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Counting cards – Running count

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Running Count

This page is the continuation of the base pages about counting cards and the high low technique.

The running count indicates how much more aces and tens there’re than low cards. The higher the count at a certain point, the better the situation is for a player because then there still a lot of aces and tens in the pack. Keeping track with the running count goes like this:
– Always start with 0 at the beginning of a pack.
– Adjust the running count according to the High-Low diagram for every card that appears at the table. Dependent on the card you count 1 up, you deduct it or , with a value of 0, do nothing.
– Remember the running count between two play-rounds.

 

 


Count-example starting with the value 0


For the running count ( start of a new pack)


Card


A


6


5


2


7


10


H


3


8


2


High-Low-value


-1


1


1


1


0


-1


-1


1


0


1


Running count


(0)


-1


0


1


2


2


1


0


1


1


2

Keeping correct track of the running count is the base for every card-counting system. Cards van be counted separately but also in groups of two. This last is relatively easy because the result of a +1 and -1 card is 0 ( for example A and 6 in the example above). Practicing the count of the cards can be easily done at home. Take a pack of cards, so 52 cards. Shuffle it, take a card en put it away. Now count the remaining 51 cards according to the High-Low system. A correct counting can’t exactly predict the last card but you can predict the group (+1,0,-1) of the card. If the last card has to be a +1 then the last card has to be a 10 or an ace, is the count 0 then it has to be a 7,8 or 9. If the count is -1 then the last card has to be a 2,3,4,5 or 6. By counting cards daily you’ll do it quicker and more accurate. Another way to practice this is by standing behind a BlackJack-table and count the cards the moment they get dealt. Because you aren’t in the game yourself you can completely focus on counting the cards.
Accuracy and a good speed are crucial, because counting in casinos is getting harder to do: the speed of the dealer can be high, there can be much money on stake, your neighbour is trying to explain you that it isn’t smart to buy another card when you’ve got 16… and so on. Don’t be scared by this. Counting card isn’t really hard and soon becomes an automation.

The Running Count System
The running count system according to the High-Low-system gives the player some useful information about the remaining cards in the pack with BlackJack and about the arising of favourable situations. For an accurate provision of the card- partitioning and the player-advantage there is another count-conversion needed. Professional card-counters always use systems based on the true count. On other sub pages the true count is further explained and there’s a powerful and efficient system introduced. The running count can also be used to gain slight advantages on the bank. In this paragraph we pay attention to an easy running-count-system. Remember that systems based on the running count are always less accurate and so less powerful then the ones based on the true count. We mainly recommend the running-count-system as a tool for getting used to the true count-system. You’ll get used with keeping track of the running count under casino-conditions, and also with raising your bets in favourable situations and adjusting your decisions. We divide the running count into three levels. The higher the level, the more favourable it’s for the player. At level 0 you’ll have a average disadvantage, at level 1 you’ll have a slight advantage and at level 2 your advantage will be a little higher.

Classifying the running-count-levels.

 

Level

Running counts

Advantage


0


1


2


…,-2,-1,0,1,2,3,4,5,6


7,8,9, 10, 11


12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18,…


-0,75%


0,75%


1,50%

In the following diagram you’ll find vertical the relative hands of the player and horizontal the cards of the bank.

Spelstrategie voor het running count systeem.

 

 

Bank

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

T

A

Player

D09

1

D

D

D

D

2

D10

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D11

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

D

2

H12

2

1

P

P

P

K

K

K

K

K

H13

P

P

P

P

P

K

K

K

K

K

H14

P

P

P

P

P

K

K

K

K

K

H15

P

P

P

P

P

K

K

K

K

K

H16

P

P

P

P

P

K

K

K

1

K

H17

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

Z18

P

P

P

P

P

P

P

K

K

1

D: Always Double
H: Hard total
K: Always buy
Z: Soft total
-: Never double
P: Always pass
1: Double, pass at level 1 and 2
2: Double, pass at level 2

Insurance of even money: at level 2
From this diagram can be learned that there’re 8 changes in the strategy for the running count system: insurance, three doubling and buying four times / passing. For the splitting the base strategy is followed, nothing changes here.

Bet strategy for the running-count-system

Bet level
0 table-minimum(for example /5 or /10)
1 6 to 10 times level 0(table-minimum)
2 twice the amount of level 1

The bets for level 1 and 2 are chosen to insure a small advantage on the bank.

When you only use the running-count-system as a training you don’t have to consider it.
If you’d like to use this bet-diagram in a /10-table you’ll need a BlackJack capital of several thousands Euros.

Imaginary-game according to the running-count-system and a BlackJack capital of /8000. Because you want to play with slight advantages you adjust your bet for level 1 at /100 and level 2 at /200. You take /3000 to the casino. You go to a /10-table, and the first round you bet the minimum. The running count decreases from 0(base-value) to -2, and the next hand you play according to the base-strategy. Again you bet the minimum. In the second round the table is filled with small cards(11 more than tens and aces), and the count goes from -2(value of the first round) to +9. Your hand is 9 points against 2 of the bank, you double (base-strategy is buying). For the third round you raise your bet to level 1: /100. The bank gets an ace. Quickly you adjust the running order: raised to +13(level 2), so you insure your hand. There’ve been bought some other cards, which makes the running order rise to +14. The fourth round you raise your bet to level 2, /200. You get 11 points against a ten of the bank. The running count is lowered to +10(level 1) because of these cards, so you don’t double( only at level 2). You buy a five, and pass at 16.
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As been said, this system is mainly used for training, and isn’t meant for longer usage. When the true-count-system isn’t working for you, you can always keep using the running-count-system. BlackJack always remains a chance-game but we hope to enable you to be better at it because of this strategy.
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