Learn How to Count Cards in Blackjack

Learn How to Count Cards in Blackjack

Staff Writer
April 4, 2011

Learn How to Count Cards in Blackjack

Good Blackjack card counting tips include the understanding that higher valued cards work to the dealers advantage while lower valued cards work toward the players advantage. The difference between the two is knowing who has the advantage. Card counting in blackjack allows the player to play the odds. If done correctly and the player can become a master at Blackjack.

How does this work exactly? Counting cards in blackjack is skill that is learned and practiced. If most of the lower cards have been played then the deal has a higher chance of busting. There are several methods of counting cards in blackjack. This article will concentrate on one the better methods of counting cards – Hi/Lo card counting.

Hi-Lo Card Counting

The deck is divided into three sections – Low Cards, High Cards and Neutral Cards. Each group is assigned a numerical value:

Low Cards High Cards Low Cards
1 -1 0
Low Cards are
High Cards Neutral Cards
2,3,4,5,6 10,J,Q,K 7,8,9

So each time a card is played or laid on the table the play makes a mental calculation. The count starts at zero. If a Jack is played then the count is -1. But if the dealer deals a Q, 8, 2, K then the count is the mathematical equation ( 0-1+0+1-1) = -1. If the dealer deals a 5,K,J,2 then the mathematical equation is (0+1-1-1+1) = 0. The zero at the beginning of the equation is the starting balance. It carries over from hand to hand. If the two hands were played one after the other then the beginning balance of the second equation would be (-1+0+1-1-1+1)= -1.

Running Count

Hi low card counting is simply keeping track of the cards that are played and estimating when higher valued cards may be dealt. A +1 count is more likely to produce a high card, while a low card is more likely to be produced at a -1 count. If the odds favor being dealt higher valued card, it could be dangerous anytime someone has a natural hand count of 12 or more, and the blackjack card counting is +1 . Then more high valued cards are left and hitting may be beneficial but risky. If the hi low card counting is -1 then the odds of having a low valued card dealt are greater. This card counting blackjack tip is designed to allow the player to know when to bet high and when to bet low.

The danger of counting cards in blackjack is getting caught. It is not a crime nor is it illegal to count cards but a dealer who thinks you are counting cards will employ all kinds of tricks to mess up your counting. Some casinos may ask you to leave if they suspect you are a card counter. To overcome the obvious look of counting cards in blackjack requires nothing more then practice to improve your hi-lo card counting abilities. The goal is to blend in with novice players and to achieve that goal you will need to practice until counting cards in blackjack is second nature to you.

Practice with Online Blackjack

For those players interested in becoming more familiar with blackjack it is advisable to play blackjack online. The casinos online that offer blackjack represent an excellent opportunity to get-to-know the finer aspects of the game.

Though counting cards does not work when playing online blackjack, the goal of playing blackjack online is to not only become more familiar with the game but to master the rules of the game. Learning the rules and mastery of the game allows the player to be able to focus better on learning to count cards when playing blackjack at live tables, so it doesn't appear like you are counting cards while playing.



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