Card counting is one of the most popular strategies that have been used by gamblers in card table games. In poker, it will help you gain an edge over the house or other players, by following what cards were dealt and which have to be dealt, which can be a little bit more complex.
It’s hard to implement a card counting strategy in poker, as in most variations of the game, you cannot see all the cards that are dealt. Still, there are some techniques that can help you in succeeding with using this poker strategy, so let’s see some of them.
Strategies of Card Counting in Poker
There are a few main types of card counting strategies that you can use for poker playing. They happen to be very similar, but the techniques make them so different.
Multi-level counting involves keeping track of multiple card values at the same time. Instead of just tracking high or low cards, multi-level counting assigns different values to different cards based on how likely they are to improve your hand.
Multi-level counting can help you draw for poker tables where multiple decks are used or in drawing poker games.
Shuffle tracking is another great technique, which is all about following the shuffle to predict where certain cards might end on the deck. To successfully implement shuffle tracking, you have to always pay attention to how the deck is shuffled before each round.
Hole carding is a counting system that consists of following other players’ face-down cards to predict what they might have during the next rounds.
The only poker variations in which hole carding can help you are the ones in which the opponent’s cards are face up.
Techniques of Card Counting in Poker
Conversion is another great technique, which involves converting the running count into a true count.
This can be done by dividing the running count by the number of decks left in play. It can be quite easier for you to predict which cards are going to be dealt in the next hands.
Bet spreading is a technique which is about varying the size of bets based on the count. When the count is high, you will increase your bet to take advantage of the favorable conditions. But, when the count is low, you will have to decrease the bet.
Is Poker Card Counting Legal?
Card counting is a legal strategy on many online casino sites. It is not considered cheating, as card counting requires you to use a skill for advantage rather than manipulating the game itself. However, some casinos may not allow this strategy, as it clearly gives you an edge over the house.
The legal status of card counting in poker can vary depending on your region as well. In US casino sites, the chance of being punished is higher than in European casinos. But, still, there is no guarantee that you will not get punished for using any technique to manipulate the game.
The legality of card counting can also depend on the selected poker table and the casino. On any tables where players have incomplete information about the cards in play, such as Texas Hold'em, card counting may be less effective and less likely to be prohibited. However, in games where players have more information about the cards, such as Stud or Omaha, this strategy can be very helpful and casinos usually will not allow it.
It is important to follow the rules and regulations of the casino or poker room you play at, as if you don’t, you may get your account banned. One of the most common ways for casinos to punish illegal card counting is to limit your account and ask you to stop doing that.
Card counting in poker can give you an edge not only over your opponents but over the casino as well, so there are many players that still rely on this way of playing.
Multi-level counting, shuffle tracking, and hole carding are all strategies that can be used to help you predict what cards can be dealt in the future.
True count, conversion, and bet spreading are card-counting techniques that can also help you make predictions of which cards are going to be dealt, but more accurately.
About the author
Tendai Moyo, a spirited Zimbabwean linguist, combines her rich cultural heritage with an astute understanding of gaming. As a master in English content localization, she tailors online casino guides to the pulse and preferences of Zimbabwean enthusiasts.