How Counting Cards Works in Blackjack

Being an owner of an online or land-based casino is not much of a gamble. Most available games have a statistical advantage over players. Although a few might be able to walk out of the casino with wins, more people leave with empty pockets. This earns the casino enormous profits. However, between spinning the reels and rolling the dice, there is one game that if played correctly, favours the gambler.

Blackjack, also identified as 21, is among the most played casino games in the world. In the game, the aim is to beat the dealer by getting close to 21 points worth of cards. While the dealer has to follow a specified set of rules, gamblers can use any available strategy. With enough practice, card counting in blackjack can significantly increase your chances of winning.

What is card counting?

Card counting is a technique where a player keeps track of the number of low and high cards left in the dealer’s deck of cards. Doing this successfully can help you raise your bets when the odds are stacked in your favour. This increases the chances of winning big. Card counting is not considered cheating or a way to win consistently in blackjack. It is simply a skill that should be included in your gameplay to be aware of what is left in the deck.

If there are more low-numbered cards in the dealer’s deck, there is a minimal chance of getting 21 points and the dealer is less likely to bust. This is attributed to the rigid rules by dealers. More high-numbered cards are good for the opposite reasons. The little information you get from card counting increases your odds by 1%. This does not seem like much, but over a long period, correctly counting can net you in the green.

Basic card counting strategy

The basic card counting strategy that you can easily master and train your brain is the Hi-Lo system. In this system, high cards, 10’s, Aces and face cards, are assigned the value -1 while low cards, 2 to 6 of any suit, are assigned +1. All the remaining cards in the deck, 7 to 9, count as 0. When the croupier deals the cards, keep count in your head of the assigned values. For instance, if a 10 is dealt, the count is -1. if the next card is three, its assigned value is +1 and the totals add up to 0.

Your goal is to keep the count until the cards are reshuffled without breaking the sum. The number you get is referred to as the running count. Now, bet according to the running count value. If the count is negative increase your bet and if it is positive lower your bets. Furthermore, if you are planning to use the card counting strategy, consider sitting in the third base for more time to keep an eye on the table.

Advanced card counting strategies

As stated earlier, the Hi-Lo system is a basic strategy that is easy to learn. You can improve your card counting skills by self-practice, playing with friends and through table observations. Furthermore, there are different websites and training software to help you out. If you want more complex techniques, there are different options available. These include:

  • Omega II
  • Wong Halves
  • Group Play
  • Multiple Decks
  • Counting Multiple Decks


Many Players use card counting strategies to make money, but you have to be realistic. The strategy only gives a 1% or 2% edge and the advantage rises based on the long run. Card counting is not a guarantee of wins but rather a way to improve your chances of winning. If you wish to try out the strategy at online casinos.




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