How To Count Cards

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The true count is what tells you whether or not you have an advantage that warrants a higher bet. If the dealer is using only one deck, the running count and the true count are the same. When the true count is +2 or above, you should start increasing your bet. But one-deck tables aren’t the norm in Vegas; dealers typically use six decks at a time. So what you have to do is divide the running count by the number of decks remaining. Relax — it’s actually pretty simple math.

You can keep track of how many cards have been dealt — there are 52 cards in a deck — but that’s not easy. Instead, sit down at a table at which the dealer is using a boot that allows you to see how many cards are left, and eyeball it. So if your running count is at +12, but you estimate there are four decks left, the true count is really +3. Not nearly as good as +12, but still good to throw in a couple extra chips. How many extra? We’re glad you asked …