4 Simple Steps How to Count Cards in Blackjack

Learn how to count cards in blackjack if you want to beat the house edge. Card counting is a strategy when a player takes a note of both the number of played cards, and the number of unplayed cards in a deck. You will have a higher possibility of winning the hand if you can maintain track of the cards. So, you know whether to hit, stand, or even double down

In addition, card counting is a skill that needs practice and patience, however, it is not as hard as you think to learn it. You can quickly become an expert card counter with only practice. In this moment, we will explain the ins and outs of card counting so you can increase your winnings in blackjack. 


  • Learning how to count cards in blackjack with 4 simple steps: setting cards a value, keep a running, monitor the running value, and figure out the results from every round
  • The two basics of counting cards: Hi-Lo Strategy and Running Count
  • The advantage of counting cards for players

What is Card Counting in Blackjack Actually?

Before we further explain how to count cards in blackjack, let’s start from the basic question. What is card counting actually? 

Well, card counting is the strategy you can use when you keep track of the number of high and low cards left in the dealer’s deck. Count cards will successfully and you can raise your bet when you know the odds are stacked in your favor, making you much more likely to win. 

Keep in mind though, this strategy is not for learning how consistently you will win or how to cheat in blackjack. It is simply a skill set for your normal gameplay, giving you a better idea of what is in the deck. 

How to Count Cards in Blackjack for Beginners: A Guide

On how to count cards in blackjack, whether online or in a casino, all that you will do is keep a running tally based on the face value of any cards revealed. You can follow these 4 simple steps on counting cards:

  • Start by setting cards a value of either +1 (cards 2-6), 0 (cards 7-9), or -1 (cards 10-Ace)
  • You can keep a running count with every card the dealer pulls a card from the deck, using the values 
  • Giving you keep an accurate count as the cards are dealt, you will be allowed to monitor the running value of the cards left remaining in the deck
  • After every round, if the count is negative, increase the size of your bet. This is because there will be more low-value cards remaining placed in the deck. If the count is positive, you can lower your bet

Then, how does this create an advantage for the casino? If you are playing blackjack thoroughly, the house edge will be around 0.5%. If you play masterly card counting, you will be playing with a 1% advantage over the casino! Then, it really does pay to start practicing on how to count cards in blackjack

The Basics of Card Counting

After knowing how to count cards in blackjack, this strategy is used by some players to increase the advantage in the game. By keeping track of the cards, the card counters can get an idea of what cards remain in the deck and adjust their betting respectively. 

While this strategy can give you an edge over the casino, however, it is important to note that there is no guaranteed way to win. The house has an edge in blackjack, but by using this strategy, you can give yourself a better possibility of winning. Let’s look at some basics of card counting. 

1. Hi-Lo Strategy

The Hi-Lo strategy on how to count cards in blackjack is a very popular strategy. The idea behind it is to bet high when the deck is rich in high cards and to bet low when the deck is rich in low cards. This is a very easy strategy to follow, and it can be effective if you can use it correctly. 

In blackjack, the main objective is to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21. To do this, players must first learn the basic concept of card counting. The Hi-Lo card counting system is one of the most popular and easiest to learn in blackjack. 

In this strategy system, the players can keep track of the high and low cards that have been played. The players will use this information to determine when the odds are in their favor and when they have to bet more or less. 

2. The Running Count

If you are looking to get an edge over the casino, how to count cards in blackjack is a great way to do it. Even though this strategy is not illegal, casinos mostly don’t like it when players count cards, so you may have to be cautious. 

The first thing is to learn the point values of the cards. All cards from 2 to 6 count 1 point, 7 to 9  count 0 points, and 10, Jack, Queen and King count -1 point. Aces can be counted either 1 or -1, depending what the advantage is for the count. 

Once you know the point values on how to count cards in blackjack, you can start by keeping a “running count” of the cards as they are played. To do this, you can simply add up the point values of the cards as they are played. Moreover, the running count will be 1 + 0 + 0 – 1 = 0. For example, if the first 4 cards dealt were 2 , 7, 9, and 6. 

The Advantage of Card Counting in Blackjack

As you know how to count cards in blackjack, you must be wondering what is the advantage of this strategy for players. Well, players oftenly use this strategy in an effort to increase an edge over the house. They can change their bets according to the remaining cards in the deck, which can be determined by keeping track of which cards have already been played. 

And if you ask is card counting illegal, it is not, but casinos frown upon it and may ask players to leave if they are caught doing it in a casino. While it will take some practice to become good at it, this strategy can give players a certain edge over the casino. 

Final Words

If you want to be a master, it is important to know how to count cards in blackjack. While this strategy is not illegal, casinos mostly don’t like it when players do counting cards. Moreover, even though this strategy has an advantage for players, it is crucial to keep in mind that the house always has the advantage in the game of chance. 

Therefore, you need to learn how to manage your bankroll wisely. Always set a loss limit to make sure you don’t walk away from the table with more losses that you can afford. 


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