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Although blackjack card counting is a widely legal activity as long as you’re only using your head to count, a typical casino management will not hesitate to remove a successful card counter from the premises. Such bans can be somewhat frustrating, but the house has a full right to exercise it.
The solution? Don’t be obvious. Be discreet, and your Blackjack wins will likely be perceived as blind luck only. Here are some tips to help you achieve that.
Vary your bets
Develop a system in which you are regularly placing different bets. In other words, don’t keep your wager consistently small, only to dramatically bet high when the deck is in your favour. It could make the dealer suspicious.
Stay at the same table
Resist leaving the Blackjack table if the deck goes cold on you, since this kind of behaviour will look odd in the long run. Rather than moving to another table, place a small wager and wait for the next hand.
Be sloppy about your winnings
If you are arranging your chips and cheques into immaculate little stacks, it is going to look as if you are on a calculated mission to win money. You don’t want to give away that impression, so try keeping your cheques in careless heaps instead.
Tip the dealer
It is a common belief that counters don’t tip the dealers, since their winning margin typically isn’t high. You will give off a better impression if you occasionally tip the dealer â for example, each time you have a blackjack.
Looking like a tense, concentrated, sober player will quickly reveal you as a counter. Accept an occasional free drink, but drink slowly. Keep your face relaxed and exchange a line or two with other people â after all, you need to look like you’re having fun!
In Blackjack there are many card counting systems from which to choose, so to make it easier for you, here’s a suggestion of some of the finest known systems. If used correctly, most of these strategies will help you estimate your Blackjack advantage with nearly perfect accuracy.
One of the most reliable card counting systems, Wong Halves is also one of the most difficult to master. This Level 3 balanced strategy demands strong concentration and good math skills, since it’s using fractions to achieve greater accuracy. It was created by Stanford Wong and is recommended for advanced card counters.
Created by Arnold Snyder, Zen is a Level 2 balanced strategy, notable for the emphasis it places on 4, 5 and 6. One of the strongest Level 2 strategies out there, this system is also one of the more popular ones.
An easy Level 1 unbalanced strategy, Red Seven is another Snyder’s system that is widely used. Its simplicity makes it a good choice for card counting beginners, but at the same time Red Seven has high accuracy. Keep in mind that 7’s counting value depends on the colour of its suit - red sevens count as 1, while black ones count as 0.
If all those systems seem too challenging at the moment, you can try honing your Blackjack skills with Hi-Lo, a Level 1 balanced strategy. Unlike Red Seven, this system won’t require you to keep track of suit colours. Invented by Harvey Dubner, Hi-Lo has since been revised several times by different authors. Once you master Hi-Lo, we recommend that you move on to one of the more complex systems, as they offer better chance of success.
Final tip: whichever system you decide to use, be sure to practice it before you venture off to your favourite casino!