Does Card Counting Work?

Many people get drawn into the idea of card counting in casinos. Essentially card counting consists of keeping track of the cards that have been dealt to determine the odds of the next card. The fact that card counting has been heavily popularized by the media as well as Hollywood has built-up its reputation tremendously – but does card counting work?

Card Counting Works – But Not Like You May Think

The short answer to that is: Yes, card counting does work. However, before you start to try to learn how to count cards, you should know that it probably doesn’t work the way that you think it does.

Because of movies that constantly show how a down-on-his-luck student or unemployed person or secret genius learns how to count cards and makes hundreds of thousands of dollars – most people expect that they will be able to do the same. It is important that you understand that is not how card counting works.

In short, just because you’re counting cards it doesn’t mean that you’re going to double your chips every hand and quickly become a millionaire. As a matter of fact, there may be times when you could even get into a losing streak and actually lose quite a bit of money.

Essentially that is because even when you’re counting cards it doesn’t guarantee your success. All that it does is give you an edge over the casino that wouldn’t be there otherwise, but that still means that you could potentially lose – and lose big.

Does Card Counting Work with the Online Casinos?

Another important fact to keep in mind is that online casinos are immune to card counting. While you could keep track of the cards that have been dealt in a game of blackjack at an online casino, you will have no way of telling whether or not the deck has been reshuffled – which means you will not know when to reset the count.

The one exception to this is in live casino games – that is currently becoming more and more popular. Because in these games you’ll see the dealer and the cards on a webcam, you will be able to know when the deck is being shuffled. The key here is to play a version of blackjack that uses as few decks as possible.

All said and done, however, card counting is a lot of work and it takes time, perseverance and no small amount of effort to pull it off. Add to that the fact that casinos don’t take kindly to card counters and it would be better to steer clear of it and play legitimately. You will require almost infinite patience in order to make any kind of profit from card counting and the risks are high if you’re caught.  If you still want to give it a go you can have a look at some of the other in-depth articles we’ve written on card counting that set out exactly how to do it.

Instead by playing to the odds in most casino games while also taking advantage of any online casino free bonus no deposit offers, you will probably get a lot more bang for your buck. You will gain a far bigger edge from taking up the numerous free bonuses on offer in online casinos than you will ever get from good old-fashioned card counting. Granted that doesn’t have the somewhat sexy appeal of the rogue card counter, but it is a much more reliable (and not to mention – enjoyable) way to really make the most out of the time that you spend playing at an online casino.

If you’re planning to head to the casino for the first time this weekend, Paddy Power has put together the following infographic to help you understand the dealer’s hand gestures for the popular table games:


Joseph Kerney

COO & Baccarat Expert

Joseph Kerney is our COO and baccarat expert. Joseph has worked in the online gambling industry for over a decade as an affiliate before joining our team.

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