Counting System

What is ‘Counting System’

Counting system is a blackjack term which refers to systems some experienced blackjack players employ in order to attempt to gain an advantage over the casino. In many casinos, card counting is outlawed so players have to be discreet if they plan on counting cards at the blackjack tables. What counting system the gambler plays is entirely up to them. One of the most common counting systems is Hi/Low which has proved popular because of its simplicity, but counting systems can be extremely complex and are usually reserved for professional gamblers.

‘Counting System’ Explained

Players who card count will have to choose a counting system that suits their style of play. They also have to consider how skilled they are as players and how confident they are in carrying it out without alerting the suspicions of the casino staff. Expert players are able to use some of the most complex counting systems very discreetly.

One of the most simple counting systems was the very first. It was invented by Edward Thorp, who was a professor of mathematics, in the 1960s. It was called the ten-count system. Created with single-deck blackjack in mind, it’s a counting system that most amateur card counters will be familiar with as they will have used it as an introductory counting system with the aim of improving their skills before moving on to a more complex alternative. It works by the players counting the cards all through the game making sure to note the card’s value. By paying specific attention to the value it aids the players when it comes to deciding when and how much to wager. With the ten-count system, players count the sum of all the cards dealt to work out how many ten value cards are still in the deck.

If the player works out that there are still plenty ten cards in the deck, their chances of getting one are heightened and so they will place a larger bet. If on the other hand, they calculate that there are not many ten value cards left, players will place a smaller bet. It works by assigning a value to each card, starting with giving an ace a value of one. All cards from 1 to 9 are given a value of +4 with the King, Queen and Jack given a value of -9. It makes counting easier as the only numbers players have to remember are +4 and -9. The lower the total once all the cards have been dealt, the lower a player will bet, and the higher the total, the higher the bet.

Other, more complex systems, include the ‘Red Seven Count’, ‘The Omega II system’, The ‘Knock Out Count system’ and the ‘Wong Halves system‘. The Wong Halves counting system is largely considered to be the most complex system as it attributes 1/2 values to several cards. That means players will have to be incredibly quick at maths to perform fast additions and subtractions, all of which leads to the Wong Halves system being left to only the most confident and experienced card counters.

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