The last strategy I want to introduce is card counting. It’s another strategy born in the 20th century, maybe the most famous card games strategy ever. Many people may know this specific technique from the famous movie Rain Man, used by Dustin Hoffman’s character Raymond Rabbit. People with such special talent isare quite persuasive to be able to use such special technique in real-time card games, however, card counting isn’t just super power, can be used by certain genius, it’s a fancy real gambling technique.
American mathematician Edward O. Thorp, some called the father of card counting. “He used early computers to examine whether keeping track of the cards could be lend itself to gaining an advantage over the game.” (Ofton, L, 2020) According to Ofton, he was able to gain a clear advantage over the game, which leads to the theory of card counting. “His conclusions, published in the book Beat the Dealer in 1962, marked the birth of card counting.
According to Card Counting Wiki, basicthe basic idea of card counting is to set up a system, assigning a positive, negative, and zero value to each card. Lower cards increase the count, increasing the percentage of high cards in the deck while high cards do the opposite thing. Due to this feature, different systems can be created for different levellevels of users. The system created by Edward O. Thorp, published in Beat the Dealer, the 10-count, is harder to use and less profitable than later systems.” (Card Counting Wiki) It cost him huge energy and calculation to use this “prototype” of card counting system
The later systems were mainly classified by the level of count. Briefly, levelthe level of count is decided by how many different types of numbers (counted by the absolute number, ignore 0) are using in this system. With highera higher level of count, the system supposesis supposed to be more efficient, but also harder to use.
For example, the level-1 count system, Hi-Lo system, only uses -1, 1 and 0 to do the counting, which means Hi-Lo system is easy for card counting beginners to use, but less precise. While level-2 count system, Hi-Opt II system, uses 2, 1, 0, -2 to do the counting, more difficult to use, but more accurate in calculating the situation than Hi-Lo system. A detailed table of some main counting systems, provided by card counting wiki, is presented in Figure 2.
Table of Card Counting systems
|Card Strategy||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10, J, Q, K||A||Level of count|
|Red 7||+1||+1||+1||+1||+1||0 or +1||0||0||−1||−1||1|
As long as understandingunderstand the system and concept of card counting, everyone can use it, of course after plenty of practice. But before you startingstart to practice using them, users should always remember that result given by this system provides an incomplete analysis to situation only. It doesn’t exactly tell you how much you should bet or what card you should play next. Also, it doesn’t give you the exact analysis due to the limitation of mental arithmetic. What it gives is a balance between detailed situation analysis and controllable amount of calculation. So, playerplayers still need to judge their next action by analysinganalyzing the given data again.