Strategy 2 Game Guide

Poker Card Counting


Poker Card Counting Can you Count Cards in Poker

Some people believe poker card counting is a viable strategy. These are the same people who think Elvis is still alive.

Poker card counting it's not just Blackjack any more

When I first heard about card counting in poker, I thought the person I was talking to was trying to pull my leg. You have to understand, he's a good friend of mine and we do joke around a lot. Apart from playing poker together, we also drink together a lot you get the idea.

So when he told me that he had just bought a poker card counting system from a website that apparently gave you a significant edge, I assumed he was yanking my chain.

I mean, we have all heard of card counting in Blackjack. With that game, there's a real purpose behind card counting because the central weakness of the game, and the factor that gives it the reputation as being the one casino game where you can beat the house is that it has a memory. There is a progression of cards from one hand to the next in Blackjack.

How it works in Blackjack

When you apply card counting to blackjack, the aim of the game is to memorise the cards that you have seen. Because in Blackjack, you get to see all the cards both yours and the dealers in every hand. But the deck the dealer is using is never shuffled, except at the very beginning of the game.

This gives us a basis, as the game progresses, to be able to guess with far greater accuracy the point at which the deck is rich in high cards, or when it's full of useless rubbish. Knowing this makes you a better Blackjack player because you can begin to tell when it's a good time to bet high and when it's safe to hit again.

That's a handy skill, and so useful in improving your game that casinos will actually kick you out the door if they spot you doing it and if you're lucky you won't be taken past a shady back room first.

How it works in Poker

Simple it doesn't. You see, the crucially relevant difference between Poker and Blackjack is that in Blackjack, the deck is not re-shuffled after each hand. Cards are shuffled once, at the beginning of the game, and that's it.

But in Poker, there's a shuffle after each round, and all the cards go back into the deck. So anything you've memorised is instantly rendered null, void, and totally useless. What then is the purpose of learning poker card counting? What are you counting, exactly?

You haven't thought this through, have you?

The answer, sadly, is that there are many unscrupulous people on the Internet selling snake oil. The way in which poker works means that even to suggest that a poker card counting system could work shows a fundamental lack of knowledge about the game.

But it also shows that, like my idiot friend, there are people willing to pay actual money for anything they think will give them an edge. Trust me any site that tells you it'll sell you a poker card counting system is lying. No such system exists, nor could one ever exist. Stop kidding yourself and learn how to play.

Back to Top