Research Paper on Card Counting.

Essay by St3_BP January 2005

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Card Counting

Sitting quietly with shades on and a cigarette in his mouth, the player at the green-carpeted table receives a 10 of spades.

"Hit me." 1

The dealer draws an ace.

"Well, that makes six a row, you sure are on a roll."

As the player takes the cigarette out of his mouth to reply, he is sternly tapped on his shoulder.

"Sir, I'm going to have to ask you to leave."

The card player knows there is no point in fighting, he gets up and leaves. He won't be seeing that casino anymore, for he has been put on the notorious "Black List"2 as a counter.

What is card counting?

Card counting is not rocket science, no psychic powers are needed either. It is tracking the relationship between high-value and low-value cards. A card counter could also be called a "probability analyst." Low-value cards are good for the dealer, why? Well, the dealer has to follow certain rules regarding hitting.

The dealer must hit if his count is below 17. Card counting allows the player to know when there are more high cards than low left in the decks, so they can raise their bet accordingly. They now have an advantage over the house.


1Hit - To get another card from the dealer

2Black List - List that ceases people from entering any casino

How is it done?

There are many systems used to count cards. For this example we will use the High-Low1 method, which is most widely used. In High-Low the 2-6 cards are valued at +1, and the 10s through Aces are counted as -1. Note that there are the same amount in each group, 2,3,4,5,6 and 10,J,Q,K,A. The 7,8, and 9 cards are neutral. While training, it is good to not even...