Card Counting – A Recipe For Success

There are many forms of gambling, but the one thing that most types of gambling have in common is that if you play long enough you will lose. That’s not debatable, it’s a fact.

Horse racing, sports betting and most casino games are examples. There are two exceptions that I know of, poker and blackjack. They are beatable over the long run with the correct information and training

Let’s look at the facts, in horse racing the track returns on average 85% on straight bets and as little as 65% on exotic bets like exactas, daily doubles, trifectas and superfectas. This is impossible to overcome. In sports betting the house has a built in edge of 10% on straight bets. While parlays, reverses, etc. have even worse odds. Casino games vary. Depending on the game the casinos edge can be unknown as in slot machines, just over 5% playing roulette, with baccarat and craps being about 2.5%.

Poker is another story; the house rake is up to 5% depending on the size of the pot and the casino. Since most pots are substantially more than the limit, the rake percentage will lower according to the excess in the pot limit. In poker the house doesn’t have an advantage. They provide an environment to play in and a dealer. For that service they rake, or take a percentage of, the pot, usually up to 5%. Most take up to 4%, with online casinos taking substantially less.

Poker is a beatable game that depends on skill and luck. Some statistics put winning poker players at about 5% of the poker playing population. My guess is, that stat is very close to the truth. There are many skills that can be learned to improve your poker prowess. But remember this; you never know who you are facing at the poker table. There could be players at the table that are much better than you. One or two players with more skill than you could spell disaster. Usually the level of play will dictate where the skills of the players lie. If you are in a $1-2 no limit game the skill level of the players is usually lower than playing in a $5-10 game. There are no hard and fast rules for raising or folding. If you don’t have good instinct in the situations that arise or if you don’t have a sense of how the opposition plays you will lose on a regular basis.

In the case of blackjack although the house advantage is about 2.5% if you learn basic strategy and use it without fail the house edge shrinks to 0.5%. Add to that a good, easy to learn card counting system and you can completely turn around the house advantage to where it’s now 1.5 to 2.5% in the players favor. To make it even better it doesn’t matter who is playing at your table. You’re not playing against them. You’re playing against the house.

Granted, there are different levels of competence involved in card counting, however any card counter can raise his/her skill level by practice. There are even devices that count for you and do it perfectly. They are illegal in a few states but are legal in most states and countries.

Combine perfect basic strategy with card counting, a good money management system, proper bankrolling and a few tips to keep from being detected by the casino and you’re in a position to extract money from the casinos on a regular basis.