Blackjack Expert Explains How Card Counting Works | WIRED

so when I'm card counting I'm playing

perfect basic strategy give the accurate

track of the running cow converting that

running count into a true account based

on the number of decks remaining and

then sizing my bet proportionately based

on the truth down

what makes blackjack different from all

the other games is that it's based on

dependent events which means that the

past actually affects the probability

what's going to happen next

now the card counting system that I

recommend is called high-low count

system we have the high cards 10 Jack

Queen King and ace and these are good

for the player but they have a count

value of -1 each because as high cards

are depleted from the game player

advantage up goes down the next group of

cards is the low cards 2 3 4 5 and 6 and

these cards are good for the dealer

so naturally these are going to each

have a count value of +1 because as

these low cards are depleted that means

there's fear of them that can hurt you

in future play and a third and final

group of cards is a neutral cards 7 8 9

and these cards don't have a count value

at all because they don't favor the

house or the player if we're to look at

these Street cards the count of these is

the minus 1 we have two hikers and one

load cards for these three cards they

have a count of +2 we have two low cards

which each have a count value plus 1 and

the neutral card has no count value


now what most people would do once they

learn to hide load count values is to

adjust the count one by one so for

example they would think minus 1 plus 1

minus 1 plus 1 minus 1 minus 1 minus 1

plus 1 and so the net of all that work

would be minus 2 so that required

adjusting to cow big times but if you

use a technique called meaningful pairs

you're going to reduce your workload and

improve your speed dramatically so

looking at this first hand we have a

cancel I love another high-low

combination another cancel so no work

required here we're gonna have two high

cards so we're gonna go -2 and once

again another cancel and a neutral card

doesn't mean anything with regard to get

out so using the pair's we only have to

adjust to count one time

now once the hands are actually played

out and players are hitting and doubling

down we will count them one at a time so

we're at minus 2 you take a hit

that brings us to minus 1 another hit

minus 2 minus 3 back 2 minus 2 and we

end around at minus 3 so the running

count is very important there's one more

step you need to convert that running

cow into what we call the true count so

this right here is about one deck of

cards the true count is simply the

running count divided by the number of

decks remaining rounded to the nearest

half deck so for example if you have a

running count of +9 and there's 4 and

1/2 decks remaining while 9 over 4 and

1/2 gives

true count of plus two and as true count

increases player advantage increases so

the general idea is to bet little or

nothing when you don't have the


and then that proportionately more as

your advantage increases so as far as

how we would size our bets we would bet

true count minus one better use so for

example if you are had to have a betting

unit of $25.00 and the true count is

plus 2 2 minus 1 is 1 so you should bet

$25 so let's say the running count is

plus 20 as you can see we have one deck

that has come out even if there's five

decks remaining so that gives us a true

count of 20 divided by 5 decks remaining

true count of plus 4 we're going to

subtract 1 to get the optimal bet of 3

units and let's use a betting unit of

$100 so runny count 20 so we're gonna

play this out now we have to play basic

strategy as we're keeping track of

account now the count has moved down a

bit to plus 17 so we have a plus 17

count divided by about four and a half

two decks remaining so we're still at

about a true can of plus four so we can

keep the same bet

reni count has increased to 23 so 23

with four decks remaining about gives us

a true count of +6 so how much should we

bet well five units so now you get a

sense of everything that you have to do

you have to play perfect basic strategy

keep track of the running count convert

that into the proper troop count based

on index remaining and then hopefully

have enough leeway to be able to

interact with other players and pay

attention to what's going on