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Counting cards works because tens and aces are more valuable to the player than to the house. The most significant reason for this is that online blackjack games pay the player three-to-two, but the house gets just one-to-one. (It would be no fun to cough up another 50 percent of a wager for dealer online blackjack games.) Thus, m a deck composed of only tens and aces, players would clean up. Double-downs are also more successful when plenty of tens and aces are present.

As the cards are dealt, the counter keeps track of how many little cards have been played in relation to the tens and aces. At a certain point, if the ratio of tens and aces becomes large enough, the house is at a disadvantage. At that moment, the player increases bets considerably (common bet spreads are 1 to 4 in single deck, 1 to 12 in multiple deck). Winning more of the big-bet hands will more than make up for losing all the small hands. The best card-counters expect to get an overall edge of 1.5 percent. Obviously, opportunities are erased by a shuffle.

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