Learning to play winning Blackjack with Advantage Blackjack for Android

Basic Strategy

The first thing any blackjack player must know to be successful is basic strategy. Basic strategy is determined by the action that is the most profitable to the player. With the basic strategy trainer you can practice basic strategy and it will give you feedback if you performed an incorrect move. At the end you will be presented with your stats.


The next technique to learn is card counting. Card counting enables you to estimate whether the remaining cards are favorable to the player or to the casino. The easiest counting system to learn is Hi-Lo. With Hi-Lo, we start at an initial value of 0. Cards 2-6 are worth +1, cards that are valued 10 (10, J, Q, K) and the Ace are worth -1, and cards 7-9 are worth 0. When the cards are dealt we will add them to our running count.

For example, at the start of a new deck the count is 0. If a 10, 4, J is dealt, we would add their values together (-1) + (+1) + (-1) and have a running count of -1.

The Hi-Lo system is balanced, meaning the amount of cards worth +1 and -1 are equal in 1 deck of cards. Thus after counting a whole deck of cards, we should have a running count of 0 if we counted correctly. The counting trainer lets you practice counting a deck or cards and removes a random number of cards to make sure you have the correct count at the end. It will also keep track of your counting times. Ideally you want to be able to count a deck in about 30 seconds.

Putting It All Together

Now to put these skills to use. The idea behind advantage play is to lose the minimum while the count is not in your favor and win the most when it is in your favor. To do this we will start by playing our hands using basic strategy while betting the minimum and counting the cards. Once enough cards have come out so that the count is in your favor we will increase the bet.

Some adjustments need to be made when playing a game that uses more than one deck. In balanced counting systems, the number of decks used in the game is accounted for in the true count. The true count is simply the running count divided by the number of decks remaining.

To determine our bet, we will set some triggers. A common set of triggers are: double the minimum when the true count has reached 3, triple the minimum when the true count has reached 5, bet the minimum if the true count is less than 3. You can decide what kind of betting system you’d like to use. In general, you want to bet more when the true count is greater.

Having to convert to a true count adds another chance of making an error. For those that want to use a system that takes the number of decks in to consideration within the running count, try the KO counting system. It is an unbalanced counting system and the true count is unnecessary. Be careful to take note of the initial starting value.

The practice game will help put your skills to use. You can enable helpful overlays or use menu to get a quick tip if you get lost. In 1.0, the rules are set for Vegas strip style. In future updates, this will become customizable.

Real World Considerations

Card counting is not illegal since you are still only using your mind to play the game. But casinos reserve the right to refuse service to anyone and if they suspect that you are counting, you will be asked to leave. To prevent this it’s important to put in the practice so that it becomes second nature.

While advantage play gives you an increased edge, the effects are usually not seen in the short term. You will have to wait for the long term to really see its advantages. Because of this, proper bankroll management is a must. A recommended bankroll is 300 times the minimum bet.

If you’d like to try it in the real world, I encourage you to do more research and make sure you have a full understanding of the fundamentals. Good luck!
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7 Responses to Learning to play winning Blackjack with Advantage Blackjack for Android

  1. Will says:

    Very nice app. Please consider adding Fred Renzey’s KISS counting systems. I prefer KISS stage III and would love to be able to practice it on my phone.

  2. beyond says:

    i dont thick betting double for tc3 triple
    for tc5 can break even in long run and i cant find insurance option in the game

  3. Page Turner says:

    Hi. I’m trialling the free/demo, and I notice the counting practice uses a deck. Plus, the cards dealt In the practice do not seem to be random. Combined, this means the count stays between approximately.-4 and 4. This isn’t very likely in the real world. It also means I can often wait for a hand to offset our cancel out another, thus artificially increasing speed or accuracy. Does the full version have the same

    issues? If so, can you offer a solution soon? Thanks.

    • DarkwoodLabs says:


      You can also use the practice game to practice counting for something more realistic. The is used for shuffling and should be realistic. The full version uses the same algorithm. Many people count multiple cards at the same time, so that they can cancel out cards. It’s a good strategy to increase your card counting speed and very useful in a real world game where players are dealt multiple cards quickly.

      If you practice with a deck of cards in real life, you’ll find that the count doesn’t exceed +4/-4 that often. The count can vary more when more decks are added. +4 is a pretty good count for a single deck and can be especially good depending on the number of cards that are left. Card counting is a long term investment. You’ll find that most of the time is spent waiting for a profitable count so that you can make a big bet.

  4. This app is a very useful and easy to use learning and teaching tool. I believe that if you want to be the best, then this app is definitively the way to go.-Anthony Garver pro blackjack player and coach.

  5. Larry says:

    Great app. Use full version. Would love to see a recap of round after practice game….ie per shoe, show stats such as running count (will help give feel for high/low expectations), bet per hand, # of hands won/lost per shoe. also for live sim count, would be nice to keep selected speed same when switching screens rather than default back to average.

  6. Petr says:

    Best simulator ever,
    Fast speed game, … perfect.
    Missing my statistics, the number of games played, win, lose.
    When would be the paid version, I’d like to buy it.


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