The use of Bankroll and wagering influences card counting. A card counter must know when the odds favor him to raise his bet. A counter must have enough money to weather losing streaks. A statistical advantage is only visible over the long term. You can often lose in a short time, and you do.


Your Bankroll is the amount of money you have available to start playing blackjack. You must also have enough funds to sustain a losing streak. The Bankroll determines the minimum and maximum bet. Your total bankroll divided times 150 is the average minimum bet. A $3000 bankroll would require a $20 minimum wager. This amount is less than 1%. Set the minimum wager to 1% for a more aggressive stake. A $3000 bankroll will yield a $30 minimum wager.

Bet Spread

If the odds favor him, a card counter must increase his bet. If the odds are against him, he will raise his wager or leave the table. A typical 5-deck shoe requires a chance of 8x the minimum bet. You must wager enough to recover losses sustained while playing at the minimum table. I would enjoy seeing a 10-fold increase. Your maximum bet should be $200 if you place a minimum of $20.

Another popular wagering strategy is to place a bet proportional to the count. You would wager more on a +5 number than a +1 number. The number of decks you use will affect how much you can increase your minimum bet.

You should know that casinos’ spot card counters will watch the spread. Casinos will count suspect players’ cards and note whether he bets more on positive counts. If the casino identifies the player as a counter, the dealer may instruct the player to shuffle frequently, resetting the running count constantly and preventing him from gaining an advantage. This is important to remember when you are wagering. Large jumps in your wager can signal that the casino has detected.

I recommend the Red Seven and KO Count card count systems. These are simple systems, but they are also the easiest to learn. You lose some of your potential advantages by using a straightforward approach. A simple design that is correctly counted is better than an intricate system that is not. A simple procedure allows you to play fast-paced games and can let you play more hands per hour. Statistics are only as good as the time it takes to produce results. The more hands you play, the better.

What is the most straightforward system to use? This is the Wizard Ace/Five counting system. It is not challenging, whereas it is not for the faint-hearted. Any card counter must increase his wager when the odds favor him to beat the house. The spread is used to offset the accuracy loss. Spread is the difference between the minimum bet (played at a disadvantage) or the maximum wager (played at the full statistical advantage). Maximum bets on the Wizard Ace/Five count can reach 38 times the minimum. If you have a $10 minimum, you can wager up to $380 per hand. Also, you must have enough money to cover such a high spread.

Usually, card counters can be identified by the spread of their bets. You might think that an ample space of bets could make it easy to spot you as a counter. However, the Wizard Ace/Five system is so simple that you will unlikely be identified as a counter.

The Wizard Ace/Five also offers minimal benefit. Although the system can be used recreationally to earn comps for sustained play time, it will not provide much value beyond that.

What is the Wizard Ace/Five, then? This system only uses 2-point values. Each five-card hand is worth +1. Any ace is minus one. That’s it. The running count starts at 0. There is no accurate count, so the running count does not have to be divided by the remaining decks. You will only be looking for fives or aces. If you have a 75% penetration and are willing to stand on soft 17 or late surrender, as well as re-splitting Aces, you will be able to get a 0.22% advantage with the recommended spread.

Because the dealer will not hit a 16, it won’t bust the dealer with a five-card. It makes a 17 out of 12, so the five-card is essential. The five-card is therefore necessary. The player can benefit from the ace on one side. Authority and Shuffle tracking are used to track aces.

The painful bet spread. The minimum bet is on a zero or negative number. You bet twice the minimum number of running counts for a positive count. If you have a six-deck shoe, this could lead to a spread up to 38 times the minimum. Assuming all five cards (4 decks and six decks per hand) and no aces were used, 48 times the minimum bet (24 x 2) would be possible. In simulations with a billion hands, I’ve heard that the spread never increased beyond 38 times. It would help if you placed the correct distance to take advantage of the positive signal. Your edge is reduced by reducing the space of your bets. In the simulation, the average chance is between 2 and 3 times the minimum wager.