Detail about How Card Counting is done in Blackjack


Counting Cards is a mathematical technique used to know if the player or the dealer is in an advantageous position over the next hand. This is a blackjack strategy that players use to gain a special advantage while playing blackjack in order to win. They try to beat the casino’s house edge by keeping track of the high and low-priced cards dealt.

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Everything we currently have on “Card Counting” is due to the card counters who came before us, beginning with Ed Thorp. Thorp was a mathematician who discovered that eliminating a single 2 from a deck of cards made blackjack profitable for the ideal basic strategy player. From there, he developed a technique, tested it in real-world scenarios, and authored the best-selling book “Beat the Dealer.”

Card counting is often thought to be a method adopted by more skilled players since it demands greater focus and analytical ability. Its major goal is to allow them to modify the casino’s built-in advantage in their favor by keeping track of the cards.

In this manner, players have the opportunity to keep their money losses to a minimum by raising their stake only if the next cards are favorable to them.

As a result, they can make better judgments regarding their best course of action and change their bets and strategy plays appropriately. For example, players can opt to hit even though they have to break hands if the deck is richer in low-value cards, as this will not result in a bust.

How to Card Count?

There are various techniques for Counting Cards but here we will learn it in the easiest way possible. Just follow these four steps:-

  1. Give each card a value.
  2. Maintain a “Running Count” depending on the values of the cards given.
  3. Calculate the count per deck or “true count” using this information.
  4. As the real count grows, adjust your bets.


Step I: Give each card a value.

The card values in Hi-Lo, the most popular card counting system, are as follows:

2-6 = +1

7-9 = 0

10-Ace= -1

Based on the value of each card, you will either add 1, deduct 1, or do nothing.


Step II: Maintain a “Running Count” depending on the values of the cards given.

Maintain a running total by adding or subtracting each card you see in each shoe. We shall update our “running count” with fresh information as each card is dealt.

Why did you ask?

A card counter performs this for each card that comes out of the shoe, card after card, round after round, until the dealer reshuffles the deck. This information would have been sufficient to begin betting in the days of single deck blackjack. As the running count rises, the advantage shifts to the player. If the running count falls below zero, the casino’s advantage grows.


Step III: Calculate the count per deck or “true count” using this information.

Casinos began utilizing numerous decks in an attempt to defeat card counters. Casinos, good try! To use our running count in a multiple deck game, we simply convert our data into a “True Count” or count per deck. We’ll go through each step in detail below.

Having a +5 running count with 6 decks remaining is not the same as having a +5 running count with only 1 deck remaining. In the first case, there is less than one extra high card per deck left, therefore the player does not yet have an edge. A card counter is interested in the concentration of high cards vs the concentration of low cards, not only the amount of additional high cards.

So, if you have a running count of 5 with just 1 deck remaining, we know that there are 5 more tens and aces in the remaining 52 cards, giving the player an advantage! That is why the “True Count” is so useful.


Step IV: As the real count grows, adjust your bets.

Keeping a running and true count is vital for determining when the house edge shifts in favor of the player, but if you don’t use that knowledge to alter your strategy, you’ll be playing a very taxing game of blackjack. To benefit from the knowledge gained through counting, you must increase your bets as the true count grows. You want to gamble high when the cards are in your favor and modest when the count is negative or neutral and not in your advantage. Bankroll management and appropriate betting strategy may be hard, and it’s simple to lose a lot of money if you don’t know how to bet effectively.

There are the basic steps for Card Counting which work effectively. If you want to learn more about Blackjack, check out Blackjack: Beginners guide

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