Here we'll look at actual strategies and tactics for cash games (not to be confused with tournaments) using Texas Hold'em, one of the most popular forms of poker. Short stack strategy In cash games, the size of the blinds always stays the same. If a player loses part of his stack, he has the right to buy the required number of chips. The style of play at the cash tables will always depen...
No one is promising an “easy life,” of course, and the card counting discussed below, with the proper experience and skill, can help you gain an advantage over the gambling house.
Why do you need it?
By counting cards, the player will be able to keep track of the ratio between the high value cards and the low-value cards that are left in the deck. Thus, it’s possible to determine the advantage in the game and to manage the bets according to it. If high-value cards are already in play, the player has an advantage. If low-value cards – the dealer “leads”. In theory, everything is simple, but in practice, the problems begin.
Being able to count the remaining cards in the deck can give you an accurate indication of what the odds are that you’ll deal a useful card in your hand next time.
A little history
Back in 1962, a mathematical luminary named Edward O. Thorpe revolutionized the game of blackjack with his bestselling book, “Beat the Dealer.” In his research, the professor used a supercomputer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to simulate a casino game while applying a counting system.
Mathematically, the professor proved that a player could overcome a small casino advantage by counting cards correctly.
In fact, it is not that difficult and, it is important to note, it is not forbidden by the gambling institutions themselves (I mean, there is no direct prohibition in the rules). Nevertheless, the gambling house reserves the right to refuse service to a player who is accused of counting. The reason for this attitude lies on the surface – the loss of casino advantage and its transfer to the player.
Is it possible to count at an online casino?
No. It is not forbidden by the rules, it is simply impossible, because you play not with a live dealer, but with a random number generator. So, if you play blackjack with six decks then you’ll play with the same decks in every round. In real casinos, on the other hand, the cards leave the game and the dealer deals only the cards left in the deck.
Colossal fame in the field of counting cards in the casino found not one person, and the whole team in the 70’s of last century. Their work was so successful that the team was able to bypass dozens of casinos and make tens of millions of dollars. The main link in the teams is the so-called “insurers,” who sit at the blackjack table in random order and place small bets just to count the cards.
If the tally showed positive results (there were more high value cards in the deck), the insurers indicated to the big players that it was time to join the game. The big players joined the table and bet as much as possible. The first underwriter would leave the table and be replaced by a second underwriter, who would wait until the deck was negative and indicate to the big player that it was time to leave the table.
Famous card-counting teams:
- Al Francesco.
- Ken Uston’s team.
- Team Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- Team Tomija Hyled.
In modern cinematography, this way of getting around casinos is captured in the films “The Last Casino” and “21.”