Plus One, Minus One—Card Counting Explained Part II

Well now that you know that the basic aspect of card counting is only adding one or subtracting one.

But what is the point of card counting and what does it do to your blackjack strategy?

While basic strategy, when played perfectly, can lower the house edge to 0.5%, card counting can even out the blackjack odds and even give you the edge. How does that work?

The whole reason to card count is to know whether the remainder of the unplayed deck is rich in high cards or low cards. High cards are 10s, face cards and Aces. Low cards are 2 through 6.

When you are counting and you count goes positive it tells you that more small value cards were played and have been discarded. And because more small value cards have been played, it reasons to say that the unplayed cards have more high cards.

Your card is positive because you have counted more low cards. Your count is based on the cards that have been played so that you can get an idea of what is still left to play. A positive count means more low cards have been played, and that the remaining deck has a higher ratio of high cards left. A negative count means that more high cards have been played, leaving more low cards left to be played.

This is where card counting affects the betting portion of your betting strategy. When your blackjack count is positive, reasoning that the remaining deck is rich in high cards, you want to increase your bet. With a remaining deck rich in high cards you stand a better chance of being dealt a high hand value or even a natural blackjack.

Conversely, when you blackjack count goes negative you know that more high cards have been played and the remaining deck is rich in low cards. At this point it will be easier to hit to bust than to be dealt a strong hand. When your count goes negative you will want to decrease you bets.

Think of it this way: when you count is positive you need to add to your bets, whereas if your count is negative you need to decrease your bets. Make your betting action reflect the positive or negativness of your count.