🖐 Learn How to Count Cards | Gaming the Odds

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At the height of his 12-hour blitz of the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, last April, he was playing a hand of blackjack nearly every minute.
Dozens of spectators pressed against the glass of the high-roller pit.
Word spreads when the betting is that big.
Johnson was on an amazing streak.
The towers of chips stacked in front of him formed a colorful miniature skyline.
The basics of blackjack are simple.
Almost everyone knows them.
You play against the house.
Two cards are placed faceup before the player, and two more cards, one down, one up, before the dealer.
The goal is to get to 21, or as close to it as possible without going over.
Scanning the cards on the table before him, the player can either stand or keep taking cards in an effort to approach 21.
His next two cards, surprisingly, were also both eights, so he split each again.
Johnson says he was once dealt six consecutive aces at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut.
He was neither nervous nor excited.
He is a veteran player.
Little interferes with his concentration.
Whenever the racily clad cocktail waitress wandered in with a fresh whiskey and Diet Coke, he took it from the tray.
Arrayed on the table before him were the four eights.
When his second hand was dealt a two, he doubled down on that, too.
He drew a 10, so the two cards he was showing totaled 15.
This was a good bet: since all face cards are worth link, the deck holds more high cards than low.
Johnson won all https://allo-hebergeur.com/blackjack/blackjack-online-australia.html hands.
As another skyscraper of chips was pushed into his skyline, he signaled for the next hand.
He was just getting started.
Caesars had cut him off, he says, and then effectively banned him from its casinos worldwide.
Fifteen million dollars in winnings from three different casinos?
Nobody gets that lucky.
How did he do it?
The first and most obvious suspicion was card counting.
Card counters seek to gain a strong advantage by keeping a mental tally of every card dealt, and then adjusting the wager according to the value of card counting blackjack odds cards that remain in the deck.
The tactic requires both great memory and superior math skills.
Made famous in books and movies, card counting is considered cheating, at least by casinos.
In most states but not New Jerseyknown practitioners are banned.
The wagering of card counters assumes a clearly recognizable pattern over time, and Johnson was being watched very carefully.
He had beaten the casinos fair and square.
All of these gambling houses were already hurting, what check this out the spread of legalized gambling in surrounding states.
By April, combined monthly gaming revenue had been declining on a year-over-year basis for 32 months.
For most people, though, the newspaper headline told a happy story.
An ordinary guy in a red cap and black hoodie had struck it rich, had beaten the casinos black-and-blue.
It seemed a fantasy come true, the very dream that draws suckers to the gaming tables.
D espite his pedestrian attire, Don Johnson is no average Joe.
For one thing, he is an extraordinarily skilled blackjack player.
What gives Johnson his edge is his knowledge of the gaming industry.
As good as he is at playing cards, he turns out to be even better at playing the casinos.
Hard times do not favor the house.
Pennsylvania is likely to supplant New Jersey this year as the second-largest gaming state in the nation.
The new Parx racetrack and casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, a gigantic gambling complex, is less than 80 miles away from the Atlantic City boardwalk.
When you add gaming tables or slots at a fancy new venue like Revel, or like the Borgata, which opened in 2003, the novelty may initially draw crowds, but adding gaming supply without enlarging the number of customers ultimately hurts everyone.
When revenues slump, casinos must rely more heavily on their most prized customers, the high rollers who wager huge amounts—tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars a hand.
High rollers are lured with free meals and drinks, free luxury suites, free rides on private jets, and … more.
The marketers present casinos as glamorous playgrounds where workaday worries and things like morality, sobriety, and prudence are on holiday.
He was the only Atlantic City casino executive who agreed to talk to me about Johnson.
The industry pays close attention to high-level players; once a player earns a reputation for winning, the courtship ends.
The last thing a skilled player wants is a big reputation.
Some wear disguises when they play.
But even though he has been around the gambling industry for all of his 49 years, Johnson snuck up on Atlantic City.
To look at him, over six feet tall and thickly built, you would never guess that he was once a jockey.
In his best years as a professional jockey, he was practically skeletal.
He stood 6 foot 1 and weighed only 108 pounds.
He worked with a physician to keep weight off, fighting his natural growth rate with thyroid medication that amped up his metabolism and subsisting card counting blackjack odds vitamin supplements.
The regimen was so demanding that he eventually had to give it up.
His body quickly assumed more normal proportions, and he went to work helping manage racetracks, a career that brought him to Philadelphia when he was about 30.
He was hired to manage Philadelphia Park, the track that evolved into the Parx casino, in Bensalem, where he lives today.
Johnson was in charge of day-to-day operations, including the betting operation.
He started to learn a lot about gambling.
It was a growth industry.
He has served as a state regulator in Oregon, Idaho, Texas, and Wyoming.
About a decade ago, he founded a business that does computer-assisted wagering on horses.
The software his company employs analyzes more data than an ordinary handicapper will see in a thousand lifetimes, and defines risk to a degree that was impossible just card counting blackjack odds years ago.
Compared with horse racing, the odds in blackjack are fairly straightforward https://allo-hebergeur.com/blackjack/onyx-blackjack-windows-8-1.html calculate.
Many casinos sell laminated charts in their guest shops that reveal the optimal strategy for any situation the game presents.
The way averages work, the larger the sample, the narrower the range of variation.
A session of, say, 600 hands will display wider swings, with steeper winning and losing streaks, than the standard casino charts.
He does not just walk into a casino and start playing, which is what roughly 99 percent of customers do.
But the vast majority of players lose, and the longer they play, the more they lose.
Because the casino values high rollers more than the average customer, it is willing to lessen its edge for them.
Beyond the usual high-roller perks, the casino might also sweeten the deal by staking the player a significant amount up front, offering thousands of dollars in free chips, just to get the ball rolling.
The player still loses.
But two years ago, Johnson says, the casinos started getting desperate.
With their table-game revenues tanking and the number of whales diminishing, casino marketers began to compete more aggressively for the big spenders.
By late 2010, the discounts at some of the strapped Atlantic City casinos began creeping upward, as high as 20 percent.
He had the money to wager big, he had the skill to win, and he did not have enough of a reputation for the casinos to be wary of him.
For Johnson, the game began before he ever set foot in the casino.
A tlantic City did know who Johnson was.
But he was not considered good enough to discourage or avoid.
In fact, in late 2010, he says, they called him.
Johnson had not played a game at the Borgata in more than a year.
He had been trying to figure out its blackjack game for years but had never been able to win big.
The way any discount works, you have to lose a certain amount to capitalize on it.
When this happened to Johnson, he knew the ground rules had skewed against him.
So it was no longer worth his while to play there.
He explained this when the Borgata tried to entice him back.
The casinos use computer models that calculate the odds down to the last penny so they can craft terms to entice high rollers counting software card blackjack mac trainer forfeiting the house advantage.
Johnson did not miss the math.
Johnson could calculate exactly how much of an advantage he would gain with each small adjustment in the rules of play.
When Johnson and the Trop finally agreed, he had whittled the house edge down card counting blackjack odds one-fourth of 1 percent, by his figuring.
In effect, he was playing a 50-50 game against the house, and with the discount, he was risking only 80 cents of every dollar he played.
So when Johnson got far enough ahead in his winning sprees, he reasoned go here he might as well keep playing.
When Johnson insisted that he wanted to keep playing, he says, the pit boss pointed out of the high-roller pit to the general betting floor, where the game was governed by normal house rules.
Johnson went upstairs and fell asleep.
These winning streaks have made Johnson one of the best-known gamblers in the world.
He was shocked when his story made the front page of The Press of Atlantic City.
Donald Wittkowski, a reporter at the newspaper, landed the story when the casinos filed their monthly revenue reports.
But because he is sloth cafe london far in front of us, we have card counting blackjack odds his discounts.
He is enjoying his fame in gambling circles, and has gotten used to flying around the world on comped jets.
Everybody wants to play against the most famous blackjack player in the world.
But from now on, the casinos will make sure the odds remain comfortably stacked against him.
We want to hear what you think about this article.

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Card counting is one of the most infamous strategies in blackjack, but it is also one of the least understood by the general public.
Movies and television have portrayed card counting in blackjack to be a way to get rich quick.
But of course, not just anyone can card count; it takes a mathematical genius who can calculate complex equations on the fly while keeping track of the card counting blackjack odds of hundreds of different cards.
However, the truth behind card counting — for better and for worse — is very different.
Instead, the techniques used in card counting only serve to give the player the same sort of small edge usually held by the casino.
If you just want to jump straight in and get started, you can Recommended Live Dealer Online Casinos How Card Counting Works Typically, casino blackjack is dealt from a shoe of somewhere between six and eight decks.
The cards are dealt until a certain amount of the shoe has been dealt — often, something like 75% of the shoe will be used before reshuffling.
This means that by tracking which cards have come out of the shoe during play, we can have a pretty firm handle on which cards are still waiting to be dealt.
How can this information help the player?
It turns out that having certain cards in the deck is great for the player, while other cards are better for the dealer.
As a general rule, big cards favor the player, while small cards favor the dealer.
More specifically, aces and tens are very good for the player, while fives and fours are great for the dealer.
This is mostly because aces and tens do a lot of things that the player can take advantage of with the options they are given.
The player can also stand on hands below 17, while the dealer cannot, meaning that the dealer will bust quite often in shoes that are still rich in tens.
Furthermore, the player will do better on double downs when the player almost always will be happy with a ten and often with an acecan start taking insurance if the deck is rich enough in tens, and can surrender more confidently in spots where the dealer is likely to have a very strong hand.
In short, everything the player can do works even better when the deck has plenty of tens and aces available to him.
Conversely, small cards thwart these efforts.
If many small cards have already come out of the shoe, the rest of the card counting blackjack odds is very, very favorable to the player.
Card counters can take advantage of knowing how good the remaining deck is in several ways.
As we said earlier, card counters will sometimes take insurance based on the remaining cards in the shoe, and on rare occasions, they might even deviate from basic strategy based on their counting.
However, the biggest way that card counters pick up an advantage is by simply betting more money when the player has the advantage, and betting less or avoiding playing altogether when the odds swing too far in favor of the dealer.
While you can try to count cards, casinos can also try to make the conditions for card counters difficult or impossible.
For instance, a suspicious casino may start shuffling their cards more often to lower the deck penetration, thus making counting much less effective.
However, trying this strategy is a sure way to get yourself banned from playing blackjack!
Instead, most blackjack systems rely on small, incremental changes that hope to keep the player from getting caught, while still doing enough to overcome the house edge.
One other danger in card counting is overestimating how big an edge you have over the house.
Yes, in the long run, a good card counter does expect to come out ahead of the casino.
For instance, different cards are given values that the player must keep track of during the course of a given shoe.
In many systems, this number is then divided by the approximate number of remaining decks to get a true count, which tells the player how rich the remaining shoe is in good cards.
In most counting systems, the player will use this true count to decide how much to bet on a given hand, and whether or not to take insurance if the dealer is showing an ace.
Occasionally, the count will also tell players when to abandon basic strategy and play a hand differently, based on the fact that the remaining composition of the deck has changed the odds in favor of an alternative play.
Some card counting systems also ask players to keep a separate side count of aces.
This is because aces have a very different effect on the game than other cards.
Thus, more complex systems will keep an ace count independent more info an overall count, in order to card counting blackjack odds this distinction.
This brings us to an important point: there is a tradeoff to make when choosing a card counting system.
More complex systems offer bigger potential rewards, but also come with more risk.
Players are much more likely to make mistakes when trying to keep track of extra information, and just a few mistakes can be enough to remove whatever advantage the player has gained.
Ace-Five Counting Systems Perhaps the simplest more info counting card counting blackjack odds around is the ace-five count.
This is a name given to a variety of different card counting systems that share one thing in common: they only keep track of aces and fives, ignoring all the other cards in the deck.
This is done because aces are the best card in the shoe for the player, while fives are the worst.
The basic idea is simple.
Start with a count of zero.
Each time you see a five, parx casino one to your count.
If you see an ace, subtract one from your count.
Higher counts will be better for the player.
Where counting systems vary is in how you use this information to change how much you bet during play.
Some will advise you to double you bet every time the count gets beyond a certain point, while others say to bet a certain number of units based on the given count.
Many try to reduce your losses in bad shoes by having you quit at a certain negative count.
However, the basics are the same; when the count gets high at least +2 or higherthe player should bet more than the minimum.
The basis of any card counting system is playing perfect basic strategy, since making simple mistakes will undermine whatever advantage you hope to gain through counting.
Even if you have to use a basic winning blackjack casino chart to help you at the table to help you, always remember that you need to master the fundamentals before moving on to more advanced strategies if you want any hope of succeeding.
For instance, many casinos now use continuous shuffling machines, which essentially remove all deck penetration.
This is also true in most online casinos.
Other online casinos deal out of a regular simulated shoe, but shuffle the cards after each hand.
This has the same effect of eliminating penetration, just as with a continuous shuffling machine, making card counting impossible.

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Moe is an award-winning author and historian of Nevada casinos.
He is a graduate of the University of Nevada-Reno Gaming Management Program.
Thousands of players have learned how to play the game of 21 at a professional level.
You can learn to beat the casinos at their own game, and like free rooms, free meals, and free concert tickets from the card counting blackjack odds club for playing a game!
The trick to winning money at blackjack is making larger bets when you have an and smaller bets when you don't.
While learning to play blackjack, you'll find the game has plenty of ups and downs, butlike when to hit a 16 and when not to hit when the dealer has a 7 or higher up card, stand https://allo-hebergeur.com/blackjack/blackjack-knives-model-4.html the dealer has a card counting blackjack odds card takes you from being a casino chump to almost playing even at the game.
However, with casinos being built from coast to coast in the US, players are likely to see their playing careers continue reading if they follow some simple advice on bankroll management practice, and being casino savvy.
Once you learn the rules to blackjack and understandyou need to understand.
And, you'll need to stay within your bankroll, bet more when winning, and cut back when losing.
A professional blackjack player also needs to take it a step further by learning to count cards.
You'll need to vary your bet from one unit when the house has the edge, to four units as your edge increases.
However, a bet spread of at least 7-1 is necessary for a professional player to see a substantial return on your bankroll.
And, a 12-1 spread is much better but riskier.
If earning a six-figure income from blackjack sounds like fun, it is.
It's also hard work.
As with any other endeavor, practice makes more info, and professional players have to make quick, accurate decisions at all times.
If you live in Las Vegas or Atlantic City there are plenty of casinos to choose from.
If you live elsewhere you may have to travel.
The more hours you play, the lower your average bet needs to be.
As a professional, you'll have approximately a one-percent edge over the house, and earn about one-percent of your card counting blackjack odds wagers.
Flying under the radar of pit bosses and casino managers is a job in itself.
The dealers just click for source working and so are you, and not tipping is something pit bosses look for in winning players as a clue to possible counting.
You have to consider the tips as an expense.
Read about counting, practice more than you think you need to, and then practice another dozen hours before risking your money at the casino.
Then, start at a low limit table, play perfect basic strategy, vary your bets a little 3-1 or 4-1 and enjoy the game.
After you've proven to yourself you can win a little bit by counting cards you can start learning how to vary your bets to a 7-1 level and beyond.
Watch the other players for clues!
And finally, keep a log of every session, every club name, each pit you played in and at what time, and then adjust your future play to avoid those exact places and times.
Make sure you are honest with yourself about your wins and losses.
Keep your bets low until you have a larger bankroll to play to.

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