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Card Counting - How Much Can You Make?

By: Devon Eleven, 07/26/2012

There are few subjects in the world of gambling that are as intriguing as that of beating the blackjack odds. The game is a mathematical exercise, in a different way then, say, poker is, in the sense that there is a right and wrong way to play hands. There is a house edge, and a way to beat that house edge. That way is to utilize the card count.

There are different blackjack strategies that make use of a card count. They carry differing degrees of strength, all yielding certain advantages against the blackjack odds. They all require a tremendous amount of work and preparation in order to implement effectively. They aren't always effective when it comes to playing blackjack online, but in the land-based casino, you can make it work easier. 

Some people are under the impression that because someone might have an edge over the house by being able to play card counting blackjack strategies, anyone who can do it is rich. But that is certainly not the case. In fact, for most people who do it alone (that is to say, not in conjunction with a team), it is a grind. 

The advantage you're going to have over the casino with blackjack strategies centered around card counting will yield something in the neighborhood of 1.5%. That is a long-run edge, but it has to be developed very carefully. 

The one thing you certainly have to remember about card counting is that when we talk about an advantage in the blackjack odds, it is something that works on every hand. And it can calculated into a formula that could supply you with an expectation as to how much money you can make. 

The earnings potential itself does not depend so much on how much of an edge you have over the house as much as it does on the bankroll that you are bringing to your playing sessions, along with the kind of table conditions you can get. 

This is what we mean; you have to have an average bet that is high enough that it can make it worth your while to implement the strategy. If you're playing a few dollars a hand, you'll have fun, and you'll prove yourself to be skillful, but it won't be a bonanza. 

You must also be able to play enough hands during the course of an hour. What kind of table can you find?: That's a factor, because you will make more money at a table where you are able to play 100 hands an hour than one where you are playing just 60. When it comes to blackjack online; well, that can be a little different. 

The formula takes the advantage you have, times the average bet, times the number of hands you can play per hour. Therefore, if you are betting $10 per hand, and can play 80 hands an hour, your expectation of earnings would be the following:

.015 (advantage) x 10 (average bet) x 80 (hands per hour) = $12

That's right; you can expect to make $12 per hour under these circumstances. If you could play $100 per hand, you could make $120 per hour. 

So card counting in blackjack is not the kind of thing that is going to make you wealthy, unless you are going to take a big bankroll into the casino.

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