Deck Or Shoe You Are
With a running
count of "20", you'll usually have about
a 4/1o% advantage whether there are five decks left
or just two decks. The further above "20"
the running count climbs, the bigger favorite you
are and the more you should bet. Thus, "recognizing
when you have the edge is a snap with unbalanced
card counting since you do everything strictly by
the running count. The fine print section on the
next page explains the mechanics of unbalanced edge-tracking
and is optional reading for the inquisitive.
automating feature: We have to credit Arnold Snyder
of Blackbelt in Online Blackjack Games fame for
initiating the idea of splitting up a card rank
to obtain the ideal imbalance between high and low
cards. His Red 7 Count, introduced in the early
'80's went unrecognized as the solid performer that
it is, until the proliferation of Online Blackjack
Games simulation software several years later. Snyder's
count, as the name implies tracks the red 7's, (but
not the black ones) along with all the 2's thru
6's as low cards. Pitting those against all the
10's and Aces creates an "auto-calibrating"
imbalance that causes the raw running count to be
a reasonably accurate indicator of the current high/low
strength of unplayed cards at all deck penetration
levels. Hence, the need for dividing by the number
of remaining decks is eliminated.
the edge: How does unbalanced counting automatically
calculate your edge? Let's look at a six deck shoe,
where you begin your running count at "10".
Suppose that after one deck has been played out,
your running count rises to "22". Just
how strong would that be? Well, had one intact deck
come out, its two black deuces would cause your
count to rise to "12". Then everything
would still be "even" and you'd again
have the standard house disadvantage. But at "22",
ten extra little cards have been eliminated --leaving
ten extra picture cards in the shoe. And with five
decks remaining, that's two extra pictures per deck.
Hold onto that thought.
Now let's fast forward to where four decks have
gone by, and you again have a running count of "22".
How strong is a "22" count now? With two
black deuces in each normal deck, everything would
be back to even if your count was "18"
at this point. But at "22", the remaining
shoe is four picture cards heavy. And with just
two decks left, that's also two extra pictures per
deck (a +2 "true count" in card counting
lingo). In fact, any time you have a "22"
running count, the remaining cards will be a +2
true count! I'll leave any additional checkpoints
up to you.
No matter whether it's 1, 2, 4, 6 or 8 deck Online
Blackjack Games, you'll always have exactly a +2
true count whenever your running count has risen
by "two x the number of starting decks".
As the running count strays away from that point,
your count begins to lose accuracy. But +2 true,
and all counts near it constitute a critical strategic
range that winning play is built upon. Computer
simulation runs have shown that unbalanced counts
yield about 95% as much net edge as a balanced count
of equal structural complexity.
and Managing Your Bankroll
may seem obvious, but it's something many don't understand.
Keep your poker bankroll separate from your other
money. Start with a certain amount of seed money,
enough for the games you plan to play in, and then
let that bankroll build up.
Examine your overall financial picture and pick an
amount that you are willing to put at risk. Many authorities
suggest a bankroll equal to 400 times the size of
the big bet in the game you regularly play. If you
can comfortably put aside $1,600, then you can play
$2-$4 without fear of ever going broke.
That's the key to bankroll size: having enough money
to know even a horribly bad streak of luck won't wipe
out your bankroll. Naturally, you don't need anything
like that much for one session's play. Going to the
cardroom with 50 or 60 big bets should be plenty (a
50-big bet loss is a very bad night; the only reason
you might bring more is if there's a chance you might
want or need to play a little higher than usual).
If you play to your established potential, you will
most likely not lose a sufficiently large amount of
your bankroll even if you run badly for an extended