Counting Cards in Blackjack: How to Get an Edge on the Casino

Step into the world of card counting in Blackjack. Grasp how to get an advantageous edge over the casino by using the popular, yet controversial method of card counting.

Home » Counting Cards in Blackjack: How to Get an Edge on the Casino

Blackjack is a game that has perpetually intrigued both the casual and fervent gamblers, thanks to the element of skill that’s required to become proficient. A significant part of that skill involves gaining an edge over the house, and one popular, yet controversial method to achieve this is card counting.

Demystifying Card Counting

Card counting is often seen as requiring an intellectual prowess akin to Rain Man or being a mathematics wizard. The truth is somewhat more prosaic. Yes, card counting requires focus and a good memory, but it is within the reach of most players who’re willing to put in the time and effort to master the technique.

Card counting is a strategic method used in blackjack to determine whether the upcoming hand is likely to give a probabilistic advantage to the player or the dealer. This is performed by assigning a numerical value to each card and maintaining a ‘running count’ based on those values as the cards are played. The count gives an indication of the proportion of high-value cards compared to low-value cards.

Why Card Counting Works

Blackjack, unlike most other casino games, is dependent on dependent events, which means the past directly influences the future outcomes. In simple terms, if you’re aware that the deck is rich in high-value cards (tens and aces), you can adjust your strategy to favor you.

A deck crammed with high-value cards shift the game in favor of the player. That’s because the dealer must follow strict rules for hitting and standing. Also, blackjack, which requires a ten and an ace, is more likely when the deck has many high-value cards left.

Methods of Card Counting

There are several methods of card counting but the most popular and easiest to learn is the Hi-Lo system. In this system, cards 2-6 are worth +1, cards 7-9 are worth 0, and the 10’s and aces are worth -1. Your job as a card counter is to keep track of this running ‘score’. When the count is positive and high, you should increase your bets.

Practical Tips for Counting Cards

While card counting is definitely within the reach of dedicated individuals, especially those who are good at maintaining concentration over long periods, it’s worth noting that it still involves some effort and gumption. Here are some practical tips.

  • Count in pairs: Instead of counting each card that’s dealt, try to count in pairs. This technique cuts down the amount of work your brain has to do and makes it easier to keep up with the count, even when the dealer is shuffling cards at high speed.
  • Practice relentlessly: Counting cards isn’t something you can master overnight. It requires hours of practice. Start by practicing with a single deck, and gradually move on to practicing your count with two or six decks, as most casinos use multiple decks.
  • Learn to count down a deck: Professional card counters can go through a deck of cards in 20 seconds with one mistake or less. Strive to acquire this level of proficiency.
  • Keep a poker face: If the casino suspects you are counting cards, they might politely ask you to leave. The key is to blend in and not draw attention to yourself.

While the tips help you hone your card-counting skills, don’t forget to explore other techniques for other games, like winning roulette systems. Broadening your skill set can give you an edge on different tables.


Card counting isn’t cheating; it’s merely a clever use of information available to any observant player. However, it’s worth noting that while card counting isn’t illegal, if a casino suspects you’re counting it reserves the right to ask you to leave. In this respect, skill and subtly are both equally important in practicing this method.

Counting cards in blackjack might not guarantee you a win every time, but it can significantly improve your chances, shifting the edge from the house to you. Patience, practice, and concentration are the key. Venture forth, press your advantage, and you may find yourself leaving the blackjack table a victor more often than not.

Don’t forget to share your experiences and strategies related to card counting or any other game strategy you’ve found successful. Your insights can undoubtedly help our community of avid online gamblers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *