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Blackjack Card Counting – The Ace Five Count

Staff Writer 09/14/2021 Blog 385 views

Card counting is one of the most well-known ways of getting an advantage in blackjack. It’s not an easy technique to get into, though – let alone master. There are some tried-and-true ways of counting cards in blackjack for beginners, such as the Hi-Lo system. However, even that requires a level of memory and concentration not everyone has.

Thankfully, the house edge in blackjack is relatively low, so you only need a small leg up to even things out. Enter the Ace Five blackjack card counting strategy, one of the simplest ways of doing so.

How Does The Ace Five Count Work?

The Ace Five blackjack strategy is one of the simplest forms of card counting in the game of 21. All you need to do is keep track of 2 cards – Aces and Fives. The reasoning is quite simple, and it’s similar to Hi-Lo.

Like in any other card game, blackjack has good cards and bad cards. Specifically, cards you do want to draw, and cards you don’t. The Hi-Lo system divides these into high and low cards. It works under the assumption that high cards are better than low cards. I.e, you’re more likely to get a winning outcome if the cards remaining in the shoe are of higher rank.

The Ace Five card count works under a similar premise, except it narrows it down to just two cards. Aces are easily the best card you can get. Not only are they necessary for a natural blackjack, but they’re worth a lot either way. Getting to 17+ without going over 21 is much easier with an Ace on the table. Moreover, if you happen to go over anyway, they can be worth 1 as well, which gives you some room to take risks you otherwise shouldn’t. Combined with the blackjack basic strategy, stacking the deck with aces is a considerable advantage.

Conversely, fives are easily one of the worst cards you can draw. Even with an Ace, they’ll only get you to 16, which is relatively easy for the dealer to beat. However, you’re more likely to end up in the 11-15 range after the first two cards, which is not where you want to be.

Hence, the idea is simple – you keep track of the Aces and Fives. If there are more Aces left in the shoe, you raise the stakes. If there are more fives, you keep them low.

Ace/Five Count Step-by-Step Guide

So, how to count cards in blackjack using the Ace-Five count method? Let’s go through it step by step.

  1. Set up a low and high stake. The minimum bet might as well be the table’s minimum stake, but you can use whatever amount you win. Conversely, the maximum stake should be at least double that. However, don’t be afraid to go with 8x, 16x, or even higher than that. This blackjack strategy leaves room to progressively increase the stakes as you gain a bigger advantage.
  2. Wait for a new card shoe. This should be easy enough with most forms of online blackjack.
  3. Start with your smallest stake and a count of zero.
  4. Every time you see a Five drawn and discarded, add +1 to the count. The card is no longer in play, which means the remaining shoe is slightly better for you.
  5. On the flip side, each time you see an Ace pass through, subtract -1 from the running count. Again, since the Ace is no longer in play, the remaining shoe is worse off.
  6. If the running count is 1 or smaller, make the minimum bet. Yes, this also extends to negative running counts.
  7. If the count is at 2 or more, double your previous stake. If the count is still positive on the following round, double it again. You can keep raising the stakes as long as the count is bigger than 2 and the odds are in your favor. Of course, you still shouldn’t go over the maximum – money management is still a factor.
  8. If the court ever drops below 2, revert to the minimum stake.

How Effective Is the Ace Five Count?

The system was designed for classic 6-8 deck variants available at most casinos. As long as your decisions follow a reliable blackjack strategy chart, the probabilities will be in your favor.

However, don’t expect to be making millions. If it were that easy, the casinos would be bankrupt and we’d all be millionaires. All blackjack strategies to win essentially work the same way house edge does, except in reverse. Specifically, the Ace/Five card counting system gives the player a 0.30-0.50% advantage over the house.

Just like you can win blackjack despite the house edge, you can also lose with this strategy. However, in the long run, you’ll end up turning a small profit thanks to the rule of averages. Also, you’ll at least be safe from any losses, which means you’ll create a safe environment to practice and get better at the game without draining your bank account.

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