Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the world. It is a game of skill and strategy, where players aim to beat the dealer by getting a hand with a value closer to 21 without going over. While luck plays a significant role in the short term, players can increase their chances of winning in the long run by using card counting techniques.
The Plus Minus Count
One of the simplest and most effective card counting methods is the Plus Minus Count. It was first introduced by Edward Thorp in his book “Beat the Dealer” and has been widely used by professional blackjack players ever since. The Plus Minus Count assigns a value of +1 to low cards (2-6), a value of 0 to neutral cards (7-9), and a value of -1 to high cards (10-Ace).
How It Works
To use the Plus Minus Count, players keep a running count of the cards that have been dealt. They start with 0 and add or subtract the appropriate value for each card that is revealed. A positive count indicates that there are more high cards left in the deck, which is advantageous for the player. A negative count means that there are more low cards left, which favors the dealer.
Benefits of the Plus Minus Count
The Plus Minus Count gives players an edge by allowing them to make better decisions based on the composition of the remaining deck. When the count is positive, players can increase their bets and take other strategic actions, such as doubling down or splitting pairs. When the count is negative, players can choose to bet less or deviate from basic strategy to minimize their losses.
Practice and Discipline
Mastering the Plus Minus Count requires practice and discipline. Players need to be able to keep an accurate count while maintaining a normal demeanor to avoid detection by casino staff. It’s also essential to understand basic strategy and the optimal times to make deviations based on the count.
Card counting is not illegal, but casinos frown upon it and may take countermeasures to prevent skilled players from gaining an edge. These countermeasures can include limiting bet sizes, shuffling the deck more frequently, or even banning players suspected of card counting. It’s important for players to be aware of the casino’s policies and to practice discretion when using card counting techniques.
The Plus Minus Count is a simple yet powerful card counting technique that can help players beat the odds in blackjack. By keeping track of the cards that have been dealt and adjusting their bets and strategies accordingly, players can increase their chances of winning and make blackjack a profitable game in the long run. However, it’s important to remember that success in blackjack ultimately depends on luck and that no strategy can guarantee consistent wins.