Do Professional Blackjack Players Count Cards?
Recently updated on February 15th, 2021
Professional blackjack players count cards. This is really something that should go without saying. Card counting is the best blackjack strategy out there because it gives you the chance to reduce the casino house edge to less than zero.
So few casino strategies minimize the house edge at all, let alone to less than 0. There are a lot of questions about whether card counting is still useful in this day and age. However, you can even see marginal gains with the strategy at select casinos. We’ll tell you how professional blackjack players do it.
Look for Tables with More than Two Decks
Casinos don’t like it when you count cards. While the strategy is not illegal, casinos will ask you to leave if they catch you doing it.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, when card counting was huge, many successful counters could win hundreds of thousands of dollars from casinos before being caught. As such, casinos looked for ways to minimize card counting overall.
Nowadays, casinos have two primary methods for reducing card counting:
- Increasing the number of decks used in a game
- Shuffling the deck after every hand
While a table with a lower number of decks may seem tempting, you should actually be playing at tables with more decks. There are three reasons for this.
Firstly, many casinos believe that a larger number of decks discourages most potential card counters because there are now more variables to account for. Secondly, because of the more significant number of decks, casinos don’t always shuffle after every hand.
Finally, oftentimes casinos really only use two of the decks for the game. So, it becomes slightly easier to guess which cards are likely to come up next.
Combining Card Counting with Basic Strategy
Before you even look at learning how to count cards, we suggest you study basic strategy. Basic strategy is another popular blackjack strategy. It was built by a machine that looked at the most probable outcome for every type of hand.
If you only follow basic strategy during a blackjack session, you maximize your chances of winning in the most natural way possible.
If you are not following basic strategy when you play blackjack, you are not even doing the slightest to improve your chances of winning.
So, a lot of people have misconceptions about card counting. Often, they think that this strategy leads to a situation where you win every hand, but that’s not possible. The only way to ensure you win every hand is to shuffle the cards yourself and rig them to go your way.
And that’s never going to happen at an online or land-based casino.
Instead, you need to understand that card counting is a strategy that allows you to make educated decisions. You will lose some hands with the process. Instead, you need enough patience to wait for the winning hands and capitalize on them.
Sometimes, you may make calculation errors. In such time, you also need to remain patient and understand that you may eventually get that win you are after.