Yesterday I talked about how betting systems don’t work in blackjack. All they really have is the potential to seriously hurt your bankroll.
Imagine that you’re in a blackjack game using a progressive betting system that has you doubling your wager after you lose a round. Imagine that you have lost several rounds in a roll. You have the potential of having most of your bankroll on the line, with not enough left to follow that progressive betting system if you lose this round. You can easily go from making a $10 wager to one as big as $320 after six losses in a row.
If you are playing blackjack in a land-based casino you have another option. You can learn to card count. Yes, it does take more effort and practice than a betting system does. But card counting can tell you how much to bet and when. It can also, if you’re playing according to basic strategy, even out the odds and even possibly turn the odds in your favor.
Card counting helps you keep track of what types of card have been played in a game of blackjack. In the simplest counting system, the Hi-Lo system, you count low cards (2-6) as a +1, and you count high cards (10, face cards, Aces) as a -1. In each round you count the value of the cards that are played. Those cards are discarded at the end of the round and are then out of play.
If you have a count that goes positive, as in +3 or +4, it means that a larger number of low cards have been played; you have counted more positive cards. This means that there are a larger number of high cards left in the deck waiting to be played. So the chances of being dealt a strong hand or a natural blackjack. In that instance you would raise the amount of your bet since your chances of winning are stronger.
You would reduce the amount of your wager if the count went negative, indicating that more high cards have been played.
See how card counting offers a better gauge of how to bet and when? It’s more accurate than a betting system for blackjack at any rate.