What You Should Know About Card Counting in Blackjack

(STL.News) Card counting is a unique activity that goes a long way to make a difference.  While its status of legality moves through different opinions, the activity is still being considered by many, especially players who are into Blackjack.  From experienced Blackjack players to beginners, everyone wants to either know about card counting or go further and learn how to perform the activity.

So a guide on the topic of interest is very much needed, and we all need to go ahead and explore the same.

What is Card Counting?

Card counting, in simple words, is nothing but s strategy primarily used by Blackjack players in order to understand whether the next hand will be advantageous to them or the dealer.  The process, which is believed to be illegal, is not exactly illegal as long as players don’t use external devices to count cards.

But, casinos don’t like players who count cards and might even be able to prevent you from doing so.  While it is not possible to count cards through online casinos because of the change of deck, it is possible to do so through offline casinos.  The process has been something that players opt for with the sole purpose of gaining a competitive edge.

However, when it comes to practicing the same, it may or may not be easy based on who is doing so.  While players performing the activity for the first time will face problems in trying to keep up with the game, professionals can carry forward the task with ease.

Since you can’t count cards through a blackjack online game, the only place where you can practice the same is at casinos or at home while setting up a private Blackjack table.

Blackjack Card Counting

The basic aim of counting cards is to keep track of the cards that have appeared.  For this purpose, you need to follow a strict strategy and learn all about the game of Blackjack, including Blackjack side bets, if at all the game takes a different direction.  Once you are aware of the count and know how to take advantage of the same, you can move ahead to place bets and capture the momentum.

The technique that you can implement

When it comes to techniques, there are a number of them that you can use, with the most famous one being where you can assign a tag.  So it goes like the following:

  1. To be able to count every card, you need to assign a tag for every card. The best way to do so is to bring in two tags, with +1 being for cards between 2-6 and -1 being for cards between 10-A.
  2. Now that tags are assigned, you need to start running the count once shuffling has begun, and you also need to add tags for every card that is being pulled from the deck.
  3. When the count is positive, you need to increase the size of your bet when the undealt cards exceed in value as large cards.  However, you need to make sure that they are large cards before going ahead to increase the bet because this is a modern system and not a formula for ancient gambling.
  4. On the other hand, if the count is negative and when the undealt cards are richer in small cards rather than large cards, you should go ahead and decrease the size of your bet. This is a common strategy that card counters follow.

Why the technique is not practiced widely

While the above-mentioned card counting technique is practiced, it is not widely as popular as you would have imagined.  Despite it being easy, it is not a popular variant due to the simple fact that modern gambling has changed.

Today, we rely on live casinos and online Blackjack to complete the process and carry forward the activity of gaming.  Since card counting is not quite popular with all these formats and not possible, you can expect them to be kept far away from the same.

While other methods like doubling down are practiced at the Blackjack house, players do not opt for counting cards because it is not possible.  Hence, if you want to put the technique to good use, you need to rely on offline casinos.

The Famous Blackjack Team from MIT

It’s hard to talk about card counting without mentioning the famous team from MIT.  For those of you who are not aware of this team, you need to know that a group of students from MIT devised a plan around card counting in Blackjack and ran the activity for over two decades.

The different teams that employed the method have largely been successful in their approach and have rarely seen anything different.  Apart from MIT, the group also consisted of students from Harvard School of Business, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Harvard University.

Together, they formed a unit like no other and changed the very definition of casino gaming, especially Blackjack.  Since they kept on winning, casinos weren’t happy keeping these players in their houses, which is obvious because they kept taking all the money.

While the MIT team was a regular, they eventually stopped due to fatigue and various other casino regulations that made it hard for them to continue.  So the famous team went separate ways, and we might never get to see another team of this sort.


From the basics of card counting to the story about the ones who popularised it, this write-up tells you about everything that you need to know.  So go ahead and explore the activity while making sure that you aren’t crossing any limits because going against casino terms and regulations is not something you need to be doing.

Hence, gamble responsibly and obey the rules of the game and the casino.