What is Card Counting in Blackjack

    There are very few things in casinos that are more intriguing than card counting in blackjack. Movies like 21 have played a huge part in that, as we have seen protagonists pull off magic tricks to outwit the dealer and pocket some huge winnings. But is it a viable strategy to win at blackjack, and is it possible to do it at online casinos? Moreover, is it allowed, or will it result in an outright account closure?

    Card counting in blackjack casinorider

    We lay out tips and tricks to test your card counting skills, information about whether casinos allow it or not, and most importantly, whether all the hassle and risk are worth it. Off we go.

    How does card counting work

    The premise is pretty simple, but not easy. Card counting is when you calculate if the next card will favour the player or the house. You can do that by using some complex systems that are based on the cards dealt previously. While there are several such strategies, the most popular one is Hi-Lo card counting, which is also the one you have witnessed in some of your favourite gambling movies. Let's see in action.

    1. 1

      First, you allocate a point value to each card. 2–6 have a value of +1, 7-9 have a value of 0, and 10-Ace has a value of -1.

    2. 2

      Then, you start counting from zero, from the first card on the deck. To get the "true count" you divide the running accurate count by the estimated number of remaining card decks.

      An example is if the running count is 8 and there are 4 decks remaining, then the True Count is 2.

    3. 3

      Finally, it is time to raise your bets. That is directly proportional to the True Count, so in our example, your bet should not exceed 2 units. If you go above this, you could get caught and banned from the casino.

    A full example would look like this: The minimum bet on the table is C$20. You start conservatively, until the True Count turns positive and you set a Unit Size of C$30. Then, you add one unit for every +1 on the True Count.

    So, a +1 True Count means a C$30 bet. A +2 True Count, a C$30 bet. A +3 True Count, a C$90 bet, and so on.

    Is card counting illegal in Canada

    Technically, there is no law that prohibits players from using card counting. However, we can safely say that such players are not welcome in land-based or online casinos. A skilled player could make hundreds of thousands of Canadian dollars, so casinos will do their best to avoid such a loss. Therefore, they have specialists checking all blackjack tables 24/7.

    When it comes to online gambling, it is almost impossible to use card counting. Casino software is constantly monitoring betting patterns and can immediately catch someone who uses card counting. In such a case, the game could be stopped on the spot, and you could be kicked out of the casino altogether.

    Join our exclusive email newsletter for the very latest offers, news & promotions

    Unsubscribe at any time. We promise we are spam free and we will never share your details with a 3rd party.