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Card counting in blackjack gives players a measure of a probability. Card counting can never predict what card would turn up next. We'll be discussing card counting as it relates to a game of blackjack and how to take advantage of a situation and avoid pitfalls.
Card counting alone doesn't guarantee a player will win most of the rounds in blackjack. Since card counting systems are just what they are -- systems, they don't stand alone and they don't guarantee that a player who does card counting will win every single time. What we need to advocate is card counting combined with a solid blackjack strategy to win.
The logic behind card counting systems is simple. Card counting systems often try to figure out the ratio of high cards versus the low cards. Most of the time the low cards would be in favor of the dealer and the high cards will favor the player (meaning that the probability of getting a natural or something close to that is higher due to the presence of a lot of high cards).
Knowing this ratio combined with blackjack strategy gives a player a better edge on a game of blackjack.
Another benefit of card counting is that it gives a blackjack player the odds advantage as opposed to that of the dealer. Dealers have to abide by certain rules while a blackjack player does not. If the dealer gets a stiff, he has to hit.
If we know by card counting that the deck is rich in high cards then there is a huge probability that the dealer will bust. The options for a blackjack player therefore are either to hit on his own stiff or to stand. And standing, given that situation, isn't a bad choice after all.
As stated above high cards definitely favor the blackjack player. It causes dealers to bust when a stiff comes along their way, and it increases a player's probability of getting a blackjack. Though the statistics on getting a blackjack would be pretty even for both the player and the dealer in a deck with a lot of high cards, players are generally paid more when they get a blackjack.
Given the fact that card counting helps blackjack players get the ratio of high cards and low cards and identify if the players have an advantage or not, the next question now is what do we do about it? Here is where blackjack strategy comes along.
This is the reason why card counting can't stand alone. What do you do when you have the advantage? What do you do if you don't? One obvious answer (and this is not the only one, there are dozens out there depending on which blackjack strategy you employ) is you can increase your bet when you have the advantage in blackjack, and if you don't bet only at the minimum.
The last bit is about which card counting system we would choose. Since there are a lot of card counting systems out there you can go ahead and choose anything. Just make sure that the system you use is one you'll be comfortable with. It doesn't really mean that you must select the most complicated one. Remember that a simple card counting system combined with blackjack strategy will improve any game tremendously.
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