Basic Card Counting

Card counting isn’t the hard complicated skill that it’s made out to be. Yes, there are more complex systems out there for card counting, but not every single system in existence is difficult.

You don’t have to have a photographic memory or be a math genius to learn how to count cards. If you hear that, ignore it. Does it take effort to learn? Yes, like any skill it will take time and dedication to learn. But that doesn’t mean that it’s a hard thing to do.

Many blackjack players at least start out with the most widely and simplest to use: Hi-Lo.

What makes Hi-Lo so simple is that the math involved is easy. If you can add and subtract 1 you can use the Hi-Lo system. It works like this:

Cards 2 through 6 are classified as low cards and are counted as +1. Cards 7 through 9 are classified as neutral and are counted as 0. And finally 10’s, face cards and Aces are counted as -1.

When you’re playing a round of blackjack you add the +1’s and the -1’s of all the cards played during that round. For example. If you have a 10/9 and the dealer has 7/10 it translates as such in the Hi-Lo system: -1 + -1 + 0 + -1 = -3.

Then with each new round you add the card values of the cards played to get a running total.

If the total goes into the negative by at least -3 it means that a high number of high cards have been played and that the remaining deck is rich in low cards—and low cards favor the dealer. This is when you would reduce your wage a bit. But not too much, you don’t want to attract too much attention from the casino staff and risk getting kicked out of the casino.

Likewise if the running total goes positive by at least +3 it means that a high number of low cards have been played, and that the remaining deck is rich in high cards—cards that favor you. This is when you would increase your wager a bit.

As you can see, the math involved with card counting it not all that complex. You can always take a deck of cards and practice on your own.