Blackjack card counting Strategies

Tips on Blackjack Card Counting Technique

[Note from Arnold Snyder: This truly is a terrific collection of tips on how to learn to count cards. One of the things I like best about Kyle's tips is that they not only make you a good card counter, but they will also help to prepare you for advanced techniques for beating blackjack, like hole-carding.]

One of the most important fundamentals in blackjack is the utilization of proper card counting technique. Trouble is, I have never seen an explanation on how to do so.

Its not uncommon for an author to say that once you can count down a deck in less than twenty-five seconds, youre about ready for the casino, but lack of proper card counting technique can hinder your development as a card counter and/or get you into bad habits. It will not only slow down your counting, but will limit your ability to use more advanced methods of advantage play and cover.

Technique for Visualizing the Count

One of the most common card counting errors is maintaining the count by repeating it in the head. Assuming the player is using the hi-lo, when he or she sees a five, immediately +1 should go into the head. However, many players will literally talk to themselves and say plus one or perhaps one in their heads. In negative counts, this type of player needs to say something in addition to the number to indicate it's negative, such as minus one or -one. If someone doesnt like negatives I would bet money its due to poor technique.

Instead of maintaining the count by repeating the number in your head, its advisable to visualize it and keep it visually in front of you as if it was stuck there with glue. When visualizing the number, don't picture it on the table or anything external; then you would be focusing your eyes on only one spot. Instead, visualize it in your head. As new cards come across the table, the visualized number should be changing in your mind. When you are waiting between rounds, instead of repeating the count, the number should be held in place as if you had eyes in the back of your head.

When applying this technique, the number in your head shouldnt change after each individual card that you proceed to see. You should generally take in multiple cards at once and after counting the group, the number should change. This method is faster and easier since many cards cancel out. The exception is when there is a potential bust card, since if the player busts the dealer will place the cards from the busted hand immediately into the discard tray.

Card Counting Tecnique and Talking

One of the best things about counting visually is that it will greatly facilitate the skill of counting and talking simultaneously. If you are saying the count in your head and someone tries to start up a conversation, you will have problems maintaining both the inner voice and outer voice. It is best to use just one voice and use another form of memory, visualization.

I can recall only one personal resource on how to count and talk the same time but was disappointed by the explanation. One noted blackjack author and web host...

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