Card counting is a gambling technique that involves keeping track of the cards as they are played out. While the strategy can be mastered by most experienced players, some people never become successful because they make silly mistakes. In this article, we explore the common mistakes made by card counters so you know what to avoid.
Inexperienced players often over-bet their bankroll when card counting. If you choose to sit at a £50 minimum blackjack table with a few hundred pounds, it’s unlikely that you’re going to win every time. Before taking a seat, you need to work out how many sessions you plan to have and prepare your bank roll accordingly. By doing this, you’ll minimise the risk of going broke and losing the game. Every successful card counter understands the ‘risk-of-ruin’ concept. To avoid embarrassment, go into each game with enough money for your experience level. Many card counters believe that you need two things to succeed at the technique: brains and a bankroll.
Another common mistake is playing unbeatable games. Some players attend six or eight deck games with only a 1 or 4 unit bet spread. When going into a game like this, you’re almost guaranteed to lose! Others choose games with confusing rules, such as no soft doubling, no doubling after pair splitting, and dealer hitting soft 17. Another example of an ‘unbeatable game’ is a multi-deck game where the cut-card penetration is 50% or less. To succeed at card counting, choose a game with clear playing rules and good penetration. This will allow you to go into the game with a respectable edge and increase your chances of winning.
Not pushing out big bets is another common mistake made by card counters. All too often, players refrain from pushing out a large bet when they have their maximum edge. Typically, the reason for this is that their emotional bankroll is running dry. To be successful at card counting, you need to be ready to push out big bets at all times. It doesn’t matter how long the session is or how low your bankroll is running, if you want to win you need to be ready to bet big. Unfortunately, you’ll never be successful at the strategy if you don’t stick to the bet spread designed for your card counting technique. It’s perfectly normal for card counters to have losing sessions; the important thing to remember is that card counting is a longterm strategy. If you lose one day, there’s no reason why you can’t win big the next.
If you’re playing for too long, you’re guaranteed to slip up at some point. It’s no secret that card counting is difficult. It requires a high level of concentration and you need to be on the ball at all times. The longer the session, the more likely you are to mess up and diminish the edge you have built. And that’s not everything. The second issue with long-haul games is the preservation of your longevity. If you sit at one table for too long, the dealer and your opponents have time to evaluate your skill level. If you want to be successful at card counting, this is something that you must avoid. With this in mind, stick to playing short games to stay under their radar.
Another common mistake is lack of cover. Successful card counters will focus on the cards without showing any emotion. This way, nobody will know whether you’re winning or losing a hand. To stay undetected, try to converse with the dealer or another player. The best way to keep your cover is to appear like a typical gambler. As card counting is hard, many players cannot focus on anything other than the cards. Try to talk to the dealer while keeping count, or congratulate another player on their impressive play. If you lose a hand, discuss how unlucky you were and show genuine disappointment. Doing these things, and remembering to tip the dealer every hour, will make you appear like any other gambler.
Providing that you don’t chase your losses, don’t be afraid of a big loss when card counting. Casinos make most of their money from losers. If luck isn’t on your side one day, do not keep playing in order to win your money back; instead, pack up your things and return another day. Before leaving, make sure to make the casino aware of your loss. This way, you’ll seem like just another unlucky player, giving them the perception that you are a loser. Remember that card counting is a lifetime journey; you’ll have plenty of time to win back your losses at a later date.
The final mistake that card counters make is choosing the wrong game. While most of the skill is in card counting itself, it helps to choose the right game and raise your edge. When playing a game you’re familiar with, you’ll be clear of the rules so there will be no nasty surprises. Additionally, you’ll learn a series of tips and tricks to increase your chances of winning, for instance, how much to bet, when to battle through, and when to throw in the towel.
If you want to become a successful card counter, remember these common mistakes made by card counters so you know what to avoid! Providing that you take these into account, time and practice is all that’s needed to master the technique.