Blackjack Guide : How to Play Blackjack & Win Money


    CountingEDGE has a wealth of blackjack related info that people interested in blackjack will love and I truly hope that visitors to the site like this page on Facebook & Google + :-) so that other like minded can discover my website.

    If you want to learn how to play blackjack, instead of just going to the blackjack wikipedia page you can stick around here and explore the Various blackjack card counting methods such as Knock-out, Hi-Lo, Advanced Omega II, Canfield Expert, Hi-Opt I, Hi-Opt II, Kiss II, Kiss III, Red 7 (Red Seven), REKO, Silver Fox, Uston Adv. +/-, Uston APC, Uston SS, & Zen count are explained. I also have covered “Blackjack Betting Progressions” thoroughly & created a section about betting systems which includes systems such as the Parlay, Oscars Grind, Martingale, Paroli, D’Alembert, Fibonacci, Trioplay & Kelly Criterion! Understanding them, gives you a better edge and better chances at winning money when playing blackjack.

    As you play blackjack you need to also have a good grasp of money management & basic blackjack strategy to further increase your edge. When you play blackjack using basic blackjack strategy alone, you will reduce the house’s advantage to less than 1%, with many games under 0.5%. That means that over the long run, for every $100 you bet, you’ll lose less than $1. This first step of learning the correct basic strategy is the base on which all the rest of card counting is built. You can turn the tables so that you have the advantage by referring to the Card Counting section.

    You should know when to hit or stand, double down, surrender, insurance, to split or not to split eights/aces etc. & be familiar with soft hands and hard hands being dealt at the table. Another important thing to know is what to do when the table limit goes up. You will also come across many variations of blackjack such as pontoon, Spanish 21, elimination blackjack, double exposure blackjack, Multi-hand, triple 7s and many more! I explain each in detail for your reading pleasure!

    What you will find in gambling destinations such as Atlantic City NJ, Las Vegas NV, Macau HK etc is that the casinos offer blackjack tournaments. This is something that online casinos have also began to offer their players and it is nice twist to to the game and an opportunity to win a nice chunk of cash! However, if you tend to play online blackjack, you will not be able to count cards but their are many advantages to online blackjack such as no deposit bonuses, several game variations, fast chashouts, tournament freerolls and more. Also, online casinos offer progressive jackpots.

    Interesting topics that are also covered include some real blackjack dealer stories, how card counters are caught and measures the casinos take to prevent card counting. What can be done to avoid getting caught when counting.. Also you will find information about the authority structure at the casino floor, legalities of card counting and a good piece on the MIT Blackjack Team.

    While creating the internet blackjack related website, I have taken the opportunity to write about several famous blackjack players such as Stanford Wong who as a matter of fact is a member of the blackjack hall of fame. Several have written excellent books on the topic and definitely worth buying one or more online from Amazon. I have listed them for your review.

    This is a small summary of what you will find on but their is more to come in 2014!

    What is card counting & is counting cards illegal?

    Internet Blackjack game, or 21, has continually been one of the most popular table games to be found in any casino since it was first introduced many years ago. Some gambling historians argue that blackjack was being played in French casinos as early as 1700, but no one can dispute that the game exploded in popularity with the arrival of casino gambling in Las Vegas in the 1930’s. Today, blackjack is by far the most widely-played casino game in the world. With time and technological advancements, the internet casinos have surfaced offering online blackjack. In the last 10 years playing blackjack online for money has become very popular and no longer just on the computers! Many play blackjack on the iphones & androids!

    In many casino establishments blackjack out numbers other table games by an average of two to one, and blackjack tables are frequently the first thing you will see when you enter a casino. The popularity of blackjack can be attributed to a variety of factors: it is an easy game to learn and play, the betting action and tempo of the game is simple and fast, and the odds for the player are among the most favorable in the casino. Whether you choose to gamble in a brick-and-mortar casino or online, blackjack is an excellent choice. With a little basic strategy and card counting skills under your belt you can minimize the house’s edge and maximize your chances of winning money playing blackjack..

    Card counting is performed at offline casinos and also can be used when playing blackjack at home for money with friends. Be the pro and win their hard earned cash :-)!

    What is card counting?

    Bad blackjack players do not care and usually play bad but for the rest … :) Card counting is a card game strategy, known primarily for its use by players playing blackjack 21 & should not be confused with blackjack cheating! A number of different card counting systems exist but they all have one primary goal: to better estimate the chances of particular cards appearing, and to use these estimates to inform the player’s betting decision and ultimately beat the house.

    This is possible in blackjack because, unlike most other casino games, the house edge is not fixed: depending on the mix of cards remaining in the deck, the odds change, and can even favor the player. An accomplished card counter can know when the deck is “hot,” or more likely to deal favorable hands to the player, and when it is “cold,” more likely to deal out weak hands, and so maximize winnings while minimizing losses.

    The core tenet of card counting is that statistically, Aces and 10s (including face cards) benefit the player over the dealer. If the player knows that there are more 10s and Aces left to be dealt in the deck, they can adjust their betting to take advantage of the better odds. On the other hand, the dealer is required to hit at 12-16, where a 10 will immediately cause them to bust. Large numbers of Aces and 10s also increase the odds of a natural Blackjack, which pays out better than a normal win.

    Popular belief holds that one requires abnormal mental ability to count cards; this is not the case. While the arithmetic involved in card counting does require practice and can be tricky in a busy casino rife with distractions, there is no memorization of specific cards being played, and while the number of decks does affect card counting, it is not as large an effect as is commonly thought.

    Some card counting systems are more challenging to keep track of than others, but one fact is important to keep in mind: a simpler but less effective system played well will, over the long run, perform better than a theoretically more profitable system that is prone to user error. You can practice the game and play blackjack online for money online before going to the casino floor.

    To avoid detection, much card counting is done in teams. In a Big Player Team, several players known as “spotters” set up at multiple tables in a casino, where they keep count of the deck. When the deck is favorable, they signal the “big player” to join the table and begin placing maximum bets while he is at an advantage. The spotter continues counting and signals when the table has gone cold, at which time the big player leaves and watches for another spotter to signal a hot table. The big player appears erratic and irrational, which helps him to avoid detection. The spotters, meanwhile, never adjust their betting strategy, so they too rarely come under suspicion.

    History of Card Counting

    Edward O. Thorp was an American mathematician and professor at M.I.T. and New Mexico State University. In the 1950s, he grew interested in whether one could manipulate the odds in blackjack. Using an IBM 704 computer, he programmed a number of equations to analyze the game to an extent never before attempted, and devised a number of schemes he tested with the aid of the computer. He wanted to make money by playing blackjack for money.

    When he thought he had discovered a working system, he headed to Reno, Las Vegas, and Lake Tahoe, where he used $10,000 of venture capital (invested by professional gambler Manny Kimmel) and began hitting the blackjack tables at the casinos to apply his research. By the end of the weekend, he was up over $11,000. His earning was only limited by his tendency to get thrown out of casino after casino due to suspected cheating, leading to his wearing of sunglasses and fake beards while gambling. This event marked the first time a computer was used to aid in gambling.

    News of beating the casino never stays quiet for long, and Thorp became an instant icon in the blackjack community. In 1962, Thorp penned “Beat the Dealer,” detailing his card counting and betting strategies. The book was featured on the New York Times bestseller list, unheard of for such a specialized work. Its success was somewhat self-defeating: Thorp’s system was most successful as the dealer reached the bottom of the deck, and casinos started swapping out decks long before reaching that point as his system picked up steam. His 10-count system would also eventually be outclassed by simpler and more profitable systems devised later.

    The Big Player: Team Play

    In the following years, several card counters became fantastically successful and gained notoriety for their exploits. Most remembered is Ken Uston, who learned card counting from a man named Al Francesco. Al was the inventor of blackjack team play, and Uston wrote a book on his experiences on Al’s “big player” teams, now one of the most famous card counting techniques. Other books on team play were released, including “Bringing Down The House” by Ben Mezrich, which was adapted into the Hollywood movie 21.

    As card counting techniques became more widely known, casinos became more vigilant in identifying and expelling those employing them to win money at blackjack. In 1994, members of the team run by Tommy Hyland were arrested for team play and for a technique known as Ace sequencing, which aims to ensure a player is dealt an ace. Though they were arrested at a casino in Windsor, Ontario, it was shown during the court proceedings that Nevada casino interests had a strong hand in the prosecution of the team members.

    Despite their efforts, the judge made a ruling that has stood in all card counting allegations since: card counting is not cheating, but the use of intelligent strategy so to answer the question “is card counting illegal?” depends if you use a device or intelligence. Now you know about card counting in blackjack and probably wondering is card counting dead in 2015 ?

    What can blackjack players who are good at couning cards expect in the future? We sure hope that most casinos do not decide to start using Automatic card shufflers! That would be the end of shuffle tracking!


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    Blackjack News & Resources

    There’s a New York Times Bestseller by Ben Mezrich called Bringing Down the House. It’s about the famous “MIT Blackjack Team”, a group of MIT students who used card counting techniques to win millions of dollars from casinos all over the world. They used an effective team strategy that capitalized on good deck counts to get the best returns and advantages.

    Stick around and explore the site, but if you do not find what you are looking for the next stop you should consider is a visit to Wizzard of Odds, Blackjack Info,, and then to Casino Meister. Here you can also find some very good blackjack information

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