You may have seen plenty of gambling scenes on television or in the movies. The actors look like they are gambling pros. They seemingly know immediately what the next card will be, and they manage to pull a win out of nothing. However, none of us can act that well. Dealers are always looking for people who are possibly trying to gain an advantage.
There are strategies you can use to beat the house, however. Stop trying to guess what the cards will hold. You can learn to predict what the cards will show you. This practice, known as counting cards, may give you the edge over the house. Counting cards a lot of practice. However, if you take the time to practice strategies for counting cards, you may see some profit. Here are some common strategies for counting cards.
Why Counting Cards Is a Useful Technique
Some players count cards when they play poker. But people count cards most often in blackjack. The practice is especially helpful when playing this casino game. That’s because it is a deceptively simple one to play. Players win at blackjack when their cards give them the closest sum to 21 without going over. They also want to make sure their cards are higher than the dealer’s cards. Depending on the casino, face cards are 10 points, number cards are their number, and aces are 1 or 11. Your objective is to get as many points as possible. It pays to know what cards remain in the deck. If you know which cards are in the deck, then you will be able to make predictions. You will not only be able to predict your cards but those of the dealer as well.
Why Memory Techniques?
If you want to be able to predict cards, you will need to learn memory techniques. Memory techniques help you remember which cards people have played and which cards are still in play. Players who are able to use memory techniques find they have a better idea who has the high cards. This allows them to place better bets. If players know when to bet a lot, and when not to bet, they are more successful.
There are many kinds of memory strategies. Here are the ones people use the most.
The Rhyme Scheme Method
Many people count cards by memorizing a rhyme scheme. In order to do that, they learn the rhyme, “Eight kings threatened to save ninety-five queens for one sick knave.” This rhyme hides within it a card run. The cards run eights, kings, threes, 10s, twos, sevens, nines, fives, queens, fours, aces, sixes, and jacks. Once you have memorized the run, then you need to memorize the word “chased” because that describes the suit order. The suits run as clubs, hearts, spades, and diamonds. Some people choose not to memorize “chased,” but, instead, memorize CHSD because it is easier.
Once you have memorized the run and the suit order, you will need to practice — a lot. Begin with one deck of cards and count through the deck using your strategy. You need to practice over and over until you are able to do it without thinking. Some players find that they need to lay out the deck in the order first to practice. Then, they practice with a standard deck. After that, they move to two decks. You can use this technique to figure out which cards people have played, and which cards are in play. It will take a lot of practice, so you should prepare for that.
What is the Memory Palace Method?
There are some people who don’t like the rhyming method. Instead, they would rather use the Memory Palace Method technique. In order to use this method, you need to have an active imagination. You will need to construct a place in your mind where you can place objects or people. They help you remember the cards you have in your hand. Some people use places they are familiar with, or places that they love, to construct their palace. One famous blackjack player in Vegas uses his childhood home as a memory trigger. Each game in his memory takes place in a different room. He uses objects to represent card suits and numbers them according to the number of the card in his hand. If he gets a king of hearts, he would put a king with a heart scepter in his memory room.
The memory palace method is difficult, but many players swear by it. In fact, some players have such great memories, they can make room for an entire period of play. Like the rhyme scheme method, the memory palace method takes hours and hours of practice. Start with one deck and, then, move to two decks.
Another Memory Palace Technique
There is another variation of the memory palace method that some people like to use as well. In this method, players come up with people rather than objects to put in their special places. First, you will need to memorize a letter and number sequence. Begin with a=1 and continue down the line until you get to z=26. Some players also use a variation of this technique. They make all odd numbers male and all even numbers female.
Whichever method you use, each letter sequence will need to represent a person. For example, if you draw a 4 and a 5, your initials will be DE. Think of someone with those initials — Dale Earnhardt, for example. For one deck of cards, you will need to think of 52 people. Two decks equal 104 people. The people could be fictional characters, actors, singers, reality stars — whoever is easier for you to remember. The person you’ve selected will also need to perform an action. If you have Dale Earnhardt as a figure, he could drive a car. As with the other card tricks, this one will need lots and lots of practice with one or two decks.
Back to Basics
If trying to build a memory palace in your brain gives you chills, you may want to try something else. There is a simple method to card counting that people have been using for decades. The method, called Hi-Lo, gives value to cards. If you have cards numbered from two through six, they equal one point. The seven and nine cards are equal to zero. Face cards, 10s, and aces are -1 point.
The process of memorization is simple. First, practice with a deck of cards. Determine the value of each card until you can ascertain each value without thinking. The next step to memorization is practicing a running count. As the dealer deals you cards, you need to be able to quickly value your hand. When you can value your hand quickly, work on valuing the dealer’s hand as well. Once you can value both hands, you should be able to predict what the dealer’s hand is without looking. Only then will you be able to place bets on your hand.
Card counting is a difficult art. It takes a lot of time and practice to really get good at it. If you take the time to learn and practice, however, you can count cards at casinos and place winning bets. Good luck, and happy counting!
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