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Cards count betting strategy

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Blackjack bet strategy card counting

The information of these subpages about the card counting systems with BlackJack are enough to play BlackJack in the casinos wit a positive profit expectation. This positive expectation means that a player always makes profit in the long term, only if he doesn’t go bankrupt before that. The advantages gained by counting-cards are small, usually around the 0.5% and 1.5%. with this small advantages long periods of losing aren’t special. When a player loses more then he wins with 100 average bets that isn’t weird.(luckily the chance to win more is bigger than losing.) Therefore it’s essential to have a good bet-strategy. Such bet-strategy makes sure that you don’t bet too high or too low, it protects you from a long losing period and optimises your profit-expectation. These bet-strategies mainly depend on the amount of money you use to play BlackJack.

Kelly criterion

The American professor Kelly has spend some time to create a bet-strategy with an optimal result on the long turn. With optimal is mend: The highest profit possible with the lest risk. He used an easy change-game, where the player only could win and lose his bet. The player knows for every game how big his advantage is, and he is allowed to choose his bet. The Kelly criterion means:
The Kelly bet-diagram:

Profit (V)

Bet (I)

V greater than
0

V equal to
0

V Smaller than 0

I = V x Capital 1 = 0 1 = 0

Example
– A player has an capital of /1200. At the first game his advantage is 6%. The optimal bet is /72(6% of /1200).
– The player wins. So his new capital is /1272.
– At the next game his advantage has been dropped to 5%. The optimal bet is now /63,60(5% of 1272).
The Kelly criterion can’t be used instantly with BlackJack at the casino. With obvious reasons:
– There is a table-minimum and table-maximum;
– It’s unpractical to calculate your capital after every won/lost game.
– It isn’t allowed to make bets like /63,60.
– Because of the BlackJack bonus and the split- and double-possibility it’s possible for a player to lose and win more than his initial bet; The risk of BlackJack is greater than the risk of Kelly’s game.
– A small capital uses small bets; this can result in (too) low profit-expectations per hour; counting cards is then hardly worth the effort. Because of the higher risk it’s recommended to use a more conservative strategy then the one Kelly uses. The base-philosophy remains the same:
– If the advantage is twice as much the bet also is twice as much.
– If the capital has changed a lot it’s necessary to adjust the diagram; after a period of losing the bets are lowered(to lower the risk), after a period of winning the bets are increased( to rise the profit-expectation).

Bet-diagram
To counter the losing periods there has to be a minimum starting capital of /5000. Because a conservative bet-strategy with a capital between /5000 and /30000 offers a too low profit-expectation, is it recommended to use a strategy that’s a bit more progressive. This means that the risk is also higher. BlackJack-betdiagram, depended on the advantage and the available capital:

Capital

Betting at profit V (V > 0)

5000 to 10.000 10.000 to 30.000

30.000 and higher

V x 10.000

V x (0,25 x capital + 7500)

V x 0,5 x capital

If there is no advantage(true count lower or equal to 1) the bets are minimal.
Because situations with true counts above 1 are rare(about 1 in 6 games) the bets are often minimal. Therefore it’s important to use a good spacing between the minimal-bets and the big ones. The bet that’s placed with an advantage of 1% is used as the measure-bar. It’s recommended to use a minimum which enables you to make six bets from this amount, that’s done to ensure a fair profit-fork. With a capital of /10000 its allowed to make bets of /100 with an advantage of 1%. So you can play on a /10-table. (because /100 is 10 minimal-bets). A /20-table is a bit to optimistic. Here you would lose to much on the minimum-bets. It’s recommended to change the height of the bets when the capital has changed a lot. It’s useful to play with more boxes if there’s an advantage, because it’s then allowed to bet more money and the profit-expectation rises. This is allowed because the risk is a bit lower. There is a reasonable expectation that the loss in one box is compensated by the profit on another. In the following table the total allowed bet for playing on multiple boxes is displayed, expressed in the bet that can be used on a box.
Total bet, when there’s played with multiple boxes:

Boxes

Total bet

1

1

2

1,5

3

1,8

4

2

5

2

6

2

7

2

Of course you have to be careful when you decide to play on boxes of other players. It’s safe to play along with other card counters and base strategy users. However if you play along with a weak player the advantage can be neutralised because of possible wrong decisions of the player, while you can’t give advice. Therefore it’s recommended to try to determine the level of other box-owners at your table. As an example the bet-strategy for a capital of /5000 to /10000 has been developed for betting for one, two or three boxes.
Detailed bet-diagram:


True count

Profit

bet1

bet 2

bet 3

2 3 4 5 6

0,5 1,0 1,5 2,0

2,5

50 100 150 200 250

35

75

110

150

190

30

60

90

120

150

Play minimum: / 5 of / 10

Adjust to capital
> / 15.000 Stop as capital < / 2500

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Explanation
– bet 1 is the bet when there is being played on a box.
– Bet 2 is the bet for each box, if there is being played with two boxes.
– Bet 3 is the bet for each box, if there is being played with three boxes.
– When the capital is less than /2500 it’s better to quit and make a new start-capital of /5000 or more. /2500 is a bit little to take along to a casino. It’s possible to play with less, but we don’t recommend it. The expected profit decreases to almost nothing. Counting cards isn’t worth the effort. Factors that can change the profit.
The profit that can be expected strongly depends on the following factors:

The size of the capital
Someone with a bet of /200 with an advantage of 1% earns more than twice as much as someone who bets /100 with the same advantage. Both players have the same amount of costs with minimum-bets, but these are relative lower for players with larger capitals.
The position of the of the twinge-card in the pack
The amount of times a favourable situations for the players occurs strongly depends on the position of the twinge-card. If the twinge-card is at the back card that’s much more beneficial then when there’s a half twinge-pack. Lots of casinos move the twinge-card when they suspect that there’s a card counter.

The number of hours played
The more hands you play per hour the more you can earn. The tempo in the Netherlands is quiet low, between the 25 and 50 games per hour. In foreign countries this is much higher. The possibility to play with more boxes. By playing with more boxes it’s allowed to bet 1,5 times more. The profit-expectation is also 1,5 times higher. This is especially so if you play with three or more boxes. Therefore it’s recommended to pay attention to look if there are other card counters or base-strategy users at the table that you can use to make bets on.
Recommending counting cards

There have been many excellent card counters which weren’t very efficient. The main reason was a bad bet-strategy or bad money management. Someone who spends all off his profit instantly, can’t play BlackJack for a long time. Also someone who makes high bets has to deal with a high risk to get in a situation where he loses for a long period. But low bets can also change the profit negatively in the long term, because there isn’t a good spacing between the minimum bets and the high ones. The most important factor for a card counter is self-control. When the bet has just been lost, and the true count has been lowered, there has to be a lower bet. Chasing lost money(‘stomen’) is a bad property. This has to go wrong at a certain point. The advantage is based on the player that has always enough money to split and double. So never bet all the money you have; make sure that you’ve got enough money to split and double. To get a good sight it’s important to keep track of an administration of your BlackJack results. Each session you can keep track of: date, hours played, result of the session and the total result. This overview will offer after a while a good insight to the changes that your BlackJack capital makes.

Only play with money that you can miss.
Make a justified bet-diagram and stick to it as much as possible. Change the diagram according to the changes that your capital makes. Never play on a table with a minimum that’s too high for your capital (minimal a 1-on6-spacing). If it’s possibly play with more boxes in favourable situations, but only play along with good players and never bet twice the amount that you’d bet on your own box. In favourable situations play as much as possible that means at a good table with a good twinge-card and where there’re good fellow-players. Pay good attention on the tips you’re giving. Keep track of your Black Jack results.
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