Card counting

Card counting can be beneficial in many different card games but it is most commonly associated with Blackjack. In this article we will take a closer look at card counting and how you can do it. The norwegian casino portal has some great strategy articles here.

Find the right tables

If you wish to engage in profitable card counting, you need to seek out casino where the cards are still shuffled manually. Traditionally, blackjack was dealt from a “shoe” (card box) filled with 6-8 decks. The dealer would use cards from the shoe until a certain amount of the shoe had been dealt, and then reshuffle all the cards. Today, many casinos have shifted from traditional shoes to automatic shuffle machines that shuffles the cards after each deal (or even more often), making card counting a futile pass time. There are however quite a few casinos left that still use the old-fashion shoe and manual shuffling, and they are sought out by card counters. Most of these casinos will have a rule stating that the cards will be reshuffled once a maximum of 75% av the cards have been dealt. In the good old days, the dealer could wait much longer before reshuffling, making the table much more card counter-friendly.

How does card counting work?

Many different systems have been developed for card counting but they are all based on the same basic idea; to pay attention to the cards that leave the shoe and use that information to conclude which cards that are still left in the shoe.

If the shoe is filled with eight decks and you have seen 24 aces land on the table, you know for sure that there can be no more blackjacks until the shoe has been reshuffled. If you on the other hand have been paying attention to the table since the last shuffle and know that only five aces have come out of the shoe, you can conclude that 19 aces are still left in the shoe. (Of course, some or even all of them may never exit the shoe since the dealer must reshuffle well before the shoe is empty.)

Good cards vs. bad cards
Most card counting systems are based on the idea that certain cards (typically tens, face cards and aces) are good for the player while other cards (typically small cards) are good for the dealer. Card counters will therefore normally keep track of tens, face cards and aces, and advanced card counters will also keep an eye on fives and fours