Generally speaking, you can depend on 20-21 cards being dealt out for each round of play at a full table in the casinos at Atlantic City. The same holds true for the Strip in Vegas. Thus, after three rounds of play a little over one deck has been played out. Or as we see it, two half-decks. We find the count is now +8 in a six-deck game. There were originally 12 half decks, and now there are 10 half-decks remaining. If we divide +8 by 10 we get the true count, which is +.80, not quite +1. If the count at that point had been +10, the count would be +1. This is the true count.
Why a true count rather than a running count? Here's why. Suppose after one round of play in a six-deck game, the deck is +10. It sounds impressive, but there are a lot of cards remaining in the dealer's shoe, approximately 290 of them. A +10 sounds good, but divided by 12 half-decks, it's less than +1 as a true count.
Now, suppose that the count is the same +10 after ten rounds of play. Assuming that 21 cards have been dealt out on each round, the cards dealt out total 210 or approximately four decks, or eight half-decks. That leaves only four half decks remaining. We divide our running count of +10 by 4 and get a +2.5 true count reading, much stronger than our earlier +10 divided by 12 half-decks or +.8.
The true count does give us a guide to the real power of our advantage over the house. A +10 after one round of play isn't as good as a +10 running count after 10 rounds of play. In fact, the +10 running count after ten rounds of play is about three timesaspowerful as the one after one round of play. And if it's three times as strong, it deserves a much bigger bet.
There's the key. With our true count we know how much strength our running count really has by turning it into a true count, and we increase our bet according to its power.
That's what the pros do. That's why they win in multiple deck games wherever they play. Let's give some examples to make this absolutely clear. We're in a four-deck game, and therunning count is +12. It's a crowded table and five rounds of cards have been played, approximately 102 cards (21 per round). That's about two decks, or 4 half-decks. Since the 4-deck game started with 8 half-decks, there are now four remaining. We divide our +12 running count by 4 and get a +3 true count, a very powerful plus count. We make a big bet.
Now, let's switch to a six-deck game. Eight rounds of play have gone by or approximately 168 cards have been dealt out. That's a little more than three decks or 6 half-decks. Since we started with 12 half-decks for our six-deck game, 6 half-decks remain. Our running count is +12. If we divide +12 by 6 we get a +2 true count, which is very strong. As can be seen, the true count is always less than the running count, and any plus value on a true count is powerful, and the higher the true count, the more powerful it is.