Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

# 5s in Blackjack

Counting cards in blackjack is a way to increase your chances of winning. If you're good at it, you can actually take the odds and put them in your favor. This works because card counters raise their bets when a deck rich in cards that are advantageous to the player comes around. As a general rule of thumb, a deck rich in 10's is better for the player, because the dealer will bust more often, and the player will hit a blackjack more often.

Most card counters keep track of the ratio of high cards, or 10's, by counting them as a +1 or a -1, and then gives the opposite +1 or -1 to the low cards in the deck. Some systems use a balanced count where the number of low cards is the same as the number of 10's.

But the most interesting card to me, mathematically, is the 5. There were card counting systems back in the day that involved doing nothing more than counting the number of fives that had left the deck, and when the 5's were gone, the player had a big advantage and would raise his bets.

A good basic strategy player is getting a 99.5% payback percentage from the casino. Every 5 that's come out of the deck adds 0.67% to the player's expected return. (In a single deck game, anyway.) That means that, all other things being equal, having one 5 gone from the deck gives a player a small advantage over the house.

Having two or three 5's gone from the deck will actually give the player a pretty significant edge over the casino, and this is when a card counter will usually raise his bet. The problem with counting 5's and nothing else is that a deck low in 5's happens pretty rarely, so gaining a big advantage and making a profit from that situation only comes on rare occasions.

Any card between 2 and 8 that comes out of the deck increases the player's expectation. And all 9's. 10's, and aces increase the casino's expectation. But 8's and 9's have very small effects on the outcome. (An 8 only adds 0.01% to the player's expectation, so it's generally not even counted. A 9 only has 0.15% affect in the other direction, so it's not counted either.)

Understanding the effects the low and high cards have on your expected return on a bet is the first step in learning to count cards and play blackjack as a winner.

The author runs several websites with information on blackjack. Please be sure to visit his new online blackjack site, or play the free blackjack games on his other site. Another good resource from the author's collection of articles is his blackjack tips article.

MORE RESOURCES:
 Our View: Casino gambling deserves consideration in New BedfordSouthCoastToday.comThe establishment of casino gambling in the Bay State has (no surprise to some) left Southeastern Massachusetts to watch and wait as the Wampanoag tribe makes its way through state and federal requirements of varying difficulty, and with varying ...and more »

 CardPlayer.com New Hampshire House votes to kill casino gambling billWMUR ManchesterNew Hampshire's House stuck to a long tradition of opposing casino gambling Thursday and rejected a proposal to license one casino with up to 5,000 video slot machines and 150 table games. Related. Fire tears through Nottingham home · Manchester ...No dice: House kills casino gambling billNewHampshire.comNew Hampshire House kills casino gambling billSan Francisco ChronicleNH House kills casino gambling billWCAXConcord Monitorall 200 news articles »

 Lexington Herald Leader Keren Henderson: Churchill Downs already embracing casino-gambling businessLexington Herald LeaderThe recent report that Churchill makes more money from casino gambling than horse racing highlights a shift that started 20 years ago and has ramped up in the last few years. This, in addition to owning one of the healthiest tracks in the United States.and more »

 Casino.Org News New Hampshire House Defeats Casino Gambling BillCasino.Org NewsWhen it comes to casino gambling, the house always wins. But in some cases, that doesn't necessarily refer to the casino itself. New Hampshire's House of Representatives voted down a bill that would have allowed the state to license a single casino in ...Garry Rayno's State House Dome: 1 down, 2 to goThe Union LeaderRockingham Park future in doubt with N.H. House casino voteEagle-TribuneBill for one casino in NH goes down, but having two casinos still aliveNashua Telegraphall 6 news articles »

 Saratoga Springs council takes stand against casino gambling expansionKingston Daily FreemanSARATOGA SPRINGS >> The Saratoga Springs City Council has unanimously approved a resolution opposing the expansion of casino gambling in the city known for its historic thoroughbred racetrack. About 300 people attended Tuesday's vote on the ...Council votes 'no' on casino gambling in SaratogaWall Street JournalCasino gambling opposed in Saratoga City Council voteWXXAall 63 news articles »

 The State Casino Gambling Key To Survival For 2 Mass. TracksCBS LocalBOSTON (AP) â€” By any measure, horse racing has been in marked decline for years in Massachusetts, leaving operators of the state's two tracks eyeing casino gambling as their last, best hope for survival. WBZ NewsRadio 1030â€²s Kim Tunnicliffe reports.Casino gambling key to survival for tracks at Suffolk Downs, Plainridge ...MassLive.comCasino gambling key to survival for 2 tracksWWLP 22Newsall 233 news articles »

 Nebraska casino gambling proposal falls by waysideSioux City JournalSOUTH SIOUX CITY | A legislative measure that would have allowed Nebraska voters to approve casino gambling appears to be sidelined for this year. The Legislature's General Affairs Committee opted not to take action on the proposed constitutional ...and more »

 Casino gambling fight far from overColumbus TelegramPat Loontjer was elated when talking about the most recent attempt to add casino gambling in Nebraska. The executive director of Gambling with the Good Life has battled numerous attempts to expand the state's gambling options since the organization ...and more »

 Philly.com North, South Jersey split on expanding casino gamblingPress of Atlantic CityThe head of a state Assembly committee pushing for gambling expansion in North Jersey attacked Atlantic City on Thursday, saying greedy casino executives have ruined the resort and are looking for a state bailout. Meanwhile, two South Jersey lawmakers ...Lawmakers push to consider casino gambling in the MeadowlandsThe Hudson ReporterNew Jersey wants to study whether to expand casino gambling to the ...Daily JournalNJ eyes panel to study casino at MeadowlandsAsbury Park PressVineland Daily Journal -Orlando Sentinelall 113 news articles »

 Local 10 Trigaux: Can 'Pushing Luck' film stem new push for casino gambling?Tampabay.comThe short film Pushing Luck was created to denounce ongoing efforts to bring Las Vegas-style casino gambling to Florida. It premiered Wednesday evening in Tampa's Hyde Park after first being shown last month in Tallahassee to select political leaders.Casinos: America's New Senior CenterPR Web (press release)all 109 news articles »

Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us