# WHEN COUNTING CARDS IN BLACKJACK

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In the popular game of blackjack, odds and probability are critical elements. Knowing the odds allows a player to make more strategic decisions regarding his playing activities. The chances of a player winning vary based on the scenario and hand, especially when the player is counting cards. Let’s take a closer look at blackjack odds when counting cards.

BLACKJACK CARD COUNTING REFRESHER

Return to Player, or RTP, is a fundamental notion in blackjack that all players should be aware of. RTP is a measure of how much money a player may anticipate to win over time or in the long term. A 99 percent RTP, for example, indicates that the player will receive \$99 for every \$100 wagered. Several variables influence the RTP by gradually raising or lowering it. As natural blackjack pays 3:2, the house edge is reduced by 1.39 percent when compared to 6:5 blackjack. Similarly, doubling down on any two cards decreases the house edge by 0.25 percent, 0.2 percent, and 0.17 percent, respectively, when the dealer stands on soft 17. In all of these instances, the RTP exceeds the requirement.

In general, players who do not apply any optimal technique have an RTP of 98 percent to 98.5 percent in a typical game of blackjack. However, when he employs tactics like as card counting, this RTP might rise from 99 percent to 99.5 percent. This is only conceivable in games where the dealer is using just one or two decks of cards.

WHY ARE BLACKJACK ODDS LOWER WHEN CARDS ARE COUNTED?

Card counting has been employed by players to increase their chances of winning and to reduce the casino’s edge. Previously, most casinos were unaware of the players’ use of this approach. However, because to Edward Thorp’s book, card counting quickly became popular. Since then, casinos have taken several steps to prevent card counters from increasing their odds to a lucrative level. This covers large casinos’ usage of biometric surveillance technologies.

Many casinos provide a 6:5 blackjack payoff instead of a 3:2 payout. This component alone might raise the house advantage by up to 1.4 percent. Similarly, some tables let the dealer to strike a soft 17. This rule also increases the house edge by 0.2 percent, which assists the dealer in improving his soft hand. Additionally, casinos replace the shoe at regular intervals to decrease deck penetration. Card counting becomes difficult to accomplish if players are unable to keep track of the cards in the deck.

Another method used by casinos is to back off the card counters. By doing so, the casino not only maintains a watch on the alleged card counter, but also attempts to make him uncomfortable. Essentially, the casino accomplishes this by seeking to penetrate the minds of so-called advantage gamers. Backing off reduces deck penetration while also informing the gambler that the casino is on to them.

OTHER WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR BLACKJACK ODDS

Blackjack card counting is an efficient strategy for increasing your chances of winning. However, considering how difficult it is to learn and much more difficult to apply while playing blackjack in a real casino, card counting cannot be the sole approach that players can rely on to counter the casino’s edge. Among the several methods that players may use to improve their odds, the most widely regarded and risk-free method is to apply the classic blackjack strategy. The fundamental blackjack strategy spells out all of the rules or playing actions that players must follow in a wide range of scenarios with various hands of both the player and the dealer.

Aside from sticking to the conventional blackjack strategy, players might opt for tables that pay 3:2 for a natural blackjack, lowering the house edge. The blackjack surrender option is also highly advantageous for the player, therefore you should select tables and games that provide this choice. Although it is less prevalent, early surrender boosts the RTP by at least 0.39 percent.

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