True Count in Blackjack: What It Is and How to Use It

True count is an essential concept in . It is a technique that helps players determine the true value of the remaining cards in the deck. By knowing the true count, players can adjust their bets and improve their chances of winning.

To understand true count, one must first understand the basics of blackjack and card counting. Blackjack is a popular game that involves players trying to beat the dealer by getting a hand value as close to 21 as possible without going over. Card counting is a strategy that involves keeping track of the cards that have been dealt and using that information to determine the of certain cards being dealt in the future.

The true count concept takes card counting to the next level. Instead of simply keeping a running count of the cards that have been dealt, players must also take into account the number of decks being used and adjust their count accordingly. This is where the true count comes in. By dividing the running count by the number of decks remaining, players can determine the true count and adjust their bets accordingly.

Key Takeaways

  • True count is an important concept in blackjack card counting that helps players determine the true value of the remaining cards in the deck.
  • To understand true count, one must first understand the basics of blackjack and card counting.
  • The true count concept takes card counting to the next level by adjusting the running count based on the number of decks remaining.

Understanding Blackjack

Blackjack is a popular that is played between the player and the dealer. The objective of the game is to get a hand that is worth more than the dealer's hand without exceeding 21. The game is played with one or more decks of cards, and each card has a value assigned to it. The numbered cards have their face value, while the face cards (King, Queen, and Jack) have a value of 10. The Ace can be worth either 1 or 11, depending on the player's choice.

During the game, the player has several options to choose from, such as “hit,” “stand,” “double,” “split,” and “surrender.” The player can “hit” to receive another card from the dealer, “stand” to keep their current hand, “double” to double their bet and receive one more card, “split” to separate their hand into two separate hands, or “surrender” to forfeit their hand and lose half of their bet.

The dealer also has specific rules to follow during the game. The dealer must hit until their hand is worth at least 17, and must stand once their hand is worth 17 or more. If the dealer's hand exceeds 21, they “bust” and the player wins.

One of the most important things to understand in blackjack is the concept of a “natural.” A natural is when the player or dealer gets a hand worth exactly 21 with their first two cards. This is also known as a “blackjack” and pays out at 3:2 odds.

By understanding these basic rules and options, players can make informed decisions during the game and increase their chances of winning.

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Basics of Card Counting

Card counting is a strategy used by blackjack players to gain an advantage over the casino. The basic idea behind card counting is to keep track of the ratio of high cards to low cards that have been dealt. High cards include aces and 10s, while low cards include 2s through 6s. When there are more high cards left in the deck, the player has a higher chance of getting a blackjack, which pays out at 3:2 odds. When there are more low cards left in the deck, the player has a higher chance of busting.

The running count is the total count of all the cards that have been dealt. A positive running count means that there are more high cards left in the deck, while a negative running count means that there are more low cards left in the deck. The true count is the running count divided by the number of decks remaining in the shoe. The true count is important because it takes into account the number of decks remaining in the shoe, which affects the ratio of high cards to low cards.

Card counting is not illegal, but casinos do not like it and will ask players to leave if they are caught counting cards. It is important to be discreet when counting cards and to avoid making large changes in your .

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The True Count Concept

In blackjack, the true count is a concept that is used to determine the player's advantage over the house. It is calculated by dividing the running count by the number of remaining decks. The true count takes into account the number of decks that are still in play and adjusts the running count accordingly. This means that the true count is more accurate than the running count and gives players a better idea of their advantage.

The running count is the count of the cards that have been dealt so far. It is used to determine the player's advantage over the house. The running count is calculated by assigning a value to each card that is dealt. Cards that are favorable to the player, such as aces and tens, are assigned a value of -1, while cards that are favorable to the house, such as twos and threes, are assigned a value of +1.

The number of decks used in a game of blackjack can vary from one to eight. The more decks that are used, the more difficult it is to keep track of the cards that have been dealt. The true count takes into account the number of decks that are still in play and adjusts the running count accordingly. This means that if there are four decks remaining and the running count is +16, the true count would be +4.

It is important to note that the true count is rounded to the nearest whole number. This means that if the true count is 2.5, it would be rounded to 3. If the true count is -2.5, it would be rounded to -3. Rounding the true count is necessary to simplify the calculations and make it easier to keep track of.

In summary, the true count is a concept that is used to determine the player's advantage over the house in blackjack. It takes into account the number of decks that are still in play and adjusts the running count accordingly. The true count is more accurate than the running count and gives players a better idea of their advantage.

Hi-Lo Card Counting System

The Hi-Lo card counting system is one of the most popular and widely used methods for counting cards in blackjack. It was first introduced by in 1963 and has since been discussed by many blackjack writers. The Hi-Lo system is a balanced system that assigns a point value of +1 to low cards (2-6) and a value of -1 to high cards (10-A). Cards with a value of 7, 8, and 9 are assigned a value of 0.

The player keeps a running count of the cards as they are dealt, adding the point values of each card to the running count. The higher the running count, the more high cards are left in the deck, and the better the player's chances of getting a blackjack or winning the hand. Conversely, a low running count indicates that there are more low cards left in the deck, which favors the dealer.

To get the true count, the player divides the running count by the number of decks left in the shoe. This gives the player a more accurate count of the cards remaining in the deck and allows them to adjust their bets accordingly.

The Hi-Lo system is relatively easy to learn and is a good starting point for players who are new to card counting. However, it does have some limitations, such as not taking into account the specific composition of the remaining cards in the deck.

Overall, the Hi-Lo card counting system is a useful tool for blackjack players looking to improve their odds of winning.

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Advanced Counting Systems

While the Hi-Lo count is the most commonly used card counting system, advanced players may want to consider using more complex systems that offer greater accuracy. Two such systems are the Omega II Count and the Wong Halves Count.

The Omega II Count assigns a value of +2 to the cards 2, 3, and 7, +1 to the cards 4, 5, and 6, -1 to the cards 10, J, Q, K, and A, and -2 to the card 9. This system is more accurate than the Hi-Lo Count but requires more concentration to use effectively.

The Wong Halves Count assigns a value of +1 to the cards 2, 3, and 7, +0.5 to the cards 4, 5, and 6, -1 to the cards 10, J, Q, K, and A, and -0.5 to the card 9. This system is even more accurate than the Omega II Count but is also more difficult to use.

Both the Omega II Count and the Wong Halves Count require players to calculate a true count in order to be effective. This involves dividing the running count by the number of decks remaining in the shoe. The true count is then used to determine the optimal bet size.

Players who are interested in learning more about advanced counting systems may want to check out some of the best advanced blackjack strategy books available online. These books provide detailed information on a variety of counting systems, as well as other advanced blackjack strategies.

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Betting and Playing Decisions

When it comes to playing blackjack with a true count, there are a few key decisions that players need to make in order to maximize their chances of winning. These decisions include the bet size, betting strategy, betting and playing deviations, and whether or not to take the insurance bet.

One important aspect of betting in blackjack is the betting unit. The betting unit is the amount of money that a player bets on each hand. It is important to choose a betting unit that is appropriate for the player's bankroll and the table limits. Players should also consider using a betting strategy, such as the , to help them determine the optimal bet size based on their advantage and risk tolerance.

Another important decision that players need to make when playing with a true count is whether or not to take insurance. Insurance is a side bet that is offered when the dealer's up card is an ace. If the dealer has a blackjack, the insurance bet pays out 2:1. However, taking insurance is generally not a recommended strategy for players, as it has a high house edge.

In addition to betting decisions, players also need to make playing decisions based on the true count. Playing deviations are adjustments to basic strategy based on the true count. For example, if the true count is high, players should be more likely to double down and split pairs, while if the true count is low, players should be more likely to hit and stand.

Betting deviations are similar to playing deviations, but they are adjustments to the betting strategy based on the true count. For example, if the true count is high, players should be more aggressive with their betting, while if the true count is low, players should be more conservative.

Overall, making the right betting and playing decisions based on the true count is essential for success in blackjack. By using a combination of betting and playing strategies, players can increase their chances of winning and minimize their losses.

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Advantage and House Edge

In blackjack, the house edge is the mathematical advantage that the casino has over the player. This advantage is built into the game and is determined by the rules of the game, the number of decks used, and the skill of the player. The house edge can range from as low as 0.5% to as high as 2%, depending on the specific game and rules.

The advantage, on the other hand, is the player's mathematical advantage over the casino. This is achieved by using a strategy that takes into account the cards that have already been played and adjusting the player's bets accordingly. The advantage can range from as low as -0.5% to as high as 2%, depending on the skill of the player and the specific game and rules.

It's important to note that the house edge and the advantage are not the same thing. The house edge is the casino's advantage over the player, while the advantage is the player's advantage over the casino.

In order to calculate the expected value (EV) of a particular game, the player must take into account both the house edge and the advantage. The EV is the amount of money that the player can expect to win or lose over the long run, based on their bets and the specific game and rules.

Overall, understanding the house edge and the advantage is crucial for any blackjack player who wants to be successful. By knowing the odds and using a solid strategy, players can increase their chances of winning and minimize their losses.

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Bankroll Management

Bankroll management is a critical aspect of blackjack gameplay, especially for players who are card counting. It involves managing the money used for playing the game, which is known as the bankroll. Players need to have a sufficient bankroll to withstand the swings that come with playing blackjack, which can be quite volatile.

The bankroll should be large enough to cover the minimum bets and allow for doubling down and splitting pairs. A good rule of thumb is to have a bankroll that is at least 50 times the minimum bet. For example, if the minimum bet is $10, then the bankroll should be at least $500.

Players should also have a plan for managing their bankroll during gameplay. This involves setting win and loss limits and sticking to them. For example, a player may set a win limit of $200 and a loss limit of $100. If the player reaches either limit, they should stop playing and walk away.

It's essential to remember that blackjack is a game of swings, and players will experience both winning and losing streaks. By managing their bankroll properly, players can minimize their losses during losing streaks and maximize their profits during winning streaks.

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Detection and Countermeasures

Casinos have always been aware of card counting and have taken various countermeasures to prevent it. They use a variety of techniques to detect card counters, such as monitoring player behavior, tracking betting patterns, and analyzing win/loss ratios. In addition, they employ a team of trained professionals to watch for suspicious activity and use sophisticated surveillance technology to monitor the casino floor.

One of the most common countermeasures used by casinos is to shuffle the cards more frequently. This makes it more difficult for card counters to keep track of the cards and reduces the effectiveness of their strategy. Another technique is to use multiple decks of cards, which also makes it harder for card counters to keep track of the cards.

Despite these countermeasures, some players are still able to successfully count cards and win big. However, if a player is caught counting cards, the casino may take action against them. This can range from simply asking the player to leave the casino to banning them from all of their properties and even taking legal action.

The history of card counting is a fascinating one, and there have been many famous card counters over the years. One of the most famous groups of card counters was the . This group of students and ex-students from the used card counting techniques and advanced strategies to beat casinos at blackjack worldwide.

Overall, while card counting can be an effective strategy for winning at blackjack, it is important to be aware of the risks involved and to take steps to avoid detection. It is also important to remember that card counting is not illegal, but casinos have the right to refuse service to anyone they believe is counting cards.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between true count and running count in blackjack?

The running count in blackjack is the sum of the values assigned to each card that has been dealt. On the other hand, the true count is the running count divided by the number of decks remaining in the shoe. The true count is a more accurate representation of the count per deck, which is important for making betting decisions.

How can you calculate the true count in blackjack?

To calculate the true count in blackjack, you need to divide the running count by the number of decks remaining in the shoe. For example, if the running count is +6 and there are 2 decks remaining in the shoe, the true count would be +3.

What is the advantage of using the true count in blackjack?

Using the true count in blackjack allows players to make more accurate betting decisions, which can increase their chances of winning. By taking into account the number of decks remaining in the shoe, players can adjust their bets based on the likelihood of receiving favorable cards.

Is card counting illegal in blackjack?

Card counting is not illegal in blackjack, but it is frowned upon by casinos. While it is not against the law to count cards, casinos have the right to refuse service to players who they believe are using card counting techniques.

Can you give an example of a high true count in blackjack?

A high true count in blackjack occurs when there are a large number of high-value cards remaining in the shoe. For example, if the running count is +10 and there is only 1 deck remaining in the shoe, the true count would be +10.

How do famous card counters use the true count in blackjack?

Famous card counters use the true count in blackjack to make more accurate betting decisions. By adjusting their bets based on the true count, they can increase their chances of winning while minimizing their losses. However, it is important to note that card counting is not a foolproof strategy and requires a great deal of skill and practice to be successful.

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