How to beat the house by card counting in casino Blackjack - Blog

    How to beat the house by card counting in casino Blackjack

    May 18, 2016

    Learn how to use the MIT method of card counting in Blackjack to gain an edge over the house. Practice optimal betting and decision making using play money prior to your trip to the casino.

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    Popularized by films such as 21, the MIT method is arguably the best known system in Blackjack for tilting the game in favor of the player rather than the house. You can learn how to employ the techniques in the system, as described by poker pro and former MIT Blackjack member Andy Bloch, by enabling the in-game tools in Blackjack at GameSlush.

    First, ensure that the two relevant settings are enabled, as shown above. If you want to test your decision making skills on whether to hit, stand, split, double down or surrender, you can change the second setting to notify you of suboptimal plays after rather than before.

    Next, during gameplay, keep note of the true count of the shoe. The true count is automatically calculated for you. Every 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 seen adds 1 to the running count, and every ten, Jack, Queen, King and Ace seen subtracts 1 from the running count. The true count is obtained by dividing the running count by the number of decks left in the shoe.

    You will need to establish a betting unit that fits your bankroll. Your betting unit is what you would like to bet when the shoe is neutral (e.g. at the very beginning of the shoe, and when the true count is between zero and two).

    When the true count is two (2) or above, subtract one (1) from the true count and multiply that result by your betting unit. Ideally you'll want to be betting this amount on two positions on the table. If you are only able to play a single hand, increase your betting amount by 25%.

    When the true count is less than zero, sit out of the hand if possible.

    As an example, assume your betting unit is 4 and the true count is +4. You should bet (4 - 1) × 4 = 12 on two positions, making your total wager 24 . If you can only play one position, bet 12 × 1.25 = 15 .

    After your bet, make sure you play optimally. This is where the setting that notifies when you make suboptimal plays comes in handy. It will help train your memory to make the correct decisions more often.

    While there is no guarantee against bad luck, this strategy is a tried-and-tested way of minimizing, and even reversing the statistical house edge in Blackjack.

    Good luck!

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