Enter your email for the chance to win free cash
at your favorite casinos. New winners selected every week.
Take Our Poll
Card-Counting is Simple Math
» Back to advice from online gambling experts
» Back to Spencer Uncensored
Besides bribing a pit boss, counting cards is really the only way to beat the house at blackjack.
While this gives you only a slight advantage (which decreases with multiple decks) , it does tip you off as to when you're more likely to win or lose, allowing you to bet a little less moronically.
First, you need to learn the game. Would you hit on 16 when the dealer is showing a 6? If you said yes, then please go buy a book on blackjack. If you said no, continue.
You're going to keep one number in your head. Start from zero with a new deck and modify it for every card dealt.
Cards 2 through 6, add one. Ten and up, subtract one. Ignore 7 through 9. Whenever the number in your head is positive, bet bigger than normal --- the rest of the deck's full of high cards, which is marginally worse for the always-hitting-on-16 deal. If it's negative, bet the table minimum for the opposite reason.
Start with the number in your head for the next round, but begin at zero when the deck's reshuffled.
Don't vary bets too widely: If you jump from $5 to $75 a bet, Moose and Rocco will come split your knuckles for you.