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4 Easy Steps to Start Counting Cards in Blackjack

4 Easy Steps to Start Counting Cards in Blackjack

Blackjack is a casino game that has grown enormously in popularity over the past few decades. A huge contributing factor to this is the rise of the digital era and online gambling, providing an abundance of casino games including Blackjack, Poker and online slots across the internet and reaching a much broader audience. Today, if a player wishes to participate in a game of Blackjack, there’s no requirement to visit a brick and mortar casino establishment and perch themselves as the casino table. Blackjack participation is as easy as picking up your smartphone, logging into an online casino and launching a game.

As a result of this increasing popularity, more people are in search of the skills and strategies that will improve their gameplay during a Blackjack session. If you’re just starting out in Blackjack and wish to learn more about the most common effective strategy, read on. 


What is Card Counting?

Card counting is the most popular strategy used in Blackjack and involves keeping a log of the cards dealt and using that information to predict which cards are likely to be dealt next. Subsequently, this information is used to inform the level of your next bet and your next move. Many inexperienced players assume that card counting requires an outstanding knowledge of mathematics and a brilliant memory, but the reality is quite different. In fact, most players can learn how to effectively card count simply by learning the process and having the patience and determination to put in some practice.

So, how do Blackjack players successfully count cards? The Hi-Lo system is the most common card counting method and the one we will outline below.

Step 1: Allocate a Value to Each Card in the Deck

Each card in the deck is assigned a certain value. Cards 2-6 have a value of +1. Cards 7-9 have a value of 0, and cards 10 – Ace have -1. Depending on which card is dealt, the player will either add 1, do nothing, or subtract 1, based on the card’s allocated value.

Step 2: Keep “Count” of the Cards Dealt

As every card is dealt, the player must keep a running count as the new information is presented. This continues with each card that is dealt and for each round until the cards are shuffled by the dealer. If the count value in increases, the player gains advantage, but if it decreases, the casino has the advantage.

Step 3: Calculate the “True Count”

You may be aware that some casinos use multiple decks in an attempt to stop Blackjack card counters in their tracks, but this won’t necessarily work if the player figures out a count per deck. As it is the concentration of high-value cards amongst low-value cards that is important to the player, keeping a true count across several decks is just as valuable. For instance, if the running count is 10 but there are 5 decks left, the true count is 2 (10 / 5). Or if the running count is -6 and 2 decks are left, the true count is -3 (-6 / 2).

Step 4: Adjust your Bets Accordingly as the True Count Increases

You’ve gathered the important information; now it’s time to capitalise on it! After all, card counting alone will not win you any money and only serves to exhaust you. Increase your bets as your true count increases. When the count is neutral or negative, bet smaller, as the dealer has the advantage. Keep an eye on your bankroll, of course, and only bet what you can afford.

Final Thoughts on Blackjack Card Counting

Card counting doesn’t have to be as complicated as one might think. Yes, it takes patience and as with most things, practice makes perfect. If you’re willing to put the time in, you could reap some very generous rewards. Ready to give it a try? Play now at Gold Rush Slots!