10 Count Blackjack Card Counting System

One of the first Blackjack card counting systems developed for use by the casual player was the 10 Count system, originally designed by Ed Thorp, a mathematics professor at UCLA and MIT. Thorp introduced this system in his 1962 book, Beat the Dealer. At the time, the counting system was noted as being revolutionary in the world of gambling.

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Today, professionals at the best online blackjack sites regard the 10 Count system to be more of a shift in advantage to the player from the house - rather than being a standalone card counting system. For instance, the 10 Count system, when properly played, shifts the house edge from around 6% to a player edge of around 1%.

While more complex and effective card counting systems have been developed, Thorp's 10 Count remains the framework on which they are built. It is the logical starting point for any beginning blackjack card counter.

How 10 Count Works

The fundamental aspect of the 10 Count Blackjack card counting system is a comparison of the high and low cards in a single deck blackjack game. Each card is given a value that helps the card counter make various betting decisions. The values are relatively easy to remember when using 10 Count as, with exception to all 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings (which all have a value of -9), all cards receive a value of +4.

A player keeps a running total during gameplay and, when the current total is higher, it is generally more likely that higher valued cards will be dealt.

Is The 10 Count System Effective At Online Gambling Sites?

Since the 10 Count system is most advantageous in a single deck game, it is not especially useful for playing blackjack at internet gambling sites, as multi-deck blackjack has become the norm online. However, the system can still be used effectively if one can find a single deck blackjack table online. While most online gambling sites predictably frown upon the use of the 10 Count system, it is not considered illegal.