How To Count Cards In Blackjack?

The basis of card counting in blackjack is to follow the cards dealt and adapt your bet to the current shoe: a shoe that contains a lot of high cards is advantageous for the player.

Principle of card counting

While the odds in roulette and other casino games are fixed, the odds in blackjack vary with each hand depending on the composition of the shoe: these are no-discount draws, each draw affects the composition of future draws.

“Card counting” consists of following certain cards, or all cards, with certain methods, to obtain the ratio of weak or strong cards remaining to be dealt.

If the ratio indicates more high cards left to play in the shoe, the shoe is said to be “hot.” The card counter will increase its bets because statistically, the cards will be in its favor: The dealer will die more often (exceed 21), players will blackjacks more and start with larger starting hands.

And concretely …

Most card counting systems start the count at 0. This means that when the first card is dealt, the count is zero. Depending on the card counting system used, this count will fluctuate after each card distributed to which a value will be assigned: for example +1, 0 or – 1 in the Hi-Lo system . You have to keep track of not only the cards dealt with you but also the cards dealt with each player and the dealer.

When the shoe has a high percentage of big cards (the shoe is said to be “hot” ) the player has several advantages:

• The dealer will puncture more often (exceed 21)

• Players will blackjack

So when the card count is high, the card counter bets higher sums because it has a high mathematical advantage of winning against the casino: it does not guarantee that it will win every time.

The card counting doesn’t end there, even if you bet more and win more, you need to stay focused and keep counting and calling cards. If the card count drops again and becomes neutral or negative, you should bet less because the casino will have a greater advantage.

What is the recommended card counting system?

The simplest counting system is the one we recommend, namely the HI-LO count or plus / minus, notably used by the MIT team.

Most card counting systems use positive counting. When the card count is positive, it means more weak cards are played, and the shoe now contains a higher percentage of high cards.

Are there any techniques other than card counting to gain an added advantage?

The tracking logs and observing the cards mixture (or “shuffle tracking” in English) is probably the result and evolution of card counting. Based on the fact that high cards (face and ace) give the player a significant advantage, some follow the piles of these cards in the shoe to increase their stake when they appear.

“Ace Steering” is the method used to “steal” the Ace when the method called “Ace Sequencing” is used.