What Is a Good Running Count in Blackjack?

Blackjack is a popular casino game that requires both skill and luck. One of the key strategies in blackjack is keeping track of the running count.

The running count is a simple system used by players to determine the likelihood of certain cards being drawn from the deck. But what exactly is a good running count in blackjack? In this article, we’ll explore the concept of running count, how it works, and what makes a good running count.

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Firstly, let’s define what a running count is. A running count is a method used to keep track of how many high-value cards (10s and Aces) remain in the deck during gameplay. This information helps players make more informed decisions on whether to hit or stand, increasing their chances of winning.

To calculate the running count, players assign values to each card that is dealt. Low-value cards (2-6) are given a value of +1 while high-value cards (10s and Aces) are given a value of -1. Cards with a value of 7-9 are neutral and do not affect the running count.

As each card is dealt, players keep track by adding or subtracting its assigned value from the current total. For example, if the first three cards dealt are 2, 10 and Ace respectively, then the initial running count would be +0 (1 for 2 and -1 for both 10 and Ace).

PRO TIP:When playing Blackjack, the running count is a tally of the point values of each card that has been dealt. A good running count is one that is as close to 0 as possible. This means that the proportion of low cards to high cards has been evened out, which gives the player an optimal advantage when playing.

Now that we understand what a running count is let’s discuss what makes a good one. Ideally, you want to have a high positive number as your running count as this means there are more high-value cards remaining in the deck which increases your chances of hitting blackjack or getting closer to 21 without busting.

A good starting point for a positive running count would be +4 or higher. Once you reach this level you can start increasing your bets as there’s an increased likelihood that you’ll be dealt a high-value card. However, it’s important to remember that a high running count doesn’t guarantee a win and the outcome of each hand is still influenced by luck.

On the other hand, a negative running count means that there are more low-value cards remaining in the deck. In this scenario, players may want to reduce their bets as their chances of hitting blackjack or getting close to 21 are lower. A good rule of thumb for a negative running count is -4 or lower.

It’s important to note that a good running count is relative and may differ from one player to another. Factors such as the number of decks used in the game, the skill level of other players at the table, and how many cards have already been dealt can all influence what constitutes as a good running count.

In conclusion, understanding and keeping track of the running count is an essential strategy in blackjack. A good running count is one that gives you an advantage in predicting what cards are likely to be drawn next.

A positive running count indicates more high-value cards remaining in the deck while a negative running count indicates more low-value cards remaining. While there’s no hard and fast rule on what constitutes as a good running count, aiming for +4 or higher for positive counts and -4 or lower for negative counts can be a good starting point. But remember, luck plays a significant role in determining the outcome of each hand so always gamble responsibly!