Single deck Blackjack is a better game to play the basic strategy on and definitely is better if the player can count cards. For this reason the time spent learning single deck counting is worth the time and effort. Play where the pickings are best as often as you can get away with. Lake Tahoe, Reno and Tunica, Mississippi usually have single deck games.
When playing single deck, the player’s hands are dealt face down so the counting has to be done when the cards are turned face up. Any draws are also counted as they are dealt. The counting stops for the hand when the dealer exposes their hole card. These seconds of exposed cards are over quickly, so this means that the counter must be fast and accurate. Practice as stated before builds speed and accuracy. The goal of this practice is to accurately count two decks in less than 40 seconds and six decks in a minute and thirty seconds. Consistent accuracy and speed are the ultimate goal. All of this practice will easily get a player ready to count a single deck Blackjack table. Since this game is the best to play, if you can play it, learn to count it by practicing.
Doing this while playing, surrounded by distractions and with accuracy takes hours of practice to do it right. Skill alone is not enough in this counting situation.
Adverse circumstances are always present and must be overcome without losing the count. Practice with the TV on and conversations going on around you. This will simulate a real playing situation. Interruptions are overcome by repeating the current count over and over in your min. Counting down from 35 by twos is a good practice as this helps to learn to count up or down from odd or even numbers. In real game counting this can happen a number of times in a deck or for sure in a shoe game with six decks. Single deck games will usually swing between 10 and M10. Remember the 10 is +ten and the M10 is a minus ten.
For those that want to really be able to do this card counting so that they can win playing Blackjack; the secret is practice, practice and then practice some more. There is no other way to learn this method and then be faithfully accurate every time a deck or shoe is counted. There is also the betting and the play of the hand that needs to be done correctly. Knowing the count and incorrect betting or the play of the hand can defeat the fact that the shoe or deck is favorable. This is absolutely stupid to spend the time becoming a good counter and messing up the hand by playing in a wrong manner. It makes no sense at all to waste all of this effort.
Think of a three-legged stool, it takes all three legs to be a useful stool. The same is true of card counting and playing Blackjack. The count tells the player when the odds are in his favor. The count, the correct bet and the correct play of the hand make up the three legs to winning session. It takes all three to do this and win in a consistent and repeatable way.