THE WORLD’S EASIEST CARD COUNTING SYSTEMS
By Fred Renzey
Fred Renzey is an "advantage" blackjack player, and author of the highly rated "Blackjack Bluebook II – The Simplest Winning Strategies Ever Published", a vividly detailed 217 page handbook for casino "21". BJI readers can purchase the book at 10% discount in our store by clickinghere.
When card counting was first publicized in the 1960’s, the "plus/minus" method of mentally adding and subtracting points for each high or low card that came out became standard operating procedure. Even today, the old tried and true "Hi/Lo" Count from forty years ago remains probably the most widely used card counting system around.
As time moved into the 1970’s and ‘80’s, multi-level "plus/minus" counting systems were developed under the natural assumption that "more is better." But it wasn’t realized until blackjack simulation software became widely used in the 1990’s that these super-structured count systems gained very little in the way of additional performance. That caused system designers to think in the opposite direction. The question now became:
"How simple can you make a card counting system, and still have an advantage over the house?"
With the help of blackjack simulation software, several simpler, shorter, more user friendly methods of tracking high vs. low cards were developed that might bring beating the house at blackjack within the reach of the "recreational" player. The systems described in this article all fall into that category. They are much easier to use than the standard "Hi/Lo" Count and underperform it substantially as well. Nevertheless, they still carry enough "oomph" to create a net advantage for the player – albeit a small one.
CAUTION: It should be strongly advised that playing "advantage" blackjack is serious business. Even if learning one of these systems becomes child’s play for you, implementing it effectively and responsibly is not. You will need to adhere to the system almost perfectly so as not to lose your edge. You will have to invest a lot of money to win a little. If these realities don’t rest well on your stomach, then it might be better to remain a basic strategy player and plan on being slowly and gradually ground down by the house.
That being said, we’ll start with the bare bones, simplest counting systems first, and move slowly up the ladder from there...
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