In case you do not have any moral dilemmas that would prevent you from obliterating the house edge, you are likely to discover that the basic card counting blackjack strategy will not cut it for a very long time. Playing at the table with sharks and veterans will soon lead you to a devastating discovery that your peers are way ahead of you, having mastered skills that are much more complex than simple counting.
The stigma of advanced Blackjack strategies is sadly still present at both land-based and live online casinos and pit bosses are quite devoted in their noble endeavor to spot the perpetrators and banish them from the facilities. Gaming websites have their own security measures that prevent counting and other types of strategies which could lead to house edge elimination – at a first glimpse, it seems that the casino protection scheme is too sophisticated to be penetrated, right? Wrong! There is always a weak spot and the more advanced your Blackjack skills are, the more likely it is that you will be able to bypass the element of chance as well as the casino’s attempts to stop you from using the selected Blackjack technique.
Start from the scratch and work your way up
Shortcuts do not exist in Blackjack. There’s only one way to advance your skills and it starts at the very bottom – learning how to count and keeping track of the count. All of the advanced Blackjack strategies are variations of the basic card counting, and this is where your starting point must be. Once you become proficient in card counting and prove it at an actual Blackjack casino table, without getting caught by the casino surveillance team, you are ready to go that extra mile and start tackling the beast called Shuffle Tracking.
The dealer has a particularly important role in the Shuffle Tracking technique, or, to be more precise, his negligence. Dealers will do their best to keep the game easy going and avoid unnecessary delays, which is why thorough card shuffling will not always be at the top of their priority list. There is really nothing more a Shuffle Tracker could look for.
Starting with a standard Hi-Lo system, the player must proceed with tracking Aces and 10s and determining the Tracking Zones – the card groups or chunks with the familiar values. The dealer will move the chunks as the card deck is being shuffled and your job is to keep track and adjust your bets accordingly. Performed correctly, the Shuffle Tracking system can gain more than 50% advantage to the player, which is pretty impressive. With the ability to memorize the Key cards (cards preceding and succeeding the Ace) and thus track actual Ace cards, the success rate will go up.
All of this can also be done from a distance, however, Wonking (which is how monitoring tables and approaching to place a bet when the odds are favorable is called) is extremely difficult and easier to spot than colluding.
Zen is probably the second best advanced Blackjack strategy (even classified as a medium level by some), where the number between the negative and the positive points is evened out or balanced, meaning that you will end up with zero at the end of your count. The values assigned to the cards will depend on the card rank (as they usually do in multi-level systems), therefore, +1 value is assigned to 2, 3 and 7 cards, +2 value goes to 4, 5 and 6 cards, -2 is assigned to Face and 10 cards, -1 to Aces and 0 to remaining cards – 8s and 9s.
This brings us to another multi-level card counting technique, which many believe to be highly precise and the most accurate system out of all known Blackjack strategies – Omega 2.
The technique also starts with assigning values to the cards: +1 for 2, 3 and 7, +2 for 4, 5 and 6 cards, -1 for 9, – 2 for 10, J, K, Q and 0 for Aces. The next stage is keeping track, or, to be more precise, keeping two tracks, one focusing on the Aces. Obviously, being able to locate Aces will significantly increase your chances of predicting a Blackjack hand and improve your bets efficiency.
The count will need to start at the beginning of every shoe after the dealer shuffles the decks. Your every move will be determined by the count –a positive total will have the same effect on your next bet, whereas the negative result should consequently decrease the stake to the table minimum.
If this sounds extremely difficult, it’s because it is. With 32 Aces in a game of Blackjack that’s played with 8 decks, losing your focus is not an option, especially since Ace tracking increases your odds of winning by 3%. However, the edge that you will be giving to yourself by employing one of these methods is worth every second spent in acquiring the skill.
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