Black Jack Ace


See full list on Jan 21, 2019 The Ace/Five Count, the easiest blackjack card counting strategy to overcome the house edge with little worry over being recognized as a card counter. BlackJack ACE 6061 Aluminum, with Stainless hardware. Patented Blackjack under the brim design to put the light where you need it. The Blackjack ACE Flashlight Holder is designed to fit. Here’s a pretty obvious one: never double down when the dealer is showing an ace. Quite simply, the chances of them getting blackjack are just too high. Even if they check and don’t have blackjack. In general, when playing American blackjack, players can be more aggressive in their split and double down efforts whereas, in European blackjack, players have to be more conservative in their double down and split attempts, especially, when the dealer’s face up card is an Ace or a 10-value card.

Black Jack Ace

  • Appendices
  • Miscellaneous
  • External Links


Basic strategy blackjack players sometimes ask me for a simple way to overcome the small house edge in blackjack, with little worry over being recognized as a card counter. This is often done with the motive of milking the casinos for comps and offers. What follows is, in my opinion, the easiest card counting strategy to achieve the above goal and still put the odds in the player's favor.

How It Works

  1. Establish what your minimum and maximum bets will be. Usually the maximum will be 8, 16, or 32 times the minimum bet, or any power of 2, but you can use whatever bet spread you wish.
  2. At the beginning of each shoe, start with your minimum bet, and a count of zero.
  3. For each five observed, add one to the count.
  4. For each ace observed, subtract one from the count.
  5. If the count is greater than or equal to two, then double your last bet, up to your maximum bet.
  6. If the count is less than or equal to one, then make the minimum bet.
  7. Use basic strategy for all playing decisions.

This strategy was designed to be most effective on a six- or eight-deck game. I recommend playing only on games with liberal Strip rules, which are as follows:

  • 4-8 decks
  • Blackjack pays 3 to 2
  • Dealer stands on soft 17
  • Double after split allowed
  • Late surrender allowed
  • Re-splitting aces allowed
  • 75%+ penetration

Such games are easy to find in Las Vegas, although sometimes a higher minimum bet is required. In the low-roller pits, the dealer will usually hit on a soft 17, which is bad, costing the player 0.22%.

Simulation Results

Blackjack ace rules

The following results were provided by Norm Wattenberger using his Casino Vérité software. The rules above were used, with six decks, and 75% penetration. In my opinion, Casino Vérité is the most robust and accurate blackjack simulation software on the market. It can be used to test just about any card counting strategy under any set of rules and conditions.

Ace/Five Count Statistics

SpreadPlayer AdvantageAverage Initial BetSCORE

SCORE is an acronym, coined by Don Schlesinger, for Standardized Comparison Of Risk and Expectation. It is defined as the advantage squared divided by the variance. The SCORE may also be interpreted as the expected hourly win per hand for a player with a $10,000 bankroll, who sizes his bets according to the Kelly Criterion, to achieve a 13.5% risk of ruin. As a basis of comparison, a Hi-Lo counter, with a 1 to 8 spread, under the same rules, has a SCORE of 8.40, compared to the 3.1 of the Ace/Five count.

Source: 'Blackjack Attack,' third edition by Don Schlesinger.

Earlier Strategies

After publishing this section, somebody accused me of stealing the idea from Edward Thorp. Indeed, in 1969 Thorp did discuss a similar strategy in his book 'Beat the Dealer,' in the fourth chapter titled 'A Winning Strategy.' The difference is that Thorp's strategy tracks fives remaining against total cards remaining. Later, in 1971, Lawrence Revere published a similar strategy as Thorp's in 'Playing Blackjack as a Business,' chapter 7 titled 'The Revere Five Count Strategy.'

Blackjack Ace Rules


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Black Jack Ace

Blackjack Instructions


  • Norm Wattenberger: For the simulation results, using his Casino Vérité software.
  • Don Schlesinger: For his many edits to this page.

Written by: Michael Shackleford

Ace Tracking and Ace Side Counts are not black jack card counting methods on their own, but are actually extra counts that you can track along side your running count in order to improve the accuracy of your favorite system.

Ace Side Count

This is done in one of two ways, depending on what card counting method you are using. For balanced counting systems like Hi-Lo Count and Hi-Opt I the correct way to perform an ace side count is to take the number of aces dealt divided by the number of decks remaining, similar to how you would convert a running count to the true count. The more aces remain, the higher your chances of getting a blackjack.

Ace side counts for non-balanced counting systems (like Zen Count or KO Count) are calculated in a different way and are used to increase the accuracy of playing strategy, particularly as to whether a player should take insurance.

Ace Tracking

Ace tracking (also called “Shuffle Tracking”) is the approximate art of trying to determine when and where the ace will appear by paying attention to the cards directly underneath the ace, so that when the cards are picked up and shuffled the player can recognize the neighbor cards and bet that the ace will be next.

Players interested in ace tracking should check out Arnold Snyder’s The Blackjack Shuffle Tracker’s Cookbook.