How To Count Cards in Blackjack

We are sure you know how to play blackjack, but do you know how to count cards?

You’ve likely heard of card counting before, and while you may think it’s a hidden skill or art which takes years of practice, it’s actually far, far easier to pick up than that.

If you’re interested in how to count cards in blackjack, it’s worth remembering that many physical casinos won’t look too kindly on you doing so – online, however, you may be able to work such strategies to your advantage.

Practice, as always, makes perfect – and this guide is here to help you make a better set of plays in black jack than ever before.

Is Counting Cards Hard?

Not at all.  You simply need to understand the basic theory behind counting cards at all.  Simply remember that bigger cards, i.e. those of 7 or over, are going to be more beneficial for you, as you’ll need them to be able to make 21.

Smaller cards, on the other hand, always play to the house’s strength.  However, it’s also healthy to remember that a deck high in big numbers isn’t necessarily going to hand you a win.

It does, however, mean that the probability of you getting black jack increases massively.  Remember this – once you’ve seen an ace or a 10 dealt, it’s gone from the deck.

Is counting cards hard?  Not if you put your mind to it. It will help you find when to hit or stay and much more.

Learn How to Count Cards in Blackjack

Want to learn how to count cards in blackjack?  You’ll need to pick a system.  Card-counting systems are particularly well sought-after online, and you may even be asked to pay for a more lucrative strategy.

Our advice, generally, is don’t – there are plenty of great free guides out there and strategies to pick from.  You’ll need to find an easy yet effective system if it’s your first time counting at all.

We’ll take a look at one of the simplest counting guides available later in our guide.

Counting Cards Blackjack

Counting cards blackjack or otherwise in the casino doesn’t always guarantee you a win.  This is worth remembering.  It does, however, seriously increase your chances of making money.

A basic strategy will generally revolve around the following:

  • Assigning a different value to each card which is dealt and keeping a mental running tally.
  • Add one for low cards of 2 to 6, and subtract one for cards 10 or higher (including ace) – 7s, 8s and 9s are neutral and score 0.
  • This is known as the hi-lo system to some counters, and it’s thought to be one of the best entry level systems out there.
  • Raise your bet size once your overall count or tally is positive. Click here to find out more about the bets.
  • Some casinos may try to offset card-counting by introducing multiple decks. This is where things can get tricky.
  • In this scenario, a good basic strategy to use is to take your standard count and divide it by the number of decks remaining.

Blackjack Card Counting Strategy

There are plenty of big blackjack card counting strategy guides and options out there, even those – as suggested – which ask for money up front.

The fact of the matter is, however, that even premium packages are fallible at times.  If you’re looking to use this strategy for blackjack, it’s important to understand that the process simply helps to break down probabilities in-play so that you can make better informed decisions.

However, as any seasoned counter will tell you, these strategies in black jack pay off long-term – so you may have to play more than a few rounds to get any kind of real advantage.

Make sure to check out the odds for 21 before playing to ensure you get the very best experience.

Blackjack Card Counting Spreadsheet

It’s always good to set up a card-counting spreadsheet if you are new to these strategies.  Keep track of what’s likely to come up and play in your favour when you’re playing black jack online or in live games.

It’s much easier to use this method from home than at a casino outright!

Blackjack Card Counting App

You can also download one of many different blackjack card-counting apps which will make suggestions to you based on current deals and hands.

Never pay in for these apps or services, however – use free tools available to you, and then build your own confidence and strategies.

All Tips and Tricks Strategies

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James has almost a decade of experience in the Online Casino Industry. Winning several awards including "UK Casino Affiliate of the Year" he uses his experience to research the UK market to source the best bingo welcome bonuses, highest casino slots real money payouts and free spins sign up offers.