Here's Why Card Counting Wastes Your Time

It’s great in Hollywood movies, but is card counting still a viable blackjack strategy in the real world? We do not think so. Unfortunately, even the most skilled card counter will struggle to reap the rewards of their expertise. Due in-part to advancements in technology and the ever-increasing popularity of online casinos in 2021, counting cards has become extremely difficult and perhaps impossible. Here are the reasons why.

Continuous Shuffling Machines

Can card counting beat a continuous shuffling machine (CSM)? Although there are still casinos out there which will offer blackjack games with a blackjack shoe, many of them now utilize CSMs. When playing blackjack at a casino, the dealer will deal from a CSM which does exactly what its name suggests. However, after each round, the dealer will place all dealt and played cards into a discard pile. Witnessing exactly which cards have been sent to the discard pile gives card counters a perfect opportunity. However, after approximately every 2-4 rounds, the dealer will place all of the cards in the discard pile back into the CSM. With casinos using at least six decks of cards in a single blackjack CSM, this makes card counting tough as you are never getting high counts. At best, you will only get a single deck's worth of cards in the discard pile before the cards are shuffled back into the CSM. Although a skilled counter may be able to remember the number of cards in the discard pile and use it to his advantage, the edge he gains will be minimal.

Casinos use 8+ Decks of Cards

Even when you are playing a blackjack game which does not use a continuous shuffling machine, the casino will still use a minimum of eight decks in a blackjack shoe to ensure card counting is all but impossible. Eight decks ensures that the casinos do not deal deep into the shoe. Even if the table is full and a whole deck of cards have already been dealt, card counting will still not be an exact science as seven decks will remain.

Card Counting When Playing Online

If anyone tells you that they are a winning online blackjack player thanks to their skills in card counting, they would have a skewed perception. Online blackjack almost always uses eight decks of cards. Furthermore, the cards you see on the screen are simulations and are dealt from a machine which utilizes software which works on the same basis as a random number generator. This means that you will not be able to find any patterns in the cards. In addition, the decks are reshuffled after every hand, no discard piles here, which makes the prospect of counting cards in online blackjack impossible.

You may believe playing live blackjack online will offer you an opportunity to use your card counting skills, but you would be mistaken. Online casinos are well-aware of the prospect of card counters playing their games, which is why the live dealers reshuffle the decks often, extremely often. As a greater number of hands are dealt without a reshuffle, skilled card counters will be able to take advantage. However, a reshuffle will take place before even one deck of a likely eight has been exhausted. This will seriously cut into any effectiveness of card counting.


We hope that you now know a little bit more about counting cards and why it may not be worth doing when playing Blackjack in 2021. When you’re playing blackjack online, our advice would be to stick to the basic blackjack strategy which will give you the best chance of winning.