Losing at Blackjack? The OPP Card Counting System Can Tip the Advantage in Your Favor
May 28, 2014
Think the Hi-Lo card counting strategy is the easiest? Think again! If you find yourself losing at blackjack more than you’d like, try out this card counting method which even a baby can do!
First, you need to get out of the mindset that you’re not smart enough to count cards: anyone can card count.
Using basic blackjack strategy is all well and good, but card counting can really tip the advantage in your favor.
The great thing with OPP, which is an acronym of “one per person”, is you have a couple of easy methods to choose from in which you can up your game and turn the odds to work with you, rather than against you.
Fed up with losing at blackjack? Then give the OPP a try!
Number of hands
Anyone can mentally count up or down through positive numbers, and when you’re playing with numbers running from -6 to +6, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to pull this off.
Perhaps that easiest way to use this method is to begin the shoe with a count of +6, and then you continue the game by counting the number of hands being played and then subtract the total, which gives the running count.
In this case, low cards (2-6) have the value +1, and each hand, including the dealer’s, is then subtracted by 1.
This subtraction makes it easy, since if you have 3 players plus the dealer, you just need to subtract 4 from each deal, and then add the number of low cards to the running count.
For example, you start with +6, the cards get dealt out, which makes the count +2. Then you have a blackjack, the count is still +2, your neighbor has two aces, 4, 10 and 3, so the count is +4, the other player 2, 6, ten, making the count +6 and the dealer has 10, 6, 1, so the count is +8.
Value for money
If the above method feels a little too simplistic, then you can always try to spice things up by assigning more concrete values to each hand, kind of like you do in the Hi-Lo or K-O methods for individual cards.
In this case, you assign the value per hand rather than per card, so a hand with no low cards is -1, one low card 0, 2 low cards +1, and increase the number as the low cards increase.
For splits, you treat these as new hands.
Rather than counting the number of hands in play, like with the previous method, you’ll want to wait until the dealer has dealt the cards before beginning the count.
Once the cards are dealt, then begin from +6 and count as usual.
For the above hand, this will yield a running count of: +6-1+1+1+1=+8.
Like with any card counting method, the secret to winning at blackjack is by practicing. So, once you’ve got the OPP method down, how can you bet to win?
Putting your money where your count is
The trick to counting lies in the ability to know when it’s a good time to raise your bet. Like with any card counting method, you’ll want to have a higher count before increasing your bet.
Other card counting techniques
• Hi-Lo is the standard card counting technique. Low cards are assigned +1, high cards -1 and in the middle are 0.
• Knockout is similar to Hi-Lo, but the only difference is it’s an unbalanced count (the deck count doesn’t come out to zero), and number 7 has the value +1.
• Omega II is a more complex system, since it assigns different values to different cards, and if you want to play like a pro, you’ll need to include an ace count too.
Counts above +12 mean that the player has a higher advantage, where the edge is skewed in their favor.
Patience is important, as you may not come across an advantage for a shoe, and you’ll need to account for variance in your games. You will also be likely to lose at some points in the game, even for high hands and counts.
The amount you bet will also depend on the number of decks in the shoe, but for counts less than +11 or +12, you’ll want to bet lower than values going up. You can progressively increase the bet, depending on the count.
The general rule of thumb is the less decks there are; the less the count needs to be to increase your bet.
Does it work?
The truth is with card counting is that the more complex the method, the more accurate it is. The OPP is the easiest to use, but it won’t be as effective as the Hi-Lo, Omega II or Knockout method.
However, it is still going to increase your advantage when compared to just using simple blackjack strategy.