Card Counting Explained – Know the Facts and How to Win

Regardless of who you may be, if you’re paying a visit to your local casino then your main goal is to try and win as much money as you possibly can, which ultimately requires getting an edge over the house.

This is exactly why casino put a lot of effort into stopping the players at their casinos from cheating and trying to gain an upper hand.

Whether it is a loaded die or a complex signalling strategy, cunning players will do anything to win more money.

Card Counting in Blackjack

Card counting is primarily used when playing Blackjack, and in spite of what you may think, it actually isn’t illegal, nor is it considered cheating.

So, if you’re willing to give it a go, fear not because you won’t end up ‘sleeping with the fishes’, despite what many movies will have you believe.

Know the Facts and How to Win - Card Counting Explained

We tend to believe a lot of the thing depicted in films, which is probably why most people think it requires a pure genius to do, and probably also why I’ve had a sneaking suspicion the world’s casino industry is responsible for movies like Rain Man, 21 and even the Hangover.

Count Cards & Then Your Money

Jokes aside, card counting is a lot easier than you think and it basically requires a decent understanding of Blackjack as well as knowing how to add and subtract.

This ultimately means that whether you only find yourself at the Blackjack table from time to time or even if you spend most of your time enjoying the many great online slots Canada has to offer, you have just as much chance counting cards and winning big money as anyone else with a high-school diploma.

The best thing to do is practice your Blackjack skills and implement strategies to get a deeper understanding of the game and how to keep track without having to memorise every card drawn.

The Art Of Counting Cards

If you know Blackjack, you know that the 10s, the picture cards and the Aces are useful to players, while the lower cards (2-6) will be useful to the dealer because they have to stick with anything over 17 and hit with anything less.

The remaining cards, 7, 8, and 9 are considered neutral, as they don’t always benefit the dealer or the player.

This essentially means that there is always an even number of desirable and undesirable cards in play, which is where the card counting starts to come into play.

We know that every time a card is dealt the number of cards (or shoe) gets smaller, and that there are 20 desirable cards, 20 undesirable cards and 12 neutral cards.

So, when trying to become a card counting connoisseur your task is to subtract or add cards from the deck with simple maths, whereby you’ll assign +1 to undesirable cards, -1 to desirable cards and 0 to the neutral cards.

The trick thereafter is to take note of whether you are in minus figures then you know you are at a slight advantage and you can place your bets accordingly. It isn’t fool proof in terms of winning, but it certainly increases your chances.

Fantastic Variety of Online Blackjack Variations

Each online blackjack variation will vary in terms of rules and the odds of winning, but no matter which variation you choose, we can guarantee that you’re going to have fun.

The amount of decks will vary and you may come across games that use up to 8 decks, which increases the level of difficulty substantially.

Take a look at some of the most popular online blackjack variations below.

Vegas Strip Blackjack

  • Played with four 52-card decks
  • Dealer stands on soft 17
  • Dealer will ‘peek’ for blackjack
  • Players may double down on any initial hand
  • Players may double down after splitting
  • Players may split up to 4 hands
  • Aces may only be split once
  • Only 1 card can be taken to split aces
  • 21 on split aces does not constitute blackjack
  • Players may split unlike 10-value cards such as K and Q

Blackjack Surrender

  • Great option for beginners
  • Rules are identical to regular blackjack, except that players are allowed to surrender
  • House edge is lower owing to the option to surrender
  • Only half of the initial bet is lost if a player decides to surrender
  • Dealer is required to hit on soft 17
  • Dealer will ‘peek’ for blackjack
  • Initial 2 card hand can be split if both cards are of the same value
  • Players may double down after splitting
  • Player has the option to take insurance if the dealer shows an ace

Progressive Blackjack

  • Players bet as usual, but there is also a progressive jackpot up for grabs
  • Rules are the same as classic blackjack
  • Particularly popular among online blackjack Canada players
  • Players must post an additional side bet in order to qualify for the progressive jackpot
  • Surrender is not an option
  • Players can win the progressive jackpot by having 4 suited aces
  • If the progressive jackpot is not won, there is still the chance to win smaller pay outs as such: 3 suited aces pays 5000:1, 4 aces of any suit pays 2500:1, 3 aces of any suit pays 250:1, 2 suited aces pays 100:1, 2 aces of any suit pays 25:1

Blackjack Switch

  • Rules of classic blackjack apply
  • Players are dealt 2 hands of 2 cards each
  • Once players have studied the first 2 cards of each hand, players are able to switch the cards between hands if they so choose – hence the name
  • Whether the 2 cards are switched or not, the player continues to play both hands separately, choosing to hit, stand, split, or double down
  • The player can win or lose both or only one hand

Double Exposure Blackjack

  • Both of the dealer’s cards are dealt face up which benefits the player
  • House edge is greater than standard blackjack which favours the house
  • Dealer wins on all ties, unless it’s a natural blackjack
  • Player blackjack pays even money
  • Player can only split a hand once

Spanish Blackjack

  • Played with either 6 or 8 standard 52-card deck with 4 tens removed to make a 48-card deck
  • Player hand worth 21 always wins, irrespective of what the dealer holds
  • Players may double down on any initial 2-card hand
  • Players may hit and double down after splitting any card values, even aces
  • Players may surrender after doubling, forfeiting the original bet but keeping the double down bet
  • If a player wins with a 5-card 21, the pay-out is 3-to-2
  • If a player wins with a 6-card 21, the pay-out is 2-to-1
  • If a player wins with a 7 or more card 21, the pay-out is 3-to-1

Have fun with these variations and remember to only use reputable online casinos!

7 Tips for Success with Blackjack for Beginners

7 Blackjack Tips for Success When You’re Just Starting Out

Ready for some blackjack tips? Even beginners to the game of blackjack know about card counting, and while some argue that it’s a piece of cake, the idea of card counting is beyond the purview of the average player.

However, blackjack offers good odds and it possible to achieve blackjack success without counting cards – as long as you follow a few basic rules and strategies.

We consulted a few experts for advice for rookie players.

1. Basic Blackjack Playing Strategy

Remembering the right way to hit, stand, double down, or split your hand is absolutely imperative, and if you stick to these basic rules you’ll cut the house edge down from 1-2% to 0.5%!

  • Stand when you hold between 12-16 and the dealer shows between 2-6
  • Hit when you hold between 12-16 and the dealer shows between 7-ace
  • Always split aces and 8s
  • Double down on 11 when the dealer shows between 2-10
  • Hit or double down on anything between ace-6

2. Don’t Take Up Insurance

Unless you are a skilled card counter, taking up insurance is a complete waste of money. When taking up insurance you are essentially making a 2nd bet with extra money with regards to whether the dealer has blackjack.

On average, the house has an almost 6% advantage over the play when it comes to insurance bets and even if you do have blackjack you will only win your original bet.

If the dealer has blackjack as well, it’s a push.

Blackjack tips for Beginners - online casino

3. Check the Dealer’s Up Card

This is one of the most important blackjack tips. Before you make any decision regarding whether to hit, stand, double down, or split your hand, take a careful look at what the dealer is holding.

It’s good news for you if he’s showing anything between 2-6 but bad news for you if he’s showing anything between 7-ace.

The dealer’s up card should always influence your next move. Remember, you will make mistakes when you’re getting started, but that’s why taking advantage of Canadian casino bonuses is so important – they can cushion the blow in the beginning.

4. Choose Your Seat Wisely

When you’re just getting started you’re going to need some extra time to review the dealer’s up card and your own hand before making a decision, so make sure to not take the first base seat.

Avoiding this seat will buy you some extra time while the dealer moves through the other players. This is one of the blackjack tips often overlooked.

blackjack tips for beginners - 7 tips when playing blackjack at an online casino

5. Start Small

When you’re new to blackjack it is advised that you start off slowly and ease your way into the game.

Don’t go in firing on all 4 cylinders if you’ve never played a hand before, as you will most likely come up short unfortunately.

Slow down, enjoy the experience, and every move will become far more calculated.

6. Don’t Believe the Gambler’s Myths

No matter what you’ve read, it isn’t possible for another player at the table to influence the way your hand goes.

Even though there are other players at the table, you are playing alone against the dealer, and the other players don’t know what you have and vice versa.

7. Know When to Stop

Many casino surveys over the years have documented how as many as 75% of players will be winning at some point, but only 4% come out with more than they went in with.

Having said that – decide on an amount that you’re willing to lose in a single session and stick to it. If you’re up in numbers at any point, that’s when it’s a good time to stop.

Hopefully you enjoyed these blackjack tips, and if you did, don’t forget to share this with others!

The History Of Blackjack – How The Game Started And Grew

The Evolution of Blackjack

The most important part of any casino is, inherently, its games, and few games have captured the hearts and minds of players all around the world quite the same way that blackjack has.

Every casino worth its weight offers blackjack in some form or another, and apart from poker and slots, blackjack is, without a doubt, one of the most popular games in the world.

Modern blackjack is bound by a very specific set of rules that, while varying slightly from casino to casino, keep the game in order and ensure that card counting and strategies are kept to a minimum.

These rules, like every part of the game, have evolved over time, starting with the earliest versions of the game and growing into the modern phenomena that so many enjoy and play to this day.

Like with most casino games, blackjack has an old and rich history that can be dated back to Europe.

Blackjack America - casino games online

 

The Beginnings of Blackjack

Blackjack found its beginnings in an assortment of other card games that were played all over Spain and France.

These games were all different, but they all involved decks of cards and that players had to try and drawing as close to set values as possible.

Such games as Trente-un (thirty one) are seen as the forefathers of today’s blackjack, and while they share many similarities, these games required were often based more on the cards the player was given straight away as opposed to what blackjack players are used to.

After some time, the game of 21 stood out from the rest, and this was the game that was to become what we know as blackjack.

The reason this game gained more popularity than the others was due to the fact that players were given choice during the game: either to hit or stand.

This alone set it apart from other random chance games, and gave players the idea that they could inject their own strategies into the game, improving their chances of winning.

Canadian mobile casino - online gambling

Blackjack in America

The game of 21 swept across Europe and England, and was among the most-played card games that players enjoyed.

It began popping up around America, and during the First World War, people began offering payouts to those that received a black jack and an ace of spades, and this eventually lead to the game adopting the name that we all know today.

The Americans also added two new rules to the game that only further cemented its popularity: one of which was to allow players to see the card the dealer was going to use next, and secondly, for dealers to start using special house rules.

These two rules revolutionised the game for normal players. As it gave them the chance to create their own strategies and actually beat the game.

Modern Blackjack

Whether you’re playing at Las Vegas or enjoying a state-of-the-art Canadian mobile casino, blackjack hasn’t changed much in the last hundred years.

Most casinos have put severe limits on the ability of players to successfully count cards, and strategies can be difficult to use in most games.

However, the game remains as one of the most beloved across the world, and shows no signs of ever slowing down.

How Online Blackjack Works – The Ins And Outs Of Blackjack

A Primer in the Basics of Online Blackjack

There are countless casino games in the world, some of them played quite exclusively, and others played by millions every day.

Blackjack is one of those few games that sits somewhere in the middle – being enjoyed in bulk online by players all over the world, but also a unique table game that you’ll always find in a land-based casino.

While blackjack has always been a favourite in the casino world, it was its online evolution that truly made it skyrocket to the top, where it has remained to this day.

Learning blackjack is extremely easy as the rules are simple and the dealers keep you updated as the game progresses, but it is not quite the same with the online version of the game.

play online blackjack - casino games online

Computers handle everything that happens in front of the player, and for this reason is can be difficult to understand exactly how the online components work behind the scenes; and what exactly the computers are doing while you’re playing.

Playing blackjack 21 online is among the best card game of chance for anyone interested, but before you start, take some time to learn exactly what happens when you load up your favourite game of blackjack.

A Brief History of Online Blackjack

Blackjack as a whole is a game that spans hundreds of years, first finding popularity as a game of chance in European countries such as Spain and France.

As it grew across the world and found itself in North America, the game changed and evolved into the modern iteration that we are all familiar with today.

Online casinos that were first introduced in the late 1990s added digitized blackjack to their range of games, and it turned out to be a massive hit.

Evolution Gaming - online blackjack strategy

The computers that managed the game became more and more advanced, allowing for different versions.

How The Game Works Online

Blackjack is a simple game as its core. The goal for the player is to try and use their cards to try and score as high to 21 as possible, with the higher the score, the better the odds of winning the game.

As the game progresses, players have the chance to either hit or stand, meaning they can choose to take a new card, or stay with the ones they have.

This is where the inherent risk lies, because if a player takes a card that is too high a value, they can automatically lose the game and forfeit any potential winnings.

Online blackjack works the same, except for a live dealer, the computer uses a random number generator system, also known as RNG, to give players cards at completely random.

Every online game will make use of special rules, known as house rules, which are set by the casino offering the game.

These rules set the odds of the game including the house edge and the ultimate payout, as well as whether the player can use special moves such as doubling down.

Live Dealers Online

Another popular variant of online blackjack is those games that are played with a live dealer. These games are becoming increasingly popular, with brands like Evolution Gaming leading the way.

In live blackjack there is a human dealer on the other side who manages the game, and blackjack of this type is usually played by a number of different players.

It is much easier to implement strategies with live dealers, as human dealers cannot deal cards as randomly as computers can.

All in all, it is up to the player to decide the kind of blackjack that suits them most.

The Best Blackjack Players of All Time

Most people are very familiar with the game of blackjack, thanks to both its popularity in casinos as well as its ease to play at home among friends.

Whether you are playing a fun game or trying to earn big in the casinos, there is no doubt that blackjack is a game of strategy and patience, and it can take years of practice before you start playing in the big leagues and taking home everything the casino has to offer.

There are hundreds of professional blackjack players around the world, and each one has earned their right to be among the best players the industry has to offer.

But even among this group of seasoned professionals, there are some that truly reign supreme, and stand out above the rest. These are the best of the best, the biggest earners in the blackjack world, the players that all others aspire to.

Practising Blackjack

One of the best ways to become good at blackjack is through practice, and there is no easier way to do this than by doing it online.

Some of the best blackjack games are available on the internet, and if you want to try other games as well, it is easy to find poker, craps, roulette, and some of the best online slots Canada has to offer.

If you want to become a professional player, one of the best things to do if follow these names and see how they play – learn who they are, how they did it, and what it takes to become the best blackjack player in the world.

Bryce Carlson

Bryce Carlson is the unrivalled master of blackjack, having started playing the game in the 1970s.

Despite his skill at blackjack, one of the reasons he is so famous among players is due to all the tips, tricks, and strategies he has given away over the years to help other players get better at the game.

On top of this, he wrote an extremely popular book on the game that has been the bible for blackjack players for almost 20 years.

Carlson was very quick to turn to online blackjack once online casinos started offering it, and he even developed a custom blackjack machine called the Omega II to help him analyse the game. To date, Carlson is still considered the best player in the world.

Arnold Snyder - poker champion

Edward O. Thorpe

Another legend among the blackjack community, Thorpe is an American professor of mathematics who has a deep love and appreciation of the game.

Thorpe developed a unique way of counting cards which made him both successful and famous, and has since written a detailed book on how he managed to create his card counting techniques.

Arnold Snyder

Arnold Snyder is among the blackjack greats, and has become both a professional blackjack player and accomplished gambling author.

When Snyder first noticed how the cards were shuffled at casinos, he decided to create his own strategy using a combination of card shuffling and card counting, and it proved to be a massive success.

 

Since then, Snyder has gone on to write many books on the subject, and remains as one of the world’s foremost blackjack authors.

 

Why Blackjack is a Game of Strategy

Why Blackjack is a Game of Strategy

The best way to play blackjack in order to optimise the chances you have of winning is basic strategy, and this approach to the game is very easy for players to learn and put into practice. Unlike slots, Roulette and other games of chance, Blackjack lets you use skill to beat the dealer. This makes it more mathematical, and more satisfying. Well, in our books anyways!

The Dealer Can Make No Decisions

One of the biggest reasons for the overwhelming popularity of blackjack games at both online and land-based casinos lies in the fact that the player needs to make a number of decisions on each of his or hands, and these affect the game’s outcome. It is thus a more skill-based game than other types, and is more similar to poker in the fact that you are able to influence the outcome, and are not totally reliant on Lady Luck smiling down on you.

However, these decisions will not frequently deviate from those outlined in the rules of basic strategy for blackjack. In this game, the Dealer is bound to play via pre-set rules, and can make no individual decisions, and, since these are thus always the same, basic strategy works on the Player’s behalf every single time.

Basic Strategy is the Only Way to Keep Winning

Basic strategy has been devised by using a system of statistical probabilities which calculate what your best possible move under any given circumstances would be, according to the cards in your hand and the Dealer’s.

The aim of basic strategy when it comes to online blackjack is not only for you to win as frequently as possible, but to maximise any winnings that you do make, by using the Double Down option, in order to reduce the chance of going bust and to minimise any losses, by choosing Surrender or to refrain from Doubling. Of course the house will always enjoy a slight edge, but following basic strategy significantly reduces this edge.

Blackjack at online can mobile casinos is played with newly-shuffled deck of cards from a pack of six decks, and this means that there will generally be 312 cards in total, with 24 instances of each, so the value of strategies like card counting becomes negligible.

Basic Strategy Guides for Online Players

If you look at the basic strategy guides available for free of charge online, you will quickly spot patterns around decisions on when to Hit and when to Stand. There are instances when you should always Hit, and sometimes Double-Down, when your Hand’s value is less than 11, and you cannot bust, and times that you should always Stand on Hand totals of 17 points and more, unless it is a Soft 17.

The best way to learn the basic strategy is not to try to memorise all of the possible Hands, but rather to place your focus on the borderline Hands. As an example: when the Dealer has a Hand total of 7, the recommended strategy changes dramatically from when the Dealer has a 6.

Trying out basic blackjack strategy with free games until you gain some confidence will allow you to make great returns when you start playing real money games. It is true that in Blackjack, practice makes perfect, and you will soon see your bankroll boost when you start applying the basic strategy that governs this game.

A Beginners Guide to Multi Hand Blackjack

Multi hand blackjack is a variation found exclusively at online casinos and is in fact the most prevalent type of blackjack at most online gaming establishments.

While most land-based casinos will allow players to play multiple hands in blackjack under certain conditions, multi hand blackjack is available at your favourite online casinos 24/7.

Just another reason why online casinos are better than their land-based counterparts!

If you’re hoping to become a blackjack success then Guide4Blackjack.com is the place to be.

We have everything from guides to getting started for absolute beginners, to in-depth game analysis and strategy guides for more experienced players.

The Basics of Multi Hand Blackjack

Before we get to the nitty-gritty of multi hand blackjack there is something we have to make players aware of: there is absolutely no difference in game play between standard and multi hand blackjack!

Important things to note:

  • Card-counting is virtually impossible due to RNG software that shuffles the deck between each hand.

  • The table minimums for multi hand blackjack are generally much lower than live action games, and it’s possible to find $1 games.

How Multi Hand Blackjack is Dealt

  • Log into your online casino account
  • Select Multi Hand Blackjack as your chosen game
  • A virtual table will open before you and you will see 5 betting spots
  • Each betting spot represents 1 hand
  • Choose to play a single hand or play all 5 hands at once
  • Place a bet for each hand
  • Cards will then be dealt
  • All players cards are dealt face up
  • Dealer is the last to receive their cards – 1 face up, 1 face down

Player Options in Multi Hand Blackjack

You would be wise to keep in mind that blackjack is far more complicated than other online casino games and it’s for precisely this reason that many players in Canada and New Zealand prefer best online pokies, but that is what makes our blackjack guides so beneficial.

If the dealer does not have blackjack, you will be given the option to play on your own hand to improve your total. If the dealer has blackjack, then you lose all your hands in play unless you too have blackjack.

You may do one of the following:

  • Stand on any total
  • Hit any total less than 21
  • Double down on any 2 original cards
  • Split a pair with the option of re-splitting up to 3 times
  • A pair of Aces may be split only once and receive only 1 additional card
  • Take insurance if the dealer shows an Ace

Dealer Options in Multi Hand Blackjack

The dealer has to wait for you to act on all your hands before they can act on theirs. Once you have exhausted all possible options, the dealer may do one of the following:

  • May hit any total of 16 or less
  • The dealer must stand on any total of 17 or higher

Please note, the dealers options are the same in any standard variation of online blackjack.

Finding a Great Online Casino

If you haven’t as yet chosen an online casino, Guide4Blackjack.com has you covered in this regard as well!

While we are not a dedicated recommendation and review site, we do hold some insight into finding a top-notch online casino open to players in Canada and New Zealand.

When deciding on a legitimate and reputable online casino, first be sure that they accept players from your country of residence as well as gameplay in your currency.

Check out the range of games and banking options and make sure they cater to what you prefer.

4 Myths About Card Counting Debunked

Card counting is a lawful strategy for beating a casino: it is not illegal by any means, and is even held as a recognisable strategy in some gambling jurisdictions.

People who count cards are not all genius mathematicians, either, raking in millions by beating the system –there are, actually, so many untruths surrounding card counters and their system in general that it is hard to separate fact from fiction for the Average Joe.

Myth Number 1: Card Counters Can’t Lose

This fallacy is based on the assumption that those who count cards beat the Dealer every time they do.

Casinos are hardly afraid that they will lose very much of the enormous profits they make from the games they provide every time a card counter walks through the door –this practice will only slightly increase your advantage over the house, and even that benefit will lessen as your stakes diminish in size.

The only time that card counters are able to make use of a positive edge against the House is under very particular gaming situations.

Those who make use of this strategy have stated that it only allows the player to Go Up against the house about 1 every 6 rounds –during the remaining 5 the card counter is at the same disadvantage as the people who make use of other strategies are.

Blackjack Casinos Hound Card Counters

Myth Number 2: Card Counting Only Works for Single-Deck Games

Because counting cards is actually just keeping track mentally of favourable and unfavourable cards, it simply doesn’t make sense that counters are not able to keep track of more than 1 deck.

Card counters actually tend to avoid single-deck games, since the Dealers for these are on the lookout for counters, and these tables will have bet maximums in place that limits the profits that a counter could make anyway.

Learning how to count cards is as easy for a blackjack NZ game featuring 8 decks of cards as it is for one featuring just 1, the numbers just enlarge. Instead of having to remember 16 cards valued at 10 points each, you would need to keep track of 128. With a little practice, anyone can do it.

Myth Number 3: It Takes a Lifetime to Learn

There are new ways to count cards appearing all of the time, and most of the modern methods emphasise ease of use. Newer methods can be learned by a diligent player with just a few hours devoted to study and practice.

While it is true that the more time you spend doing it, the simpler it will become and the larger your potential profits will be, you do not have to spend the rest of your life refining this skill by any means.

Myth Number 4: Casinos Hound Card Counters

While there are jurisdictions that do not view card counting favourably, the simple fact of the matter is that not enough money is lost to this practice in order to warrant any real fuss.

 

More About Real World and Online Gambling In Canada

Gambling In Canada

Some are not aware, but gambling is 100% legal in Canada. So much attention is given to the famed Las Vegas, but hardly any mention made of the many gambling facilities up north of the United States. And, not only is gambling legal, but there are over 100 excellent casinos to explore, making the region a veritable gambling paradise.

Classic table games are the focus of many of these casinos, including the expected blackjack, roulette and poker. But slot games and other electronic based gambling activities not forgotten, with slot games and video poker also available. Read more “More About Real World and Online Gambling In Canada”