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Blackjack Cheats

While swapping out a 10,5 hand for a 10,9 or 10,10 hand is certainly a good way to win at Blackjack the vast majority of Blackjack tables found in casino's today do not let the player touch the cards and you can be assured that the tables that allow the player to hold the cards have specially trained dealers to spot a cheat and security will have lots of eyes on the table to prevent cheating. With card cheating techniques all but eliminated from the Blackjack table the only answer left is to use strategy to cheat the casino. By using Basic Strategy you can shave the house edge down, but by counting cards you can turn the house edge on it's ears and turn it into a players edge, thus cheating the casino out of it's money. While card counting is legally not cheating, all the casinos view it as such and do everything in their power to prevent a card counter from playing Blackjack in their casino. The most famous card counting event in the past 50 years is the MIT Card Counting team that cheated Vegas casinos out of millions of dollars and comps.
Another method cheating at Blackjack is to be in collusion with the dealer. The dealer can use all the card cheat techniques that were discussed on the poker page because they are the only ones allowed to touch the cards.

Dealer Collusion

Back in Las Vegas's heyday when the mob ran the town this method of cheating was more often to happen then it would now. There are stories told by players that remember certain players stepping up to a Blackjack table and going on a winning streak with the dealer loosing every hand, as soon as that player walked away from the table with their winnings the dealer started winning again. With numerous stories like this it is not hard to imagine the dealer rigging the deal do that this player wins a number of hands and then when they leave the rigging of the deal stops. Whether this player was a member of the mob or someone that a boss was trying to impress it speaks to the potential a dealer has to alter the put come of a game. Today a dealer who does this is likely to get caught either by a pit boss or an electronic eye that watches every dealer and table in a casino. However this does stop some people from trying.

Basic Strategy

Basic Strategy is the first Blackjack cheat that most Blackjack players are introduced to and it is one that will have the most impact on anyone wanting to make the most of their time at the Blackjack table.

Learning Basic Strategy is very easy and requires no special tricks like counting cards all you need to do is memorize some basic rules and steps.

Using Basic Strategy involves a three step process.
  1. Determine what cards you are in your hand
  2. Determine the dealer's up card
  3. Using Basic Strategy determine the correct action to take.

In Blackjack like any other casino game the casino or the house has a built in advantage over the player. It is this advantage that allows the casino to make money and stay in business. Blackjack's advantage can be affected by different rules like the number of decks being used, can the dealer hit on a soft 17? The number one mistake made by new players is that they assume that if they use the same rules as the dealer they will have an equal chance of winning as the dealer. Unfortunately this is not the case for a simple reason, the player must finish their hand before the dealer starts playing their hand. This means if the player has a twenty and the dealer get a twenty no one wins but if the player busts and the dealer bust the player still loses their money because it's taken as soon as the player bust, before the dealer even starts their hand. This simple rules gives a house a general advantage of about 5.5%.

The idea of Basic Strategy comes from the basic fact that in a deck of cards there are 16 cards out of 52 that have a value of 10. This means that there are more 10 valued cards than any other value of cards in a deck of cards. Knowing that there are more tens in a deck of cards means that we can assume that the dealers hole card is a ten. This may seem wrong but it has been proven time and again that in the long run this is the correct action to take. With this assumption we can determine which hands the dealer is likely to bust with and which the dealer is going to have a strong hand.

Busted Hands Hands that a dealer is more likely to bust with are ones in which the upcard is a two, three, four, five or six. With the assumption the dealer has a hole card of 10 the dealer must hit all of these hands and these hands can all bust with a single card.

 - The correct action for a player is to avoid busting

Strong Hand If the dealers upcard is a seven or higher it is assumed the dealer has a strong hand and won't be hitting. Trying to beat a 17, 18, 19, 20 or even a 21 is going to be difficult and will require the player to be aggressive.

 - The correct action is for the player to be aggressive and get as close to 21 as possible.

The above rules are the basis on which Basic Strategy is built. There are more specific rules that will help you cut your losses even further and provide more guidance as to when to hit and when to stand.
  1. Always hit a hand that is less than 12. It is impossible to bust a hand that is 11 or less and you could turn a weak hand into a winner.
  2. If the dealer is showing a 7 or higher and your hand is 17 or higher do not hit. The chance of busting is pretty high, always stand in this situation
  3. If the dealer is showing a 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 and your hand is a 12 through 16 always stand. This weak hand will still win when the dealer busts.
  4. This is an exception to rule 3. If the dealer is showing a 2 or 3 and your hand contains a 12 hit.
  5. If the dealer's hand is a seven or higher and you hand is a 12 through 16 always hit. The Dealer like already has a better hand than you and you can only improve yours by hitting.
Having an soft Ace changes all these rules and depending on the dealers hand you may want to take a chance and hit to improve your hand.

Armed with these rules you can start to turn the tables on the casino. You may not walk away from the Blackjack table with a fortune in chips but these rules could allow you to play longer and earn more comps from the casino and still have money in your pocket.

Card Counting

As far as any casino is concerned Counting Cards is cheating. The reason for this? A skilled Card Counter or Counting Team can take millions from the casino and the casino can do very little about it. A game that once favored the house can suddenly favor the player.

The biggest mistake player make about card counting is that you literally count the number of and type of cards that have been played. This assumption keeps many people from even learning about card counting, who wouldn't be put off by a system that needed you to know how many 2's 6's and 10's had already been played. Thankfully Card counting has nothing to do with tracking cards that have been played, but keeping track of the ratio of high to low cards remaining undealt in the deck. If you know that the deck contains more high cards than low cards you have an advantage over the house because you know your chances of being dealt a Blackjack are now higher. with Blackjack's being paid out at 3 to 2 it doesn't take a genius to figure out that increasing your bet makes sense.

Not only does counting cards let you know when a Blackjack is more likely to be dealt is also lets you know that a dealer is more likely to bust a hand meaning you can double down with greater confidence.

Now you may think that even tracking the ratio of high to low cards is still something that is not easy to accomplish. Learning to count cards is actually the easy part, the hard part is dealing with all the distractions a casino has to offer and making it look like your not counting cards. If a dealer. bit boss, floor manager or security personnel thinks you are counting cards the will take a few steps to prevent you from counting.
  • The first is action taken might be the pit boss coming over and engaging you in a conversation, offer you comps to distract you from your count.
  • The casino may offer or ask you to play a different casino game.
  • The casino may ask you to stop playing blackjack at this table or any table.
  • The casino may ask you to leave the casino. Yes they can do this, the casino is private property and they can barr anyone they like.
Now that you know the basics behind card counting and what could happen if you count lets learn this amazing Blackjack cheat.

You will want to start a count with a fresh deck of cards. A fresh deck of cards is a zero (0) and as cards are dealt you add one (+1) or subtract one (-1) to the counts total. Using this total you will either increase or decrease your wagers.

Micheal Shackleford (also known as "The Wizard of Odds") developed a simple counting system called the 'Wizard's Ace Five Count'. Like other counting systems you start at zero (0) and when an Ace is dealt you subtract one (-1) from your total and when a five (5) is dealt you add one (+1) to your count. After the first hand you will have a running total with which to use to adjust your wagers. If your count is Zero (0) or negative you keep your wager at one (1) unit. If the count is positive you increase your wager to two (2) units times the number of the count. So if the count is +1 you would wager two (2) units, with a count of +2 you would wager four (4) units.

To be most effective this cheat should be used at a table that has the dealer standing on soft 17, late surrender is allowed as is splitting aces, and six (6) decks are being used. This cheat will give you an advantage of about 0.22%. This might not seem like a lot considering the house usually has an advantage around 5.5% but when you combine this player (not house) advantage and comps offered to players you will certainly be cheating the casino.

The Wizard's Ace Five Count system is very easy to learn and use effectively with very little practice. There are other more complex systems out there that offer a greater advantage to the player but they are more difficult to use and require more practice and concentration to use.

One important thing to remember is that there are lots of casinos to play at so why not give this cheat a try.
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