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Best of John Marchel

Gaming Guru

 

Card counting versus basic strategy

14 November 2015

When playing blackjack, you might have heard other players say, "You should always play the hand that the dealer has a 10 card in the hole." The reason for that statement is that the 10s make up almost one-third of the entire deck.

So then the comment is made: “What are the chances the dealer does have a 10?" The answer is, “It’s a pretty good chance he does have the 10.” It’s a tough play to hit those 15 and 16s when looking at the dealer's high up card up card of a 7, 8, 9 or 10, but you have to do it.

The only way to avoid that tough decision is to become a card counter. By measuring the difference between the high cards and the small (2-6) cards that have been played, you can avoid hitting those 15 and 16 totals.

Card counting is not rocket science!

Look at it this way; you have to walk 10 streets to get to the one you want. If you walk three streets you know you have seven to go. You don’t care what the names of the streets were; you know you have seven to go. If you walk back one, you know there are now eight to go.

So, when it comes to blackjack the same rule applies. All you have to do is keep track for the big cards as they are played versus the little ones. Again, it doesn’t matter if the street name is 4 of clubs, or 10 of spades, only if it was a high card or small one. You now can judge whether the chances are high or low of winning. You have a better idea whether to hit or stand on your 15 or 16.

Yes, it takes a lot of practice to become an efficient card counter, but it’s all up to you how much time and effort you want to spend developing this new skill. Remember, you still have to learn Basic Strategy at the 100% level before you can move on to counting cards. So make sure you have that knowledge down pat.


BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW

• In many games, when all four kings are acquired by a single player, they are commonly called “the four horsemen.”

• During the French revolution, because the court cards smacked of royalist, the kings, queens and jacks were removed. They were replaced with “nature," “liberty," and “virtue."

• A 1700s and early 1800s card player receiving a single-headed picture card would have a tendency to arrange those cards right side up. Observant players would gain useful information by noting the number of cards their opponent reversed while sorting their hand. Card manufactures overcame this problem around the 1870s by designing double-ended or double-headed court cards.

• The early game of poker played on America’s riverboats in the 1800s used a 20-card deck. The three court cards, ace and 10 cards were the only ones dealt. Each player got five cards, and only four players could play a round.

• Throughout the 1400s, there were various sizes of packs of playing cards in Europe. One pack that was fairly common had 56 cards, containing a king, queen, knight and valet, or four court cards.

• The index letter for an Anglo-American queen is “Q” in most decks. However, in France and in some other French-speaking countries it is a “D” for Dame.
Recent Articles
Best of John Marchel
John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

101 Casino Gambling Tips: Affordable Strategies & Techniques for Maximizing Profits & Reducing Loses

> More Books By John Marchel

John Marchel
John Marchel is an author, speaker, teacher and player -- what John plays are casino games. He’s been a casino player for over 25 years and has played successfully in Europe, Panama, the Caribbean, Canada, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, on Indian reservations, cruise ships and in over 350 casinos throughout the US. He is also the author of six books about gambling, and has written numerous magazine articles and is currently a columnist for three gambling magazines and one internet magazine.

Since 1988 John has combined his experience as a manager, teacher and player to present seminars and lectures about gambling. In addition, John has had an Internet website since 1995 that offers books, special reports and tips about gambling. He also publishes a monthly Internet gambling newsletter. The newsletter keeps subscribers alert to trends, information and winning techniques that allows them to be more successful when visiting casinos.

John Marchel Websites:

johnmarchelgambling.com

Books by John Marchel:

101 Casino Gambling Tips: Affordable Strategies & Techniques for Maximizing Profits & Reducing Loses

> More Books By John Marchel