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Factors That Affect Your Card Counting Strategy

In this post, we look at some of the strategic factors that are involved in blackjack card counting. In other words, what factors affect your approach to counting cards in blackjack?

Blackjack Card Counting

The Long Run Versus the Short Term

The most vital thing for every real money blackjack gambler to understand is that the math behind blackjack card counting is a long-term phenomenon.

You’re not going to learn how to count cards today and come home rich the next day.

In the short run, anything can take place as well. Even the worst blackjack game gambler can have a big winning streak, and the best blackjack player can have a losing streak. And these streaks can last longer than you’d ever expected.

Casino Bankroll Management for Card Counters

The focus on the long term versus the short run has implications regarding casino bankroll management. If you are on a losing streak that lasts long or weeks on end, it’s possible to go broke even if you have a mathematical edge over the casino.

You need to have enough money in your bankroll to prevent that from happening. You must avoid going broke before you reach the “large numbers” in the “Law of Large Numbers.”

Penetration and Number of Decks

We wrote much about rules changes and game conditions previously, and we also addressed the number of decks. Put simply, the fewer the decks in play, the better off you are.

You’ll do better in a blackjack game with a single deck or two decks than you will in a casino game with eight decks. However, you should consider penetration.

Camouflage and The Heat

We haven’t gone into a lot of detail about the practicalities of this, but I’ve mentioned that casinos back you off if they realize you’re counting cards. When you are attracting this kind of attention, you’re getting “heat.”

One of the biggest factors the casino looks at is the size of your betting spread. At lower bets, the casinos may tolerate a large bet spread.

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