Card Counting System Types Observation

In good old times when blackjack was played in a casino, only one or two decks were used during the game. Now it's up to 8 Anglo-American decks are used, 52 cards each. This is due to card counting, which enabled skilled lads to easily overcome the casinos.

Casino's reaction was quite adequate and smart. They understood that using only one deck in blackjack now is not enough, and that it's too easy now to pre-determine the chances during this or that game.

So, in a short period of time multiple decks were introduced. It reduced card counters chances to such a small number that it wasn't even worth to talk about. But after a short confuse a brilliant answer came.

Running and true count

The answer was based, as all card counting itself, on mathematics. The principles were following: let's suppose that you start to play blackjack using 6 decks of cards. The start of the game, so total score is equal to zero. The first round is played, and the total score to the next round is, for example, 3. But: remember, this total doesn't show all the picture and odds, because you have not 1, but 6 decks with such a number of points each!

What should we do? The answer is fairly simple: we should just divide the actual count into the number of decks played, and here you will get the accurate points and see your real chances. Remember: the actual count, which refers just to the last round, is called "running" count. The real count, which is highlighted in your head after dividing the running count into number of decks, is called "true" count.

Also for better understanding see card counting systems chapter.

Balanced systems vs. unbalanced ones

The difference between balanced and unbalanced systems is very easy to determine. Remember: those card counting systems where TOTAL points number of the WHOLE deck of cards is equal to zero, are called BALANCED. It only means that the starting point in the beginning of such a count is always equal to 0.

UNBALANCED card counting systems are those which starting point is NOT equal to zero. It may be higher or lower, but it's not 0.

Pluses and minuses

Which one is better? A difficult question to answer.

First of all: the balanced card counting system always gives a high percentage of bet correlation: for example, the basic Hi/Lo system is 97% reliable in this respect. It's because it is a bit more difficult when converting the running count into a true count, because you always have to keep in head both of them and constantly regulate them, but the accuracy gives the chance to bet in the right way - which is also not that easy to apply instantly.

Unbalanced systems, on the contrary, allow player not to pay much attention to the true count, and for taking major of important playing decisions no true count needed at all. But betting is a considerable weakness of such a system: betting correlation is equal to 72%, which is weak when compared to 97% of the previous one. Also the starting number of an unbalanced card-counting system may vary according to the number of decks played.

For more general info including basics of card counting see the corresponding section.