CARD COUNTING PRACTICE METHODS
Practising Basic Strategy
Your first task is to practice your
basic strategy. Study the basic strategy you plan to learn, paying
attention to the patterns. For example, if the dealer has a 7 or
greater, hit hard until you reach hard 17. If the dealer has less
than 7, stand, with the exception of 12 against a dealer 2 or 3. A
practice sheet has been included for your convenience.
Once you have studied the strategy,
attempt to fill out the practice sheet. Make copies of the practice
sheet and keep trying until you can complete it without error. A
good and inexpensive place to practice your strategy is at an online casino. Practically all casinos have
a practice mode that allows you to play for free. These same casinos
also offer incredible bonuses to get you to play for real money. If
you are considering playing blackjack an online casino have a look at my online blackjack page. This page will
give you complete advice on where to play and how to play. The section
offers complete basic strategies for all the major software makers and
provides detailed reviews of the best casinos.
Once you are confident with your basic
strategy, you should start practising your counting. One of the easiest
ways to practice counting is by taking a deck of cards and counting through
the deck. If you do not finish the deck with count of zero you have
made a mistake. Once you can count down the deck without error, attempt
to increase your speed. Time yourself and attempt to improve your
time. To add some interest, you can remove a card from the deck at
random, and impress your friends by predicting the card you removed. Using
the Uston Advanced Plus/Minus count, you can predict that the card removed
was a face card or ace with a count of +1, was between 3 and 7 with a count
of -1, and was either a 2, 8 or 9 with a count of 0.
Another practice method is to sit down
at a table and deal multiple hands, counting the cards played. Attempt
to simulate casino conditions as close as possible. Once you have
practised a bit, you are ready to try a low stake charity game, if you
are fortunate enough to have one nearby. This last practice method
will give you practice with distractions that are similar to a real casino.
simulations and games
If you have access to a computer, blackjack
simulations and games are an excellent way to practice and increase your
knowledge of the game. Games allow you to quickly practice playing
and betting decisions. Some games will alert you if you have made
a decision that is contrary to basic strategy. Computer simulations
allow you to observe results of playing millions of hands using different
rules, playing strategies or betting strategies. These
simulations give you extra insight into the forces of variance and show
you the importance of the long run.
Million Dollar Blackjack by
Ken Uston, Secaucus, Carol Publishing Group, 1981
A very interesting book that, in my
opinion, teaches you the mindset required to make money at blackjack. This
book jumps back and forth from card counting theory to fascinating stories
of how he and his teams won millions. Please note that in his subsequent
book, "Ken Uston on Blackjack", Uston states that the added advantage
of keeping a side count of aces is not worth the effort.
Ken Uston on Blackjack by
Ken Uston, Secaucus, Lyle Stuart Inc., 1986
An update to his previous book, that
contains more current examples of casino conditions and methods of play. You
must read carefully to get grasp his quick statements where he states that
recent evidence uncovered revels that - the more complicated count systems
which he recommends in his first book are not worth the effort for the average
or even above average player.
The Theory of Blackjack by
Peter A. Griffin*, Faculty Publishing, Third Edition, 1986
Written by a math professor, this book
is an excellent explanation of the theory of blackjack. I would recommend
this book if you have a serious interest in understanding the game, and if
you have an above average understanding of math, but not if it is the only
book you plan to read.
Professional Blackjack by
Stanford Wong, Las Vegas, GBC Press, 1977
Standford Wong is probably the leading
authority on the mathematical interpretation of games of chance. This
is an excellent book, but it is a bit dry for the person that is not interested
in detailed mathematical theory. By the way, Standford Wong is not
his real name and he isn't even Chinese.
Turning the Tables on Las Vegas by Ian Anderson, New York, Vanguard, 1976
Blackbelt in Blackjack by
Arnold Snyder, Berkeley, RGE Publishing
Beat the Dealer by
E.O. Thorp, New York, Random House, 1966
The original work that started the ball
rolling. Informative, but it's systems and casino descriptions are
out of date.