Blackjack Card Counting has become quite famous of late because of the new hit movie 21 being released, portraying the true story of a group of MIT students who devised a way of counting cards that was not only very effective, but also easy enough for the average human being like you or me to learn.
Counting cards is based on the principle that because the casino is using five decks of cards at the blackjack table and continues to use that same five decks constantly, if you can remember the location of all the cards — or even key cards — you’ll be able to figure out what cards are coming up next in order to place smarter bets.
So how does blackjack card counting work exactly? In short, you have to have some kind of ability to remember where certain cards are in the deck. Now short of being a mathematical genius or someone with an absolutely photographic memory, you need a method of learning how to do this. These are not card counting secrets at all, merely ways of embedding the locations of these cards into your memory; commonly called ‘memory anchoring’.
Without even knowing it, we all inadvertently anchor things in our memory almost every day. For example, is there a certain smell that triggers a certain memory to appear in your mind? Or it could be whenever you hear a certain song it brings back thoughts of a time or place in your past that has connections to it. This is exactly how memory anchoring works.
When you’re thinking about memory anchoring in this aspect, it’s generally being imprinted by our subconscious mind without us even realising it, or even wanting it to happen. So, what we need to do is to find a way of using memory anchoring in the short term to remember cards in the blackjack deck.
Before I go any further, let me stress that you don’t need to remember every card in the deck, only critical cards which will make or break your hand; these are the Ace, King, Queen, Jack and Ten cards. If you know the location of these cards it won’t guarantee you’ll win every hand, however you will have an enormous advantage over the casino and every other player at the table, ensuring you’ll be up hundreds or thousands of dollars at the end of each betting session.
There are many ways of using this memory anchoring, however one of the better ones is by associating each card to a certain ‘place’ in your mind. For example, you could create a house in your mind, and each room of the house has the symbol of a certain card over each door. You could have a King room, Ace room and so on. For this to work, you also need to remember the which card came before it.
Say that the Jack of Hearts comes up in the deck and the card that came right before it was the Eight of Diamonds. In your mind you would walk into the Jack room, and place an Eight of Diamonds — or to make it even easier just a red Eight or even just an Eight — next to the Jack of Hearts. While you’re doing this in your mind, you would focus on the room and the cards very deeply for several seconds, basically
this in your mind.
You’d be surprised how well this method actually works, however I have to admit this isn’t the exact method devised by the MIT students portrayed in the movie 21. For their card counting secrets, you’ll have to do a little searching for it online, but don’t worry, you shouldn’t have to look very far!