Many different systems exists for black jack, including systems for betting and systems for card counting. Before picking a system, it is important to carefully evaluate the entire situation. Different black jack tables have different rules, and even a small rule change may require an adjustment of the black jack strategy. Also, there is always a tradeoff between potential risk and potential reward.
Advanced black jack systems have a higher potential reward since they are more accurate, but their complexity also increases the risk of you making a costly mistake. Be honest with yourself and do not overestimate your ability to juggle multiple variables at the black jack table. One way of honing your skills is to play online for play money, although keep in mind that card counting is pretty useless online unless you visit a live casino online where real decks in a (non-shuffling) shoe are used, and live casinos will normally not accept play money. Despite this, playing blackjack for play money online can be a great way of making sure you know your selected black jack strategy by heart before you start wagering real money. Also, it is a good idea to start out with as small bets as possible when you begin using your black jack strategy for real-money play.
Examples of black jack systems for card counting
The Revere System
The Zen System
Knock-Out (including derivatives)
Unbalanced Counting Systems
If you're looking for a basic black jack system for card counting, Ace-Five and Hi-Lo are good choices, while the black jack player interested in more complex black jack systems might wish to take a closer look at advanced systems such as Wong Halves.
Black jack systems based on points
A vast majority of all black jack systems used for card counting assign a specific number of points to each card. A system can for instance assign negative values to cards that are considered good for the player and positive values to cards that are considered good for the dealer. This is a way for the player to know how “good” the shoe is for the player. The card counter will normally use the information to determine how much to bet on each hand. Advanced card counters can also use their black jack systems to determine issues such as whether or not to purchase insurance, if its a good idea to surrender their hand and if it is wise to deviate from basic black jack strategy.
The Ace-Five Black Jack System
The Ace-Five black jack system is one of the easiest card counting systems and a good start if you haven't counted cards before. There are of course plenty of black jack systems that would decrease the house edge more than the ace-five system, but they are trickier to employ and the risk of messing up is higher – especially if you are a beginner.
The Ace-Five system focuses your attention on aces and fives. Several different varieties of this system exist but they all have that in common – aces and fives are what you should be looking out for. In blackjack, aces are considered ideal for the player while fives are shunned.
You start with zero points. Every time an ace appears, you subtract 1. Every time you see a five, you add 1. The higher you get, the better for the player are the remaining in cards in the shoe. When the count reaches +2, most players will double their bet. When the number decreases, you reduce your bets or stop playing.
The ace-five black jack system is normally used together with basic blackjack strategy (to know when to stop, hit, double, split, etc).