Blackjack is a pretty famous casino game – whether you’ve dabbled in the industry or not. With origins dating back to the 1700s, there’s no wonder that over time, players have worked hard to try and find better ways at beating the dealer, rather than just leaving it down to chance.

One of these ways is card counting – a method used by some players in the attempt to work out which cards they or the dealer has been dealt based on those that have come previously. Whilst, ultimately, Blackjack is a game of chance, it hasn’t stopped card counting from being a tried and tested method over the years.

However, many players see this as cheating, and casinos do their best to make you believe it is illegal. In short, it is not.

Read on to find out more.

What is Blackjack

For those less familiar with the game, Blackjack involves between one or more decks of 52 cards, and is played between you (the player) and the dealer. You can play Blackjack online, and at land-based venues.

The aim is to get the value of the cards in your hands to equal exactly, or as close to 21, without going over.

The game starts with you and the dealer being dealt a card, face up. Then you’ll be dealt another face-up card, and the dealer will receive one face-down. It is up to you whether you wish to ‘hit’ and take another card, ‘stand’ on the value you have received, ‘double down’ and double your bet, ‘split’ your hand into two, or ‘fold’, and drop out of the game.

Numbered cards are worth their face value, face cards (Jacks, Queens and Kings) are worth 10, and Aces can be worth either one or 11, depending on which best suits your gameplay.

What you need to know about counting cards

Card counting is considered to help make more accurate predictions on what you or the dealer might have been dealt, so you can act accordingly. However, this is near enough impossible when playing online Blackjack, as the game is run by a Random Number Generator (RNG) – computer software designed to create unpredictable outcomes, keeping the game fair and fun.

At a land-based venue, card counting is heavily frowned upon, and whilst not illegal, it can get you banned from many gaming establishments.

Also, casinos make it extremely difficult to count cards in the first place. They do this by using multiple decks of cards, as well as Automatic Card Shufflers (ACS), a shoe to hold multiple packs of cards in one go, and will frequently cut the decks so that not all the cards will be used.

The best way to play

So, card counting isn’t really a great option when it comes to trying to enhance your Blackjack gameplay. The best way to play is by simply learning about and understanding basic strategy. In fact, many casinos will allow you to hold and refer to strategy cards throughout gameplay, which displays every possible combination of cards you could be dealt, and the best moves to make in order to receive the greatest outcome.

With all this in mind, will you be trying your hand at a game of Blackjack anytime soon? Or is a game like Roulette a little more up your alley?

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By SARAH