Does blackjack card counting really work? Part 2

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Blackjack card counting is very risky because your advantage is tiny. You need to bet huge amounts just to earn a little, so random fluctuations in luck can wipe out your entire bankroll. To earn just the minimum wage safely, you need a bankroll of many thousands of dollars.

This is Part 2 of the presentation, “Does blackjack card counting really work?” In part 1, I explain how card counting works, and I show how the card counter’s advantage is quite small. In this part, I explain further why card counting is risky, and I offer some suggestions.

Link to Part 1:

When you have an advantage, it is typically in the neighborhood of 1/2 of 1%. In this situation, you need to risk $100 on a hand to win 50 cents. Can you afford to lose $100 trying to earn 50 cents? And can you afford a 10-bet losing streak ($1,000)? Streaks like this definitely happen. You’ll also have big winning streaks, but you can’t count on them happening at any particular time. One big losing streak can easily be followed by another. Your bankroll needs to be large enough to handle these situations.

In movies like “Rain Man” and “21,” card counters win like crazy, which is nothing like real life. Real card counters have a tiny advantage — they win, they lose, they break even, just like everyone else. Their tiny gains, over weeks or months, are obscured by relatively large winning and losing streaks.

Card counting does not require unusual talent or intelligence — anyone can do it. However, it takes many months of memorizing and practice to become proficient. The very first step is to learn the “basic strategy”, without card counting. This means memorizing the best action to take for every combination of player total and dealer’s up card. You need to know this well enough to act without even thinking about it.

There are different basic strategies that you can learn. Most websites and books teach the perfect basic strategy, but it takes about a month of study and practice to become proficient. Why not learn a simplified strategy instead, which is faster and easier, and nearly as good? Find out more at

To learn card counting, see the free online book “Modern Blackjack” by Norm Wattenberger at

Watch the Simpsons (Homer, Marge) count cards here:

It’s pretty realistic, except that it shows Flanders placing his whole pile of chips on one bet. A real card counter would never do that, even in a highly advantageous situation. Also, a real team would arrive at the casino one at a time; they would not be seen together. Your advantage with card counting is only about 1 percent at best, so you need to risk large amounts over an extended time (weeks or months) to ensure a reliable win. Your chance of coming out ahead over an hour, or day, or even a week is just slightly above 50%.

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Does blackjack card counting really work? Part 2

10 thoughts on “Does blackjack card counting really work? Part 2

  1. This guy has no idea what he’s talking about. Card Counting for “entertainment”, not money? Wow. Completely forgot to mention bet spreads, bankroll management, and the best part? “Go into the casino before you learn card Counting and practice gambling your money on basic strategy.” 🤣 OKAY MAN 👍

  2. This is clearly a desperate attempt at propaganda. Just like they throw that fake statistic after that drug dealers make less than minimum wage.

  3. Card counting pays off in the long run.. it had to.. the math is in your favour ( if you're doing it correctly )

  4. This is absolutely true, this guy is one of the very few who speaks the truth.. The advantage of counting, or playing basic strategy is minimal, and you'll need a huge bank roll to withstand the bad times! Even experts like Ken Uston say the same.
    Also, in the UK for instance, the min bet is £5 and the max £200. So even when the count is high you can't place very big bets. (unless part of a team). But, there's a chance, and I repeat "chance", that if you play basic strategy perfectly, or simple strategy, you could end up with a few modest winnings in the short run, because winnings and losses fluctuate. If you get up and leave when up you'll be very wise!
    Personally, I'd rather play single 0 roulette. Even though the advantage is only 1.35 -2.7% in favour of the house, if you have good money management and a little luck you could win 7 out of 10 times about 20-30% of your bankroll. A good book is Lee Tutor's 'The Roulette Winner', which describes all the mathematical systems. In roulette the payouts are huge compared to blackjack.
    But as far as making a living… forget about it! The house wins in the long run.
    The only realistic way of winning in roulette, apart from stealing of course, is visual ballistics or computers. This has been done! The most recent case was an Eastern European team that won 1.3 million within 3 days at the Ritz in London.

  5. Card counters on the internet boast that they win $1000 an hour when the count is even plus 2.. But I have seen the count as high as +4 and have personally seen 3 out of 5 hands LOST..when a player loses with a pat hand of 20 then you will realize that card counters are actually depending on their luck more than anything..Don't forget when the count is plus 5 or greater, the dealer also has a 80 % chance of getting a blackjack as well as a pat 20..makes it very difficult to win..card counting only gives the player a 5% better chance of winning overall! which in the grand scheme is nothing??The card counters losing sessions are devistating to the point of negating this 5% in a hurry…As a side note the casino has the right to refuse action from any player that is a financial threat to that casino past on past performance..this goes for NON card counters as well..

  6. You have to use betting variations according to the count and your bankroll size and you dont need to play 100 a hand for it to work, but if you have a large bankroll betting bigger is better only if you have the cash, remember it takes money to make money. I have been very successful winning 200 dollars or more in 3 to 8 hours at a casino and only going up 25 to 50 dollars on a favorable count

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