Ultimate Tactics of How to Count Cards in Blackjack Game

December 01, 2020

Card counting is a common technique that lets players know if they can gain an advantage over the dealer and win the game. Explore how to count cards now!

One of the most practical skills that generations of gamblers have been applying for years and years to win against blackjack is counting cards. It is very simple to understand and practice so that players can make use of this skill without any effort. In this article, everything that relates to this blackjack’s tips will be revealed. No matter who you are, a novice, a casual player, a professional one, you can totally grab the rule and try your luck on online blackjack game for free to bring home a full buck!

Getting started with Card Counting

What is card counting? You will understand this tip in a matter of minutes. 

Card counting lets players know if they have an advantage over the dealer or the dealer does. Thanks to that, gamblers can decide to increase or decrease their bets when playing blackjack and even boost their winning chance up. 

Players will choose to place a smaller bet or even place no bets if the dealer gains an advantage over them.

Similarly, when the advantage shifts in favor of players, it goes without saying that they will increase their bets as much as possible.

This strategy undoubtedly allows players to adjust their bets in a flexible manner, which considerably reduces the house-edge that online casinos try to reach and improves players’ winning odds against casinos.

Mathematically, players benefit more from high-value cards, including ten-value cards, picture cards, and Aces than the dealer does. These cards’ values range from two to six; or in other words, low-value cards are more beneficial for the dealer to win against aspiring gamblers than any other ones. 

The sevens, eights, and nines can be considered neutral cards, which do not have a significant effect on the advantage between the dealer and players.

How to Count Cards in Blackjack?

Card counting can be easily applied to both traditional blackjack and online blackjack. The Blackjack card counting strategy can be broken into 5 simple steps. 

Start assigning a tag for each type of cards with the Hi-Lo card counting system

  • With 2 - 6 cards, assign a “+1” tag value
  • With 7 - 9 cards, assign a “0” tag value
  • Ten-value cards and picture cards are assigned a tag of “-1” value

After playing cards are shuffled and dealt, start counting with each card by using the values that are mentioned earlier.

The best time to increase your bet size is when the running count is positive, which also means that the undealt cards are high-value.

In case the running count results in a negative value, you should decrease your bet size, as low-value cards mainly concentrate on the undealt cards.

Always keep in mind: the more positive the count is, the more money you can place, the higher the winning chances are.

**Running count” means continually counting playing cards without breaking the total value until the deck(s) is/are shuffled again.

How Does Card Counting Work?

The principle of blackjack card counting is not too complex for players to understand. If you grasp this principle, it is likely that you can apply these above steps more practically and more efficiently. Your winning chances are also dramatically enhanced, without a doubt.

Cards are shuffled before the dealer deals them to players. It is obvious that the number of high-value cards and low-value ones has the same quantity. Every time a card is dealt, you can know the ratio of high to low cards left in the undealt cards by counting them. Thanks to this, you can consider increasing or decreasing your bets to have an advantage over the dealer and win the game round.

Apparently, if more low cards are dealt in the early rounds, players can make sure that the number of high cards in the remaining undealt cards are considerable. This naturally leads to the higher bets that players place to get a better chance of reaching a blackjack with an appealing perk of 3 to 2 the initial wager.   

Furthermore, it is notable that the higher concentration of low cards that are undealt is, the more they benefit the dealer. To be precise, according to casinos’ rules, dealers have to hit another card until their hand value is between 12 and 16. Thus, a number of undealt low cards increase their chances to get a hand value varying from 17 to 21 without driving their hand to a bust.

To start counting cards, players should start at zero and assign a tag of value for each dealt card as aforementioned. 

For example, if a player’s hand consists of a King (-1), and a Five card (+1), the counting is 0.

If the dealt cards are a Three (+1), and a Seven (0), the counting is +1.

Card counting should be continuously conducted until the round ends. Players can base on the dealt cards to make their running count. If the running count generates a positive value, it is likely that card counters can outrank the dealer, and they can make a higher bet on the next round.

Similarly, if the running count is negative, they will bet less or even make no bet.

Can Card Counters Apply This Strategy To Online Blackjack?

Nowadays, more and more players prefer playing online blackjack right on their couches to going to a brick and mortar casino. It is widely seen that card counting takes place in traditional blackjack tables, but in the case of online blackjack, can card counters make use of this strategy to have the edge against live dealers?

The answer is “Yes.” Despite the fact that almost all modern casinos today have applied the latest software and technology to shuffle the cards, in order to prevent card counters from cheating and enhance their house-edge, there are many programs that help you to do the card counting strategy. However, they are generally not allowed to be used.

You can count cards when playing at a land-based casino as long as you make sure that you have enough experience and knowledge about this strategy. We recommend that you should play online blackjack demo versions to practice your knowledge and hone your skills without any deposit. You can also read how to play blackjack and how to win at blackjack to gain more essential tactics to win the game.

If you decide to play online blackjack for real money, you should carefully ponder as this game type utilizes many programs, especially the RNG (Random Number Generator), to shuffle cards. Therefore, card counting may not help you much when you play online blackjack for real money. 

You can also read the best online casinos to narrow down your selection when deciding a trusted casino site to play at.

Can Players Count Cards When Playing Multi-Deck Blackjack?

When it comes to playing multi-deck blackjack, the most raised question by gambling enthusiasts is “Does card counting work with multi-deck blackjack?” 

Nowadays, almost all casinos use from 4 to 8 decks, which makes card counting a tricky thing. However, as you can see, every deck comes with 52 cards, including 16 ten-value cards. Keeping that in mind, you can figure out the ratio for multi-deck blackjack and adjust your strategy as well.

All you need to do when counting cards in a multi-deck blackjack is divide the running count by the number of remaining decks, which results in a “true count.” For instance, if your running count is worth 6 and there are 2 decks left, your true count is 3 as 6:2=3.

It leaves no doubt that no matter how many decks are involved, card counting can be applied in an efficient manner.

You can get the most out of this strategy if you know everything about how to play multi-deck blackjack.

Some Card Counting Strategies

This article has presented the basic Hi-Lo system when it comes to counting cards in blackjack. If you have mastered it, blackjack is no longer a puzzle for you. If you want to get more advanced strategies, don’t miss out on the following part. 

Wong Halves

Tags of value for each dealt card is a bit different from the common one that is stated earlier. It is a balanced system that you start at zero.

  • 3, 4, 6 are counted as 1
  • 2 and 7 are counted as 0.5
  • 5-value card is counted as 1.5
  • 8 value card is counted as 0
  • 9 value card is counted as -0.5
  • 10 value card and picture cards are counted as -1

Omega II

It is also a balanced system where players’ card counting starts at 0. 

  • 2, 3, 7 are tagged 1
  • 4, 5, and 6 are counted as 2
  • 9 is counted as -1
  • 10 and all picture cards are -2
  • 8 and Ace cards are 0

If the counting is positive, there are more weak cards left. In case it is negative, the more powerful cards are present in the undealt cards.

The Final Thoughts

Card counting is beneficial for single deck blackjack, but it may also work with multi-deck blackjack. We hope that this article provides you with the most essential and understandable knowledge so that you can easily win blackjack, one of the most thrilling and exciting games on the market. There are also many other strategies that you should dip your toe into, including blackjack hit and stand strategies, how to play single deck blackjack and so much more.