• Last Updated : December 17, 2018, 1:35 am

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Using the True Count in Blackjack Card Counting

The Need for Accuracy in Blackjack Card Counting

To be really accurate in blackjack card counting, it is a must for the player to get to true count of the shoe. The true count is simply the running count divided by the number of decks left in the shoe. By using the true count, it becomes possible to obtain a higher degree of accuracy when assessing the "richness" of the decks.

It used to be that merely counting cards according to a blackjack card counting system sufficed. But ever since this technique came into vogue, the casinos have been using multiple decks instead of just a single deck. This renders the work more difficult for the player and makes the true count method necessary. However the true count is not reserved for multiple decks only; even single deck players should use it if they really want their count to be accurate.

How the True Count Works in Blackjack Card Counting

Let us see the true count in action. If the running count were 8 and there were 4 decks left, we divide 8 by 4 for a result of 2, the true count. If the running count were 6 and there was 2 decks left to play, the true count would be 3. If the running count were 6 and there was only 1 deck left, the true count would be 6.

Here is a table of examples to help you understand how the true count works:

DECKS LEFT RUNNING COUNT TRUE COUNT 1. 6 12 2 2. 4 8 2 3. 1 5 5 4. 2 8 4

DECKS LEFT RUNNING COUNT TRUE COUNT 1. 5 -10 -2 2. 4 -4 -1 3. 6 -7 -1.16 4. 1 0 0

Calculating the Decks

Now how do we know how many decks are left? Easy. We look at the discard tray. Casino dealers place all used cards on this tray. With practice, you can estimate how much of a shoe has been played by just looking at the cards in the tray. Then it's only a matter of subtracting those decks from the shoe.

For example, if you are playing an 8 deck game and you estimate that there are 2 decks in the discard tray, you know that there are 6 decks remaining in the shoe. Therefore you must divide the running count by 6.

What if it's a single deck game? You divide just the same. If you have a running count of 4 after 26 cards have been played, the true count is really 8 since 4 / 0.5 (half the deck) = 8.

The true count is invaluable in blackjack card counting. It tells you when to gamble more of your bankroll and when to hold back. This, in turn, will increase your bankroll faster and help you live through dry periods until your long term advantage comes to fruition.

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