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How Hard Is It to Count Cards in Blackjack?

Don’t mention the phrase “card counting” in a casino – unless you have no intention of counting cards. Casino sites want you to think counting cards is illegal (well, it isn’t). They’ll call you a game cheater and get you out of there on the unclear suspicion that you’re involved in game card counting.

Let’s discuss how hard it is to count cards in blackjack.

Counting cards in a blackjack game isn’t the easiest thing to do – although it isn’t as hard as you and other players might think, either.

Counting Cards in blackjack

Understand the Advantage Play and Blackjack

Blackjack card counting is easy in theory, but putting into practice with a specific mindset is harder. That mindset is called “advantage play.”

In gambling, advantage play is when you place stakes where you get the best of it mathematically. In all casino games, the house has a mathematical edge. In some casino games and situations, you can change how you play to tilt that math in your favor.

That mindset includes being unwilling ever to make a bet where you don’t have an advantage. Fun gamblers aren’t playing with a mathematical edge against the house.

The Importance of Basic Strategy

One of the common fallacies among casino gamblers and real money blackjack gamblers is that you can get an edge over the casino by playing every hand correctly. The correct gameplay for each possible situation is called “basic strategy,” and you must master the basic strategy before counting cards.

However, the basic strategy alone will not give you an edge. It brings the house edge down to the lowest possible number.

You may play in a blackjack game where the house edge for the game is 0.5%, though, if you’re making numerous basic strategy mistakes, you may bring the house edge up to 2% or 3%. You’re then giving the casino money if you do so.

The basic strategy is based on the player’s two cards and the dealer’s up-card. You can select to double, split, hit, stand, or even surrender. One of those choices is mathematically better than all the others.

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