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Online Counting with Playing Conditions

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Savvy players always familiarize themselves with the playing conditions a given table has to offer before they take a seat. We have heard some counters argue they play subpar games for lack of choice as there are no casinos with friendlier conditions in their vicinity.

However, we consider this a flimsy excuse as the main (or should we say the “only”) purpose of card counters is to generate positive expected value.

If the conditions in your local casinos prevent you from doing this, you will be better off not playing at all. Otherwise you are just throwing your money away with both hands. Smart players will never settle for the rules we list below:

  • No doubling after splitting pairs
  • No doubling on soft hands
  • Doubling only on two-card totals of 9, 10, and 11
  • Splitting only once to a maximum of two hands
  • The dealer hits soft 17 rather than standing
  • Even money payouts for blackjacks
  • 6 to 5 payouts for blackjacks
  • Insufficient shoe penetration

If you play multiple-deck games, you should never bother with tables where the dealer does not give you a deep enough penetration. Avoid games where the cut-card penetration is 50% or less as you will only be wasting your time and money. You need a combination of friendly enough rules and a shoe penetration of at least 75% to count multi-deck games efficiently.

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