Card counting is a much-discussed topic in blackjack and there is no doubt that the blackjack card counting profit that many players enjoy actually allows them to beat the edge of the casino. But it continues to be a matter of speculation as to how effective this technique can be in modern-day casinos. Let's find out in detail.
Making Money with Blackjack Card Counting
Card counting is basically the technique of keeping a running count and eventually, a true count of the cards in a deck by assigning specific values to the sets of cards having been dealt.
The technique enables experienced card counters to get an estimate of the high-value or low-value cards that have already been dealt and those that are remaining in the deck. This knowledge, in turn, allows them to take the desired playing decision and action.
Once a blackjack player has become proficient in the basic blackjack strategy, he can gradually consider learning the card counting technique. While there are advanced counting systems such as Hi-Opt, Reverse APC and so on, even the simpler card counting systems are quite effective in improving the odds of winning for the player.
With the Aces and Fives Count process, a player can pick up about three-quarters of a percent. This implies that he will play with about a .25% house edge in a standard 1 to 10 bet spread. Any player will hold the edge even better in a single hand. The amount that he earns will, however, depend on the number of hands he plays and his average bet.
For example, if the player's bet off-the-top of the deck is $5 and his top wager is $50, his average wager will be $20. Now, if he plays about 100 hands per hour, with .25% of one bet per hour, he will end up earning $5 per hour through a basic form of card counting.
Challenges in Earning Money with Blackjack Card Counting
Many expert card counters often wonder if a card counting career would be profitable enough for them. In this respect, it can be said that earning money with blackjack card counting is fraught with a lot of challenges.
Learning Curve of Card Counting
Learning card counting is a hard task. One needs to have exceptional observational skills and memory to be able to keep a running count of the cards. Converting the running count to true count is another thing that takes time to master. And above all, no matter how fast you are able to learn card counting, it will take you years of practice before you can actually earn from card counting in a real casino. This learning curve of card counting often makes it a not-so-profitable career option.
Counting cards is not illegal. But several casinos in places like Nevada, Oklahoma, etc. keep a close watch on card counters and if caught, penalize them heavily. Casinos will try their best to prevent card counters from making a profit. If a player's betting patterns are found to be consistent, he might even be banned from playing in the casino. This is one of the ways the casino secures its edge and there's nothing even a professional card counter can do.
Card counting becomes extremely difficult to be executed in a multiple-deck game of blackjack. The 6-8 decks are being constantly shuffled and reshuffled by the dealer to offer maximum obstacles for prospective card counters. The use of the Continuous Shuffler Machines has further affected the process of card counting.
Low Job Security
Card counting does not always guarantee a win. Sometimes, a card counter will experience losses as well. So, there is no job security or even a consistent and steady flow of income for a professional card counter. There might not even be scope for counting cards in certain games for a considerably long period.
Factors of a Long-Term Blackjack Card Counting Career
With the following characteristics, however, a card counter can expect to enjoy a rewarding career.
Studying and Mastering Card Counting
A professional card counter must be extremely proficient in the art of counting cards as the most basic requirement of all. He must be detail-oriented and skilled in every aspect of card counting while also being an expert in the various card counting systems, all at the same time.
Bankroll Management like a Business Owner
Experts often say that the two main tools a card counter has are brain and blackjack bankroll. A professional card counter should ideally be able to manage their bankroll extremely well. It is not always the bankroll amount that matters but how well the money is being put to use for betting that makes a card counter earn more. Proper bankroll management and following a solid strategy allow you to increase your $100 to $1,000.
In Control of One's Emotions
Blackjack is a game of skills and strategy. A card counter who has chosen to make card counting his profession must be emotionally stable and must never be swayed by emotions. Being overly emotional will compel him to take wrong playing decisions and lose money in the process.
In conclusion, card counting is a profitable technique to use but earning through card counting is more of a matter of continuous learning, lack of consistency, and a lot of dependence on one's luck.
This article was published on September 22, 2021, and last updated on October 26, 2022.