Card Counting Blackjack Players at Work and Play

We hear often that whilst most Aussies love playing online pokies, many would like to be able to play blackjack.  However, the thinking is that you can’t win at blackjack unless you learn to count cards and many gamers at Springbok, the Aussie online casino, say that they can’t learn to count cards.

Winning without Card Counting

It is possible to win at blackjack even if you can’t count cards.  There are strategy cards available for every blackjack variation.  You can easily use one for the variation you like.  Then you’ll need just a little bit of luck to get on the winning side of the ledger because, with the correct strategy, the house edge is always less than 1%.

Reasons Why Players Lose at Blackjack

Aside from bad luck, there are other good reasons why players win less often at blackjack.

Reshuffling Machine

When you play with a constantly reshuffling machine, you have no way to anticipate that the next card may be low or high.  Even if you can’t count cards for the long haul, you can certainly see that a lot of 10 point cards seem to have come out or that a lot of cards from 2-5 have come out.

When you make that type of observation, you can generally guess that the next card will go against the short term trend.  You might double down or split with that in mind.  If you think a low card is due to come you might hit with 16 points if the dealer is showing a seven or better.

Players object to the notion that we have to guess in blackjack and that it is considered a good strategy.  In fact, card counting is simply a form of making it possible to guess better.  So, don’t be afraid to guess.

Playing without Surrender

The surrender option raises the chances that the player will win after all the hands have been dealt because it reverses the advantage the house has by going last.  Surrender means that you guess that your hand is overwhelmingly sure to lose.  It’s not 100% sure but quite close to it.

Let’s say that you have 16 and the house shows 7 or higher.  There are far more ways for you to lose this hand than to win it.  With the surrender option, you forfeit half of your bet.  By using the surrender option and even if you don’t count cards, you might actually save enough money to put you in the black for the session.

Never Take Insurance

This is an option the house loves to give because some players simply can’t resist it.  When the house has an ace, you can take insurance.  Then, if the house has 21, you don’t win but you also don’t lose.  Most players already know that taking insurance is a very poor decision.  So, help yourself out by never taking insurance.

Doubling Down

You need to learn the perfect strategy for doubling down for the specific variation you’re playing.  Learning how and when to double down will help you win double the amount on the hands that are conducive to doubling down and will save money from not doubling down on hands that are not conducive to the strategy.

Also, it helps the player tremendously to be able to double down after splitting.


The idea here is quite similar to the idea behind doubling down.  You need to know the perfect strategy for splitting on hands that are conducive to the strategy.

It also helps players tremendously to be able to split three times including with aces.  It isn’t common to get three or four of the same card in a row (with all 10 point cards counting as the same card) but if it is a good strategy to split once, it will be an even better strategy to split a second and then a third time.

Most Players Can Learn to Count Cards

The players who tried to learn and gave up after five minutes seem to be in the majority but the truth is that even they can learn to count cards.

There are so many things we learn to do—even things that we learn to do very well—that take a bit of time to perfect.  Let’s start with walking and talking.  We can continue on to riding a bicycle.

How long did it take the best concert pianist to learn to play Mary Had a Little Lamb without any mistakes?

How about cooking a soufflé that doesn’t collapse, bread that rises properly, or a roux?

How about learning to spell tough words like roux?  Nowadays, we can always look the word up but it certainly saves time to learn how to spell it without needing to look it up.

Counting cards takes several hours.  It is quite boring for almost everyone.  Here are a few tips on how to go about learning to count cards.

  • Before you start learning to count cards, make sure that you fully understand the principle behind this strategy.  Counting cards will raise your edge from slightly below 100% to slightly above 100%.
  • Practice for just a few minutes the first day.  Remember, everyone finds it boring.
  • Practice every day and extend every practice session by a few minutes.
  • Genuinely enjoy your progress.
  • Practice with only one deck.  This reduces the number of cards you need to count before the deck gets reshuffled.
  • Practice dealing the cards out slowly.  Then, once you can count a single deck well as it is dealt slowly, you should speed up the deal.  The cards are never dealt in rapid fire.
  •  If you’re at a land based casino, sit in the last place.  That way you’ll see all the cards that are dealt before you.  The other players will “help” you by taking their time deciding what to do.
  • There are different card counting methods so if the most difficult one does prove to be too much for you, there are others that are even easier to learn.
  • One important point to keep in mind is that if you count cards, you will increase your bet when the deck is rich with 10 point cards or aces.  This is the best way to fully take advantage of the card counting skill you learn.

All in All

You can still win in blackjack even without counting cards by playing the best strategy for the variation you are playing.  The house edge in blackjack is very small so good strategy plus just a little luck will put you over the top.