, a massively popular book that listed out all the things involved in card counting. However, Thorp was not the pioneer of card counting, though he certainly was one of the first to write about this system.
Others who had earlier used such a system before Thorp wrote about it included Joe Bernstein and Jesse Marcum. A rudimentary card-counting system came into being as early as 1957, five years before Thorp’s book, thanks to the efforts of four people – Herbert Maisel, James McDermott, Wilbert Canteny, and Roger Baldwin. Together called The Four Horsemen, these men used just ordinary technology, in the form of mechanical calculators, to create the system.
As mentioned earlier, you do not have to be a mathematical genius to figure out card counting and how it works. The counter attributes a specific value to each card as it appears in the game, ranging from +1 to -1 with the zero thrown in between. The +1 value is for cards valued between 2 and 6, the 0 value is for cards between 7 and 9, and the -1 is for the 10 and the picture cards, i.e. 10 through A.
There are different kinds of card counting systems in use today. Some of the most prominent and effectively used are:
- KO Count
- Hi-Opt I Count
- Hi-Opt II Count
- Hi-Lo Count
You must understand that card counting is not easy; it never is, and it will take you a while to get used to the technique you need to adopt for a specific game.
Blackjack Tournament Strategy
The strategy you would adopt while playing in a blackjack tournament is very different from the ones that you regularly employ. This difference arises out of the fact that the way you play tournament blackjack is different from how you play the regular online blackjack game.
The major difference that you see between tournament blackjack strategy and the other strategies you use in games is that you play against the other players in a tournament, not against the casino. Besides, there is a difference in the overlay as well.
The tournament blackjack strategy is designed to enable you to play strongly and build a strong foundation so you can press for a win. It teaches you to up your game and take chances if you are trailing the others.
Another system, which constitutes an effective blackjack strategy, is the Contrarian Strategy, a strategy that brought very good results for Ken Smith. Per this strategy, you need to bet the opposite of what your opponent throws at you.
So with the knowledge of the rules of Blackjack and perfect Blackjack strategy played right, can cut the house odds considerably.