Randomness is a funny thing, funny in that it is less common than you might think. Most things are pretty predictable, if you look at them in the right light, and the same is true of so-called games of chance. If dice and roulette balls obey the laws of physics, then cards obey the laws of probability and that’s great news for the dedicated blackjack player!
For a long time, a lot of blackjack players swore by the Martingale technique: doubling your bet every time you lost a hand in order to recoup your money. Well that works fine until you’re unlucky enough to keep losing enough hands that you’ve reached the betting limit. So a lot of folks started casting around for a more reliable plan of attack. Now most people, if they know anything about blackjack, will have heard of card counting. Those that have fall into two camps – either they’ll say “ugh, that’s math” or “I could learn that in the morning and hit the tables by the afternoon!” Both are missing out on the best playing tips going, because spending a bit of effort on mastering the skill could immeasurably improve your ability and fun!
Since the professor Edward O Thorp wrote best best-selling book “Beat the Dealer” in 1967, the hopeful crowds have flocked to Las Vegas and elsewhere, sure they could beat the house. Were the casinos worried? Not in the least, because it was soon clear that few people had really gotten to grips with the ten count system. Yet, the basic premise is simplicity itself; a deck with plenty of tens and aces favors the player, as the dealer is more likely to bust and the player is more likely to blackjack, also doubling down is more likely to be successful. Keeping a mental track, then, of the number of tens in a deck is essential to know how best to bet on a given hand. Here the classic method is the Hi-Lo card count system. The player assigns a value to each card he sees: +1 for tens and aces, -1 for 2 through 6, and zero for 7 through 9 – the higher the score, the more favorable the deck is for the player. Pretty easy, huh? Well it is, but it’s also a skill that takes practice, and sitting at the blackjack tables, it’s easy to lose track.
Anyone who has put effort into studying blackjack will tell you that the Hi-Lo system lacks precision and will then go on to wax lyrical about fancier systems, Zen count, Wong halves, running counts, Uston Advanced point counts, and the Kelly Criterion. Great if you can do it, but sometimes the best blackjack tip is bet what you can afford and enjoy the game!
By Fawzia Awwad
Fawzia is the founder of Free Casinos, a comprehensive online gambling directory featuring quality casinos, US Player accepting casinos and multilanguage casinos