If you want to be a winner at blackjack you must know much more than the basic strategies, you must know how to make the best decisions. This means knowing when to hit a card, when to stand or when to raise your bet.

How is it possible to know this without knowing what cards you might get when the dealer deals? Well, through card counting. Card counting allows you to keep track of the cards that have already been dealt and the cards that are still in the deck.

Thus, card counting has become one of the main tools of many great players. Of course, this is not an exact science, but rather statistics that provide approximate information. Therefore, it is not possible to know with 100% certainty which card we will get, but we can know if we have a good chance or not to get a good result.

So, if you want to learn how to count cards in blackjack to improve your game, this basic guide will be very helpful.

Table of Contents

Getting Started

Any player can count cards; contrary to what many believe, you don’t need to be a genius. However, you do need a lot of practice and good preparation.

First it is essential to know every aspect of the game perfectly, and then card counting can be incorporated. There are several different methods, but the goal is always the same, to have a notion of how many high and low cards are left in the deck and, based on that, decide how to play.

Different methods 

In general, most of the methods work in the same way: assigning a value to each card in order to add them up as they come out. Let’s see which are the different methods that can be used.

  • High-Low Method 

This is the most basic and popular system.  It works as follows: cards from 2 to 6 are worth 1, cards from 7 to 9 are worth 0, and tens, jacks and aces are worth -1. Thus, the player must add up the points as the cards are dealt.

When the total of the sum gives a high number (above 14) it means that there are still many high cards left in the deck, therefore the probability of getting a blackjack or a high value is high. 

It also applies what is called “true count”, which involves dividing the total that we have added so far by the number of decks that are being used in the game. This allows us to obtain a more accurate calculation. 

  • Uston SS Method

It is similar to the previous method but a little more complex because the cards are divided into 6 groups. The first thing to do is to multiply the number of decks used in the game by -2; this way we start in a negative range to avoid false indicators typical of the beginning of the game. Once the total of zero is exceeded it means that we have a 1% advantage over the house.

The value of the cards in this method is as follows; card 5 is worth 3 points, cards 2, 3, 4, 6 are worth 2 points, card 7 is worth 1 point, card 8 is worth 0, card 9 is worth -1 and cards 10, J, Q, K, and A are worth -2.

  • Omega II Method

Is one of the most accurate and advanced methods. It was invented by Bryce Carlson, and has been used for about 30 years. The most marked difference in relation to the other methods is that this one has a larger range of card values; cards 2, 3, and 7 have a value of +1; cards 4, 5, 6 have a value of +2; 8 and A are worth 0; 9 is worth -1.

As you will see, in this case, you have to remember more values, which means more work and practice. However, it is worth it, as it is the most accurate method for counting cards.Now that you know how the most popular blackjack card counting methods work, put them into practice by playing with one or more friends to test them out. You will see how learning how to count cards will help you a lot in your game.


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