“I just started learning and using a card counting system to play blackjack. Although I’m winning more then losing, I’dHenry Tamburin is the editor and publisher of the Blackjack Insider Newsletter and author of the best-selling Blackjack: Take the Money & Run. He is also the lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack course, a feature writer for Casino Player magazine (and 6 other publications); an owner of a casino gambling publishing company (www.rsucasinobooks.com) and the host of www.smartgaming.com. For a free three month subscription to the Henry's Blackjack Insider Newsletter with full membership privileges go to www.bjinsider.com/free. Henry's website is www.smartgaming.com like to increase my profits. What’s the best way to go about this?”
One obvious way that a card counter can increase profits is to just bet more money.
But that is ill advised unless you also increase your bankroll. If you don’t do the latter you will increase your risk of going broke in the short term. This is the classic “Risk of Ruin” that has in fact ruined many card counters. Therefore, if you are a solo counter increasing your bet size without increasing your bankroll is not one of the ways I’d recommend enhancing profits.
There is a way, however, to increase your bets without any increase in risk. That’s to get a trusting partner who would be willing to pool his bankroll with yours and split the profits (or losses). This teamwork effort can be beneficial to all partners.
The depth of the penetration or the percentage of cards dealt prior to the shuffle is another important factor that can increase a counter’s profit. For example, a 6-deck game in which 75% of the cards are dealt before the dealer reshuffles is much more profitable for a card counter compared to one in which only 50% of the cards are dealt.
The fact is that the latter example (50%) is not really worth a counter’s time).
In some casinos, dealers have some leeway in where they place the cut card and hence the penetration. Therefore, scout around for dealers in a casino to see which ones are dealing the most cards and that’s the table you should be playing.
You can also subscribe to publications that maintain current databases of playing rules including penetration for blackjack games across the country.
An example is Blackjack Insider Newsletter that provides reporting on blackjack playing conditions, including penetration at several casino locations. You can find the BJInsider Newsletter at www.bjinsider.com.
Double deck games are often better for counters. Essentially a game with fewer decks has greater fluctuations in deck compositions allowing the card counter more opportunity to have a favorable advantage and increase bets.
For example, in a single deck game the counter has the edge nearly 40% of the time, whereas in an 8-deck game it drops to about 20%.
You can also enhance profits by not staying and betting when the count goes negative. One way to accomplish this is to back count games then jump in and play when the count goes positive and leave when the count goes negative. This way you are only making bets when you have the edge. Unfortunately, most casinos are sensitive to players who jump in and out of games because they understand that back counting is a tool used by counters to enhance profits. Therefore, they will post “No-Mid Shoe Entry” signs or limit a player to betting only the table minimum when entering a game in the middle of the shoe.
But this is not a universal policy and there are still plenty of casinos that allow players to enter in the middle of the shoe and thus back counting can be used carefully to enhance profits.
Another way to enhance profits is to put on a good “act” that will allow you longevity when you play blackjack. If you get barred from playing blackjack because of your skills, your profit potential will essentially be 0. Therefore, it’s important you not give yourself away. One of the beauties of the new simple counting system, Speed Count, which I teach is that behaves much differently than traditional counting systems with built in camouflage resulting in Speed Counters being able to play longer (and win more).
Lastly, I’d suggest you do the following. Get yourself a blackjack software program that will test your card counting skills. I say this because a counter’s edge is very small and a few errors in keeping the count could easily wipe out their edge. The program I recommend is Smart Blackjack.
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