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# Blackjack Card Counting

Summary Do you enjoy playing blackjack at casinos? Blackjack is a popular card game where the goal is to have a hand total higher than the dealer's without exceeding 21. If you want to gain an advantage in the game, consider delving into the world of blackjack card counting.

Card counting is a strategic approach that enables players to keep track of dealt cards, influencing their betting decisions. By maintaining a running count based on assigned values to cards, players can gain a 1-2% edge over the house.

Do you frequent casinos to play blackjack? Blackjack is a really popular casino game. The object of blackjack is to achieve a hand total that is greater than the dealer’s hand total, but how do you know you have an advantage on the next hand?

Well, that’s where blackjack card counting comes in. Card counting is a blackjack strategy that allows players to keep track of the cards that have been played and bet accordingly. Card counting can give players a 1-2% edge over the house.

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## How to Count Cards in Blackjack

The first step in card counting is to learn how to count cards. This might sound difficult, but it’s really not. Here is the step by step card counting process:

### Assign a Negative, Positive, or Zero to Face and Number Cards

Make sure you assign a value to every card to make it easy to keep track of. For example, you could assign -1 to every ace and 9, 0 to every 10 and picture card, and +1 to every 2-6. As each card is played, simply add up the total and keep track of the count. You can either add one, subtract one, or do nothing based on each card’s value.

### Maintain a Running Count Based on the Cards Dealt in the Game

Keep a running count by adding or subtracting the value of each card as it’s dealt. For example, if you started with a count of 9 and an ace is played, you would add -1 to get a count of 8. If a 5 is then played, you would add 1 to get a count of 9 again. You would continue counting like this throughout the entire game.

### Once They Feel Confident of the True Count, a Player Can Alter Their Bets Depending on Their Advantage

Casinos will begin using multiple decks to deal with blackjack games as a countermeasure to card counting, but this just makes it more difficult for the player – not impossible. When playing with multiple decks, the player must convert the running count into what is known as a true count. The true count takes into account the number of decks being used so that the player knows how much of an advantage they have at any given time.

## What is Card Counting in Blackjack?

Card counting is a blackjack strategy that allows a player to keep track of the cards that have been played and bet accordingly. By keeping track of which cards have been played, the player can get an idea of what cards are left in the deck and adjust their betting accordingly.

There are lots of different card counting systems out there, but they all essentially work in the same way. The player keeps track of the cards as they are played and assigns a numerical value to each card. Low cards (2-6) are assigned a positive value, while high cards (10-Ace) are assigned a negative value. The remaining cards (7, 8, and 9) are essentially neutral. They don’t help the player or dealer very much.

When the count is positive, it means there are more low cards left in the deck, and the player bets more. When the count is negative, it means there are more high cards left in the deck, and the player bets less.

### Hi-Lo System

The Hi-Lo blackjack card counting system is one of the most popular systems used by card counters. It is a very simple system to learn and use. The Hi-Lo blackjack system assigns a point value to each card in the deck. Low cards (2-6) are given a value of +1, while high cards (10-Ace) are given a value of -1.7-9 and are given a value of 0.

The player then keeps a running tally of the point values of the cards as they are dealt. When the count is positive, it means there are more low cards left in the deck and the player bets more. When the count is negative, it means there are more high cards left in the deck and the player bets less.

The Hi-Lo system is a very popular card counting system because it is easy to use and easy to learn. It also provides enough accuracy and simplicity to be used in a wide variety of games, including blackjack, baccarat, and even some forms of video poker.

While the Hi-Lo system is certainly not the only card counting system out there, it is definitely one of the most popular. If you are looking to get started with card counting, or if you are just looking for a simple system to use, the Hi-Lo system is worth considering.

### True Count

The true count is the number that you use to bet. To get the true count, you simply divide the running count by the number of decks remaining in the shoe.

You always want to bet more when the true count is high and less when the true count is low. The reason for this is that when the true count is high, there are more high cards remaining in the shoe, which means that your chances of getting a blackjack or hitting a natural 21 are increased.

Conversely, when the true count is low, there are more low cards remaining in the shoe, which means that your chances of busting are increased. One final note: always be sure to convert the true count back to a running count when the shoe is reshuffled.

## How to Count Cards with Single Deck

Card counting systems are extremely important for the players if only one deck is being used in the blackjack game. If a player knows how to count cards with 1 deck, he/she will have a significant advantage over the casino and other players at the table.

The first step in card counting is to find the right game. You want to find a blackjack game that uses only one deck of cards. This is important because it will be much easier to keep track of the cards that have been played.

Once you have found a single blackjack game, you need to learn the basic strategy for the game. The basic strategy is a set of rules that tell you how to play your hand based on the cards that are shown. There are different ways to count cards, but the most popular is the Hi-Lo system.

## How to Count Cards with Multiple Decks

With any balanced counting system like Hi-Lo, you will be able to maintain a fairly accurate mental tally by simply dividing the running count by the number of decks remaining to be dealt.

This division is not always exact, but it’s good enough for practical purposes. For example, say you’re playing in a six-deck game, and the running count is +12. Dividing +12 by 6 would tell you that there is an average of two more high cards per deck than low cards. This means that you would have a slight edge over the house and should increase your bet size accordingly.

The true count ensures every card counting system is effective, whether you’re playing with one deck or eight. To get the true count, divide the running count by the number of decks remaining to be dealt. In the above example, if there is only one deck remaining to be played, the true count would be +12. If four decks remained, the true count would be +3.

As the number of decks decreases, the importance of the true count increases. This is because there are a limited number of high cards left in the deck(s), and you want to know how many more high cards per deck are remaining than low cards. The higher the true count, the more of an edge you have over the casino.

## Strategies for Advanced Card Counting

Having experience with the Hi Lo system, do you feel like an MIT wizard? Nice thing. You’re now prepared to step it up with more complex ones that increase accuracy but demand a lot more concentration.

### Omega II

Do you recall our Hi Lo system? A three-value camp with values between -1 and +1. Omega II, however, raises it to five values between -2 and +2. Still a balanced system, but a little trickier with more to remember, understand, and track, as you can see from the value chart below.

• Cards 4, 5, 6 hold a value of 2.
• Cards 2, 3, 7 hold a value of 1
• Cards 8 and Ace are 0.
• 9 is worth -1
• Cards 10, J, Q, K hold a value of -2. Everything else, including the starting point of zero and the use of True Count when additional shoes are in play, is similar to the Hi-Lo system except for one variation. In order to help you determine when a blackjack is possible, Omega II additionally asks you to maintain a side count for aces.

### Wong Halves

Blackjack Wong Halves card counting begins at 0 and pulls in True Count when there are many decks of cards being used. Fractions add a twist to Wong Halves’ three value categories.

• 5 holds a value of +1.5
• 3, 4, 6 count as +1.
• 2, 7 count as +.5
• 8, 10, J, Q, K & Ace are 0.
• 9 holds a value of -.5

## Blackjack Card Counting Tips

Here are some beginner tips for those who want to try blackjack card counting:

1. Start with the basics and learn the hi lo strategy first.
2. Practice with a single deck before trying card count in multiple decks blackjack games.
3. Start with the small wagers or use RNG blackjack games and card counting trainers.
4. Do not completely rely on card counting systems. Don't forget about bankroll management and use the basic strategy.

## In Conclusion

Card counting is a strategy that can be used to improve your chances of winning at blackjack. While it is not foolproof, it can give you an edge over the casino if used correctly. If you are interested in trying out card counting, we recommend you first learn basic blackjack strategy and practice with a free online blackjack game before risking any real money.

## Counting Cards in Blackjack FAQ

### Is it difficult to learn to count cards in blackjack?

No, the basic card counting system is relatively easy to learn. However, it does take some practice to become skilled at it. To become a successful card counter, you also need to master casino comportment, money management, and a good understanding of basic blackjack strategy.

### Who invented blackjack card counting?

Ed Thorp, who is also the father of wearable computers, invented Blackjack card counting. In his new book, A Man of All Markets, Ed Thorp aims to do for stock investing what he did for blackjack.

### How effective is card counting in blackjack?

Card counting is effective in such a way that it lets the player know when to bet high and when to bet low. By keeping track of which cards have been dealt and which remain in the deck, the player can gain an edge over the casino.

### What are the blackjack card counting apps?

Multiple apps can help with card counting in blackjack. However, it is best to have some practice without using the app, especially if you are a beginner in blackjack card counting.

### Can card counting help to lower the blackjack house edge?

The standard house edge for blackjack casino games is around 2%, however, it can be lowered by using various blackjack strategies, including basic strategy and card counting systems.

### What are the advanced card counting strategies?

Once you have learned the basics of card counting, you can try using more advanced card counting strategies, such as the omega ii system, wong halves, and red 7 system.

### What is the true count in blackjack?

To get the true count value, simply divide the running count number by the number of decks used in multiple deck blackjack. The true count was invented to keep the accurate count in blackjack games with many decks.

### How do you get good at counting cards?

Practice! Spending time practising with one deck is a good place to start. Remove one card from the deck to practise. Then turn the cards over while maintaining a running tally. You should know which card (and value) is missing by reaching the end. To stay up with the dealer's pace, once you've gotten the feel of the count, quicken your pace and time yourself to get faster.

### Can you count cards in other games?

Yes. We have a separate guide covering baccarat card counting, although it is considered less effective than the blackjack variant.

### Do blackjack dealers count cards?

Many can, and many more can spot other players doing it. But in general, you'll probably come across a dealer that isn't counting cards and is only paying attention to their duties.