Card Counting - Blackjack Aces And Fives Count

Follow a few simple rules and you'll learn how to use the aces and fives count at blackjack to increase your edge at the game. The better informed you are about blackjack, especially the game played in casinos, the better you will do in the long run.

It doesn't matter whether you are experienced or not, whether you can play perfect basic strategy or not, or whether you use a card counting strategy - if you know how many aces are still available in the deck (or decks) you can take advantage of that knowledge.

If you think about it, you might remember that whenever you get a blackjack, the casino pays you three chips for every two you bet, or 1.5 to 1. However, when the dealer gets blackjack, you lose only what you bet, even money. Obviously it is to your advantage to have more aces available so you can make more blackjacks.

By a similar token, the fives in the deck are valuable to the dealer, who has to hit stiff hands while the player may option to "stand."

The aces and fives count is quite simple. A single deck has 52 cards, one ace for every thirteen cards. If you are playing a single deck game and no aces appear in the first round, the deck is now "rich" in aces. If you bet a little more, you are likely to have a slight edge in your favor. If you see a second round of cards dealt and more than 13 cards have now been used, you are in an even better position.

. Taking Advantage of an Ace-Rich Deck

Suppose your base bet "off the top" of the deck is $10.

No ace seen after the first round? Raise your bet to $20 and for every 13 cards you see with no ace you should add another $5 to your next bet. If you learn to play perfect basic strategy and use an aces and fives count you can actually be favored to beat the casino. The edge you are gaining is small, but should be exploited whenever possible!

Aces and Fives Strategy

More specifically, if you want to take advantage of a simple count and use it to improve your odds at blackjack, follow these simple rules:

  • Choose a "base bet" to start with (units of two) such as two red chips
  • At the beginning of the deck, start with your base bet and a count of zero
  • Each time you see a five, add one to your count
  • Each time you see an ace, subtract one from your count
  • If no ace is seen on the first hand, add one unit to your bet. Also, add a similar number of chips for whatever your count is. Say your count is three, add three more chips. If your count goes down to zero or is a negative number, cut your bet down to one chip.

The aces and fives count has been a staple of beginning card counting since Edward Thorp first mentioned it over forty years ago in his book Beat the Dealer. Use the simplified version above to make some headway against the casino!