WATCH: Card legend Mike Aponte reveals all on how to beat the house at blackjack

  • Aponte is a former member of the renowned MIT Blackjack team
  • Card legend advises players on a classic hi-lo card counting strategy

For anyone who has studied blackjack, the name of Mike Aponte will not be an unfamiliar one. As one of the legendary MIT Blackjack team, Aponte helped beat casinos for millions of dollars over several years, and was a key member of the first group to practice the strategy of card counting on a rigorous, industrial scale.

Watch below Mike Aponte’s WIRED guide to beating the house at blackjack:

The famous team ended up having a book written about them, ‘Bringing Down the House’, later made into the Hollywood film 21.

Now Aponte has revealed his card counting strategy in a new video. Aponte advocates a simple hi-lo count, where a running total is assigned to the table based on each card coming out of the shoe. He explains that higher cards, which are good for the player, are ranked with a negative count when they are dealt from the shoe.

Lower cards, conversely, are ranked with a positive count. The total is then divided by the number of decks in play to give the ‘true count.’

Place your bets

Aponte goes further by explaining bet sizing too, explaining that wagers should be a number of units multiplied by the true count minus one (for example, if the true count was 5, and one betting unit was set at $25, the player should bet $100.)

Of course, players should be wary about putting Aponte’s ideas into practice too hastily – casinos frown upon card counters, and can be harsh in dealing with them. If you’re too obvious, you could be removed from the blackjack table – or even banned from the casino altogether!

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