04.15

## Five’s in Blackjack

Counting cards in twenty-one is really a method to increase your odds of winning. If you’re good at it, you may in fact take the odds and put them in your favor. This works because card counters increase their bets when a deck rich in cards which are beneficial to the player comes around. As a basic rule, a deck wealthy in ten’s is far better for the player, because the croupier will bust more often, and the gambler will hit a chemin de fer extra often.

Most card counters maintain track of the ratio of good cards, or ten’s, by counting them as a 1 or a – 1, and then offers the opposite 1 or minus one to the minimal cards in the deck. Several systems use a balanced count where the amount of low cards will be the same as the quantity of ten’s.

Except the most interesting card to me, mathematically, may be the five. There were card counting techniques back in the day that involved doing nothing extra than counting the amount of fives that had left the deck, and when the five’s were gone, the player had a massive benefit and would increase his bets.

A very good basic strategy gambler is acquiring a 99.5 per cent payback percentage from the casino. Each and every 5 that has come out of the deck adds 0.67 % to the gambler’s expected return. (In a single deck game, anyway.) That means that, all things being equal, having one 5 gone from the deck gives a player a smaller benefit more than the house.

Having 2 or three 5’s gone from the deck will actually give the gambler a pretty significant edge over the gambling den, and this is when a card counter will usually increase his wager. The difficulty with counting five’s and nothing else is that a deck low in 5’s happens quite rarely, so gaining a large benefit and making a profit from that situation only comes on rare occasions.

Any card between 2 and eight that comes out of the deck raises the gambler’s expectation. And all 9’s. 10’s, and aces improve the gambling house’s expectation. Except eight’s and nine’s have quite smaller effects on the outcome. (An eight only adds point zero one percent to the gambler’s expectation, so it is usually not even counted. A nine only has point one five percent affect in the other direction, so it is not counted either.)

Understanding the results the very low and superior cards have on your anticipated return on a wager will be the initial step in learning to count cards and bet on black-jack as a winner.