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Poker Tips - Card Counting

Although card counting for Poker is an excellent skill, it is not as difficult as one might imagine. Once mastered, you will not be able to state exactly what the next card is in the pack, however you will have an idea of the most likely value of card to come next, and indeed whether the odds are in your favour to bet high.

There are two ways of counting cards that are covered on this site, "The High-Low System", and The Poker Tips "Easy Method". Should you wish to merely try your hand at card counting for Poker then we would suggest you look only at the "Easy Method" below, but if you are serious about making money through playing Poker then we strongly recommend you use the "High-Low System".

The Poker Tips Card Counting "Easy Method"

Basically Card Counting works because the player gains an advantage when a deck has a shortage of cards valued two to eight. When a deck has a shortage of cards valued nine, ten, and Ace, the player is at a disadvantage. If you can tell when the deck is rich in nines, tens and Aces you can do one of the following things:

  • Bet more money when the deck is favorable to you
  • Adjust your basic strategy play to account for the favorability, thereby increasing the odds of winning a particular hand.
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Figure 1 - The Easy Method

In Figure 1, above, you can see the value of the cards set out in the middle row, from two to Ace, left to right. Above each card is there value, using the Easy Method, showing that for example a two would be worth PLUS one, a seven ZERO, and a ten card to be MINUS one.

There are 52 cards in a single pack, and this is the breakdown of their worth in the Easy Method;

  • +1 = Cards Two to Six. Total 20(four suits with five cards in each)
  • 0 = Cards Seven to Nine. Total 12 (four suits with three cards in each)
  • -1 = Cards Ten to Ace. Total 20 (four suits with five cards in each)

When using the Poker Tips "Easy Method" you should wait until the cards are shuffled to begin with a "clean" pack prior to starting.

The key to this system is to look for extremes. The absence or predominance of exposed high cards is easily noticeable by casual observation. Often you will play several hands where the mix of face cards and low value cards are relatively even. But when you see a noticeable absence of high value cards you should increase your next wager, so if your running total using this method is quite high then the odds are most in your favour to do well against the casino.

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