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Advanced Blackjack Card Counting Systems
- May 14, 2018 By Riley Wilson -
In our previous blogs we have already dealt with Blackjack card counting and mentioned some of the systems you can use to gain advantage over the house while playing this casino game. Now, we want to go further and present some more advanced card counting systems you can use once you have mastered the game and optimal strategies.
You are probably aware of the fact that card counting is not an illegal activity, yet Blackjack players can be banned from playing the game if they get caught while doing it. When counting cards at a Blackjack table, it is most important to stay calm and don’t draw attention since casinos don’t like players who outwit them.
KISS, which is an abbreviation for “Keep it short and simple”, is one of the easiest advanced Blackjack card counting systems which is based on a running count instead of a true count. What makes it simple is the elimination of 50% of the cards from the count, so you will have to count only picture cards and those between 3 and 6. However, the card 2 also has an important role with black 2s counted as +1 and red 2s counted as 0. The cards 4, 5 and 6 are assigned the number +1 while J, Q and K count as -1.
According to KISS, counting begins with a positive number and players should add or subtract the values of each card that is dealt. Once the count reaches a value of 20 or more, the player should increase the bet. By applying this system, the player decreases the house edge to 0.48%. The system is most efficient when playing a single deck Blackjack game, but you can use it with Blackjack variants that use more than one deck too.
While KISS is an unbalanced card counting system, Omega II system is balanced and well-known for its accuracy. Due to its complexity, the system created by one of the most famous professional Blackjack players Bryce Carlson is often used by experienced players. Its purpose is to help players determine whether the cards remaining in the shoe will provide them with higher odds than those in a new shoe.
There are four values in total assigned to cards when applying the Omega II system. The cards 2, 3 and 7 are assigned the number +1, 4, 5 and 6 are assigned +2, the cards 8 and A are counted as 0, 9 is counted as -1 while 10, J, Q and K are assigned the number -2. When playing a Blackjack game using multiple decks, this system is based on both the running and true count. The number assigned to each dealt card is added to the running count and the next step is calculating the true count by dividing the running count value by the number of decks remaining in the shoe. This simply means that you have to remember the total number of dealt cards to calculate the number of cards remaining in the shoe. When the true count is higher than 0, those cards that remain in the shoe will provide the player with higher odds of winning.
Wong Halves is another complex card counting system that is highly accurate. The system developed by Stanford Wong, the author of the book Professional Blackjack published back in 1975, employs fractions, which makes it stand apart from other methods.
When using the Wong Halves system, As and 10s are assigned the number -1, 9s are counted as -0.5, 8s are assigned 0, the cards 2 and 7 are counted as +0.5, 3, 4 and 6 as +1 while 5s are counted as +1.5. While all values are added to the running count, when playing a Blackjack game that uses multiple decks, you have to calculate the true count by dividing the running count by the number of decks that remain in the shoe. The main goal of using this system is to adjust your bet according to the true count, so if its value is positive, you should increase your wager and vice versa.