Card counting is as old as card games. It is a trick used by people who wish to beat the system and increase their chances of winning money in a game of chance. The trick is not popular with casinos and if you’re caught doing it, it’s likely you’ll not only be kicked out, but you’ll be asked not to return.
Nobody really agrees on whether card counting is really cheating or not, given that the games it’s used in (namely, blackjack) are technically games of skill. However, as it potentially robs the house of a win against a player, it is banned in traditional casinos.
So does card counting work when you’re playing digital blackjack? In order to answer that, let’s take a look at how blackjack is played, how card counting works, and whether it really applies to the digital version of the game.
How is Blackjack Played?
Accorting to CasinoBernie.com Blackjack is not like roulette or other casino games that are built entirely on chance. The game, also known as 21, is one of the most popular games in casinos all over the world. It is a banked game, which means that players compete against the house and not against one another. The aim of the game is quite simple; you simply need to get a hand (a set of cards) closer to the number 21 than the dealer. If you go over the number 21, then you’re bust, and you lose.
Each player is dealt two cards each by the house, and they are dealt facing up. The dealer will have one card that is facing down, which is known as the hole card. The dealer will also have a card that is left facing up.
Players then make their bet by putting the chips in the betting circle. The dealer will then proceed with dealing cards one-by-one. They are dealt in a clockwise motion, giving each player a card facing upwards. For each card given to a player, the dealer also received a card that is facing up. Then, players are given a second card facing up, and the dealer gets a card facing down.
This is where the betting happens. A player will choose to hit, stand, double down, or split. A stand is when the player is happy with their cards and don’t want to make another move. A hit is when the player wants another card, to try and get closer to the number 21. Doubling down means that the player believes their hand is so good, they would like to place another wager that is equal to the first one they put down.
When a player splits, it means that their first two cards are matching and they would prefer to place an extra bet, equivalent to their first. Then, the cards are split into two different hands.
So How Does Card Counting Work?
As this is a game of skill and not just chance, it is possible for the player to predict the likelihood that they have a winning hand. This requires a lot of skill and focus but simply involves seeing what cards have been dealt from the pack and taking note of the cards that are left. When a player knows what cards are left in a deck, then they know the likelihood of what cards the dealer has.
It doesn’t provide total accuracy, but it does mean a person can enjoy greater odds by simply knowing what cards the dealer definitely doesn’t have.
Card counting relies on the fact that the dealer uses one, or two, decks.
Does Card Counting Work Online?
So, here’s where things get interesting.
The answer is sometimes yes, and sometimes no. It really depends on the kind of platform you’re using. It is extremely likely that your online casino, however, has already taken measures to prevent this. Some online casinos may not have taken action yet, but they likely will in no time.
Online casinos give people the privacy they need to count cards without it being noticeable. In a traditional casino environment, it’s easy to get caught out counting cards, and you’ll be thrown out. However, when you’re at home and playing blackjack, you can easily take out a notepad and count cards without anybody knowing what you’re doing.
For that reason, online blackjack works a little differently. In most but not all instances, online dealers will use a fresh deck of cards every time they deal. That means you have no idea what cards the dealer has. It means the game works largely the same, but you won’t be able to use deduction to increase your chances of winning.
This, unfortunately, is true in both computer-generated games as well as in live casino games.
Casinos know all the tricks in the book, and the best you can do is become good at the games you play. Enjoy the experience and accept the games for what they are, and you’ll be sure to have a great time and still be in with a shot of winning big!