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Counting Cards with Chips in Blackjack Shuffle Tracking

How to Count Cards while shuffle tracking

The blackjack player should always keep in mind that shuffle tracking, as well as all other advantage gambling techniques, are "underground" activities. You do not want anyone - especially the casino - to know what you are doing. Therefore all your moves must be cleverly disguised.

In shuffle tracking, you need to keep a record of three factors:

- the current "live" count - the count of each deck played - the count of decks not yet played

The live count is better known as the running count, and it is the total count of all cards dealt regardless of how many decks are used. So whether it is a four-deck or six-deck game, this is always the total count of all cards that have been dealt.

A card counter can judge by eye when a deck has been used up. When you know the dealer is through with one deck, you must record the running count up to that point since that tells you what the deck's individual count is. You will continue the running count on to the next deck and also record that deck's count separately.

As for the third factor, the decks not yet played: Its count is always the exact complement or opposite of the running count. If the running count is +8, the unplayed cards have to be -8 using the Hi/Lo system.

Counting Cards with Chips

Now how do you count all these without being noticed? Use playing chips. A shuffle tracking expert has four groups of chips: betting chips (for wagering), running count chips, used decks chips and unplayed decks chips.

To disguise your card counting, use chip colors and direction as a code for your counts. It is up to you to devise a code of your own. For instance, you can use red chips for a negative count and green chips for a positive count. You can use the clock direction for the count, as in one o'clock for 1, two o'clock for 2 and so on up to 12. For 0, you can use a white chip.

So for example: A green chip pointing at eight o'clock would signify a +8 count, and a red chip at three o'clock would be a -3 count and so on. A white chip in any direction would be a 0 count.

Your betting chips are in front of you. Put your counting chips near them to avoid suspicion. Your running should be nearest you, and your used decks count beside it. Each used deck will be represented by one chip. Put one deck's chip on top of another as they are dealt like this:


We will show you how to use this technique in a further lesson. For now work out a code using your chips that can substitute for actual counting. Remember you must never let the casino staff suspect you of card counting. It is not illegal, but as it gives the player an advantage, the casinos will do anything to keep card counters away.