How To: Count cards

Count cards

If you think that card counting is only a thing in the movies then think again. You too can try a couple of methods to help you count cards. Like anything, the more you work on it the better you will be.

If that friendly game of cards has left your wallet a little light, this guide will help turn the tide back in your favor.

You Will Need

  * Math skills
  * Deck of cards
  * Patience

Step 1: Use the high-low method

Use the high-low method, which assigns cards two through six a plus one, and cards 10 through ace a negative one, while middle cards are worth zero.

Small cards favor the dealer while large cards favor the player, so when a small card is removed it favors the player and when a large card is removed it is bad for the player.

Step 2: Track all cards dealt

Start from zero when the dealer has a new deck and add up all the cards dealt. When you reach a plus two or three, the odds shift in your favor.

Practice counting with your own deck. If you do it right you can predict the last card – a whole deck always equals zero.

Step 3: Cancel card pairs

Cancel card pairs by matching a high card and low card to reach zero. When you reach a plus two or three, the odds shift in your favor.

Step 4: Calculate true count

Calculate the true count by dividing your number by the number of decks the dealer has left in his shoe or card collector.

Step 5: Give it time

Be patient – you may have to go through several hands before you can estimate which cards remain in the shoe or deck.

Step 6: Walk away

Walk away before anyone gets suspicious. While card counting isn't illegal, casinos can kick you to the curb for counting.

During operation Iraqi Freedom, the Defense Department issued 55 playing cards with the faces of Saddam Hussein's regime on them.

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