Managing your money in gaming, specifically Blackjack, should start with a sum of risk capital that is not part of the monthly money needed to pay bills and buy food. The reason for this is that the fear of losing the rent money or food money can lead to bad play and serious mistakes in judgment. Outside money for this purpose eliminates this fear and should let the player do what is right at the time it is right.
This fact seems to hold true for brand new card counters. They have a series of losing sessions that can be unsettling if the player is not prepared for this typical start. The obvious reasons for this are that the player makes mistakes in the count, bets to much of the bankroll on any one hand or the house wins even though the edge was mathematically with the player. Remember this is always gambling and not shooting fish in a barrel. Survival over a period of time so the edge the counting gives is part of the learning curve of playing this method of gambling.
The concept of True Count is important to understand and the way it is determined is by dividing the count by the remaining decks to be dealt. In single deck Blackjack the true count when the count after the first hand is 2, would be slightly more than 2. In a six-deck situation the true count would be about .333 for the same situation. It would take a 12 after the first hand to get to a 2. In multi-deck the divisor is always going to be bigger than in single deck.
The secret to True Count is estimating the decks that are still in the shoe. The discard rack is a good way to estimate the cards that have been used out of the shoe. If the stack were about the same as the cards in the shoe, the number of decks left in a six-deck shoe would be about 3. If the count were M-6 the true Count would be M-2. As you can see, the sign of the count makes no difference when figuring the True Count. The number of decks left to be dealt after some have been dealt divides the total count. The sign of the count stays with the answer and become the True Count. The importance of this True Count number will be discussed in a later lesson. Suffice to say; you now know how to calculate the True Count.