Top Casino Guide

Brand Bonus Up To Score
#/10 Download
#/11 Download
#/10 Download
#/10 Download
#/11 Download

Counting Every Card You Can Count

It won't hurt a Twenty-One player to know that play will be achieved by considering the following: burn card and bottom card, and counting your neighbor's card.

In burn card, the top card is burned before the deal from a newly shuffled deck is begun.

In practice, this custom varies between casinos. Some routinely use a joker face up on the bottom of the deck instead of truly turning a card. Some that follow this practice will also retire the top card to the return tray.

In these circumstances there is no opportunity to see and thus to count a burn card. But with the traditional manner of to count a plus 1 or minus 2, as the case may be.

With most dealers, you will seldom be able to see this burn card. Practice has taught them to move the top card to the bottom, upside down of course, very rapidly, with virtually a sleight-of-hand motion.

But some dealers do not bother as much as others to hide the card during this motion, and often they will happen to hold the deck at such an angle that you can see the card being burned if you are watching.

At this time occasionally it is also possible to see the bottom card. It is particularly gratifying to have the count on these first two cards before the deal begins, when ordinarily they would simply have to be ignored.

Even when a joker is used, and thus no burn card can be counted, you may be able to see the bottom card when the deck is picked up after being cut.

If it seems odd at the moment that the bottom card should be counted just like a played card, even though in a sense it remains in the deck, remember one thing: for practical purposes this card may be regarded as out of the deck.

In the first place, practically no casino ever deals the bottom card. Even when they deal all the way through the last card.

Even if they did so, the bottom card would be 'out' of the deck until it was reached. It should be counted if seen. So far, none was found that the tendency of some dealers to flash the burn card or bottom card depends particularly on their experience.

Some veteran dealers often flash them; some relative beginners virtually never do so. The practice seems to be more a matter of their habit and degree of attention.

Players seated beside you often will hold their hole cards in your full view. These cards should of course, be incorporated into the temporizing count when this is helpful.

There is nothing improper about your looking at your neighbor's hole cards or letting them see yours; you are all playing against the dealer, not against each other.

However, it is not recommended craning your neck or engaging in obvious contortions to look at other hands. For one thing, such maneuvers may advertise to the dealer that you are casing the deck.