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Card Counting in an Online Casino: Is It Even Possible?

Imagine beating the odds and theoretically guaranteeing a win every time. This is something that card counting makes possible.

We already know that many have made millions using card counting techniques, but can these be employed in a legit online casino in the Philippines? Keep reading as we deep dive into that topic.

Casino playing cards

What Is Card Counting?

The basis of card counting is statistics. This strategy involves keeping track of which cards have already been drawn and which ones are still in the deck. In doing so, you’re able to make informed decisions about what your next move should be.

Part of card counting is creating a system by which you increase or decrease your wager. It also works under the premise that you have already mastered the game.

Card Counting in Various Casino Games

Even though the concept of card counting is most popularly associated with Blackjack, its applicability doesn’t end there. Strategies based on this can be used in many casino games.

This will be the focus of our discussion in the following subsections. We’re also going to touch on the practicality of counting cards in these scenarios.

Blackjack cards

Blackjack Card Counting

Blackjack is the obvious choice for card counters because everyone sees everyone else’s cards. This allows you to track the value of the cards remaining on the deck more easily. A Blackjack card counting strategy also works well in generating huge wins because the house edge is already so low. Therefore, it’s easier to switch things in your favor and beat the dealer.

So, what techniques can be used to win big at Blackjack? These are the most popular strategies out there:

  • KO Card Counting. Cards are assigned a value of +1, 0, or 1, and a running count is maintained by adding or subtracting based on the value assigned. If it’s high, they will bet high. Then, the bets will be lower when it’s low.
  • Hi Lo Card Counting. This is a more complicated version of KO. The value and running count are determined in the same ways. But here, there’s something called the true count, calculated as the running count divided by the estimated number of decks left.

Team strategies also make things more exciting, helping players get bigger wins. There’s even a tactic called Wonging, where someone watches multiple tables so other members of the team can join when one of them is hot.

Like everywhere else, if you want to play Blackjack in the Philippines, the rules of the game are the same. Therefore, the strategies mentioned may be applied here as well.

Baccarat cards

Baccarat Card Counting

Do you want to play Baccarat online in the Philippines? In this game, card counting is much simpler. You don’t even need to remember the cards from the deck. However, there’s one key rule here: you should join a table just before they start with a fresh set of decks.

From there, it’s just simple addition and subtraction. You add one to the count for every 1, 2, or 3. Two is added for each 4. If it’s 5, 7, or 8, subtract one from the count. Meanwhile, a 6 means subtracting two. 9 to King are worth zero.

In this strategy, the tie is disregarded because it’s not very likely to happen. If the count is high, you should bet on the player. But if it’s low, bet on the banker.

This is the most simple strategy for Baccarat. There are others; the main difference is whether you add or subtract to the count.

Another distinct technique is John May’s, which is focused on the tie bet. Here, you simply add 1 to the count for every odd number dealt. Then, once the count reaches 160, bet on a tie. The logic behind this is that without odd numbers, there are only five possible hand totals, which in turn increases the odds of a tie to 62%.

Poker cards

Poker Card Counting

If you always have fun with online poker in a casino, card counting can make things even more fun with higher odds of winning. It’s harder here since not all cards are shown, meaning you’re working with less information.

However, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Various card-counting techniques will apply depending on the version of the game you’re playing.

  • Stud Versions. Here, only one of the cards is facing up. So, the best you can do is count the discarded cards and keep track of what has been dealt already.
  • Hold ‘Em and Omaha. There are even fewer cards to work on here, but card counting can still be implemented if you take into account every little bit of information you have. For example, let’s say the flop is 3, 4, and 5. Since you have a pair of sixes, it will be less likely for your opponent to get a straight.

Unlike when playing games where all cards are dealt face up, what card counting Poker players can’t do is improve their odds. They’re just playing the most efficient way possible to limit the house edge.

Can Card Counting Be Done in an Online Casino? These Factors May Prevent You from Pulling It Off

We’ve already seen players pull off card counting and massively profit from it. However, the strategies that work may not generate the same results for playing online due to the reasons discussed in the following subsections.

Online Casinos May Be Outright Preventing It

When you sign up for an online casino, you agree to the terms and conditions for using the platform. One of the most common things that you’ll see is how you can’t use advantage play techniques, like card counting.

So, if you’re caught doing that, your account may be suspended. They may also hold your winnings.

You’re Playing an RNG Game

With RNG games, there are no cards to keep track of. Here, the outcome of each round is determined by a random number generator.

Many strategies are also based on being there when the decks are fresh or when the table is hot. With an RNG game, these things will be impossible to tell.

They May Be Using a Detection Algorithm

Online casinos are in the business of keeping their money, and they’re going to do what they can to make sure it stays that way. Any suspicious activity can be detected by an algorithm, which may prevent you from further playing the game.

What happens after depends on what’s written in the terms and conditions. Your winnings may be frozen, and your account may be banned.

The Developer May Incorporate Features into the Game to Prevent Card Counting

Here are a few things that may be done:

  • Use a continuous shuffling machine. A continuous shuffling machine does just that - continuously shuffle the cards, so it will be impossible for card counters to keep track of them. This is usually used for live dealer games.
  • Make every round go faster. With things happening so fast, it will be harder to accurately keep count while also making sure you’re making the right bets.
  • Use multiple decks per table. More decks mean more cards to memorize. It also diminishes the overall effectiveness of card counting because each card drawn has a smaller effect on probabilities.

Is Card Counting Illegal? No, But You’re Taking a Huge Risk!

Card counting is not illegal. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear. As mentioned in the previous section, online casinos, and game developers employ measures to prevent players from counting cards. Even though you’ll not face any legal action for doing it, you may be prevented from playing. Your casino account may even be blocked altogether.

Therefore, we invite you to approach the issue this way: what’s the point of winning big if you won’t be able to claim your money anyway? Before you try card counting, look into the terms and conditions of your online casino as well as the game developer.

Demetris Jast

Author: Demetris Jast
  • 55 articles

Demetris is a game designer from Dumaguete in the Philippines. He is passionate about painting and literature. He’s self-motivated and ambitious. One of Demetris’ hobbies is studying French; he’s reached a conversational level. His vision is to create award-winning games and become one of the best game designers in the world.

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