Counting cards

If you've dedicated yourself to mastering the fundamental strategy but feel dissatisfied and yearn to enhance your proficiency in blackjack, consider delving into the art of card counting.

Casinos have introduced more decks of cards to make card counting more difficult, as it is considered a more advanced strategy practiced by professional players. It is important to clarify that what is truly illegal is cheating, whereas card counting falls under the category of advanced strategies. This technique has been widely discussed and has garnered attention for its potential to yield significant winnings. It is worth noting that despite its reputation, card counting is not inherently illegal.

Card counting, in its essence, involves keeping track of the card values and adjusting betting strategies to maximize winnings. It is a way to exploit the information available to all players at the table, so there's no need to fear getting arrested. The misconception that card counters are cheats stems from the belief that those who employ this technique are being dishonest. Rest assured, card counting is simply a strategic approach to playing the game.

Top Casinos in Ireland.
snai casino logo
1000€ Bonuses
  • €10 Thanks without Deposit
  • Progressive Loyalty Bonus
  • An Exciting Bonus
888casino logo
1000€ Bonuses
  • Get €20 Free Bonus
  • Exciting daily offers
starvegas logo
300€ Bonuses
  • 30 complimentary spins without the need for a deposit
  • €100 without deposit
  • Novomatic games
videoslots casino logo
200€ Bonuses
  • Clash of Spins
  • Weekend Boosters
  • Various Approaches for Making Deposits and Withdrawals

In reality, all you need is to know the four basic operations (multiplication, division, subtraction, and addition) to use this incredible strategy, without forgetting to practice and ensure that you master it in the best possible way. Another belief that revolves around this strategy is that it can only be implemented successfully by individuals with an almost inhuman memory.

In this article, I will provide you with a concise overview of the technique, its underlying mechanisms, and offer valuable advice on how to master this strategy and apply it effectively in a bustling and diverting environment such as a casino's gaming table. By doing so, you can leverage the inherent advantage of the house and aim for substantial profits.

From the moment card counting gained popularity, casinos exerted their utmost efforts to deter players from accumulating substantial winnings through this method. As such, they implemented alterations to the existing rules and introduced the practice of employing multiple decks of cards to dissuade the effective utilization of counting as a viable strategy for winning.

As an avid blackjack player, I have discovered that card counting can be a game-changer in two distinct ways. Firstly, by incorporating counting into my basic strategy, I am able to gain an edge over the casino. Secondly, by adjusting my bets based on the count, I can further enhance my advantage. These two aspects of card counting greatly improve my overall gameplay strategy, allowing me to determine the optimal time to increase or decrease the amount of my bet, strategically adapting to the ever-changing dynamics at the table.

The Hi-Lo System

The essence of this system lies in its name, which is derived from the card values: High + Low. The fundamental principle of the blackjack player is to wager small amounts when the count is low, and larger amounts when it is high. This strategy is rooted in card counting, where the player starts with a count of zero and adjusts it by adding or subtracting 1, then dividing the result by the number of decks still in play to obtain the effective count. Naturally, the count will fluctuate, necessitating adjustments to the bet based on the final calculation. If the number is positive, it signifies an advantageous position; if negative, it warrants caution as the house holds the advantage. It becomes clear that increasing the bet is the logical course of action when in a positive position, while decreasing it is necessary when unfortunate circumstances arise.

The Hi-Lo system, known for its balanced count, assigns a value of +1 to twenty cards in each deck and a value of -1 to another twenty cards, while twelve cards hold no value and are equivalent to zero. Moreover, this technique is classified as a single-parameter count, meaning that the score assigned to the cards is the only count that needs to be remembered, with no additional score variations to calculate alongside it. Therefore, there is no need for exceptional mnemonic abilities.

Moving beyond single-parameter systems, there exist alternate systems that incorporate varying values and additional counts in contrast to the fundamental system elucidated earlier. Termed as "multilevel" or "multiparameter" systems, they possess this unique characteristic, and as you have comprehended, they have the potential to offer greater advantages in comparison to their simpler counterparts. However, it is important to note that these systems come with a higher level of complexity. Therefore, if you are a novice player of blackjack and are learning these techniques, it is advisable to initially stick to single-parameter systems. Once you have thoroughly mastered diverse counting techniques, you can then venture into more advanced systems.

If the count in a card counting system is positive, it indicates that the deck contains a plentiful amount of high-value cards, thus granting the player an advantageous position against the dealer. On the other hand, a negative count signifies the presence of a greater quantity of low-value cards, ultimately giving the house the upper hand instead of the player. When considering the Hi-Lo system, cards ranging from 2 to 6 hold a value of +1 point, while 10s, face cards, and Aces carry a value of -1. The remaining cards hold a neutral value of 0.

Couple Values

Counting cards involves assigning scores to each card, as we've already learned. However, there's another approach to expedite the counting process: evaluating the value of pairs. Mastering this technique will not only save you time when implementing your counting strategy but also teach you to view the cards as a cohesive unit rather than individual entities. To simplify your task, here's a concise overview:

Couple Value
Ace + K -2
J+10 -2
Q + 9 -1
Ace + 7 -1
8 + 9 0
K + 3 0
7 + 3 +1
9 + 6 +1
4 + 5 +2
2 + 6 +2

To boost your counting skills and swiftly memorize pairs' values, I suggest you adopt this efficient approach. Begin by procuring a set of French playing cards, and then randomly select a pair from the deck. Your objective will be to commit to memory as many combinations as possible, employing a simple technique. With consistent practice, you will be well on your way to establishing a strong foundation in pair memorization and accelerating your counting abilities.

Exercises for Mastering the Art of Card Counting.

In order to master the card counting technique for a real game of blackjack at a casino table, it is essential to practice beforehand. To do this, you can purchase six decks of French cards from various stores or even from the souvenir shop inside a nearby casino. Although it may seem like a considerable amount, rest assured that you will find a practical purpose for all of these cards. Practice with these decks to hone your skills and become proficient in the system before attempting it in an actual game.

If you want to spice things up, you can even grab a card from the deck without peeking at its value. Give the deck a quick count and make an educated guess whether the card you plucked is a high roller, a lowly one, or just an average Joe. A positive outcome from your mental arithmetic indicates a high card, a -1 suggests a low card, and if the result comes out as 0, then you're looking at a neutral card.

No system can claim perfection.

No system is flawless. It is erroneous to assume that by depending on a numerical method, one can undoubtedly amplify their earnings. In reality, no approach can furnish exact data, but rather, it can only approximate, to a greater or lesser extent, the true arrangement of cards in play.

The correlation of bets indicates the accuracy of the counting system used in predicting when it is the right time to adjust one's bet, either increasing or decreasing it based on the cards still in play. For instance, the Hi-Lo system we explained earlier boasts a 97% correlation to the bets, showcasing its high level of accuracy. This means that the system is able to accurately predict the optimal moments to increase or decrease one's bet, based on the cards that are still in play. In addition to its high correlation, the Hi-Lo system also demonstrates a 51% efficiency, further solidifying its effectiveness.

As you progress with this system, building your confidence, you'll discover its potential to enhance your odds of triumphing in blackjack. Once you feel comfortable, feel free to explore more sophisticated techniques. But remember, it's crucial to stay within your limits. To ensure your growth, focus on training yourself diligently and effectively.

Don't rush into a casino thinking that an advanced counting technique in blackjack will guarantee you success. In fact, it could end up jeopardizing your entire bankroll and ruining your evening with significant losses. Remember, "slow and steady wins the race," so take your time and dedicate the necessary effort to properly learning the Hi-Lo system.

Pretending to be in a casino, I found a helpful exercise to practice counting cards. I played a game of blackjack, dealing cards to seven imaginary players and the dealer. The challenge was to count the cards as quickly as possible, usually within a few seconds, once they were dealt.

Keep Counting

In order to prevent any suspicion while playing cards at a casino, it is crucial to refrain from verbally counting the cards. Since the human brain is naturally inclined to think in terms of words rather than numbers, it is essential to train oneself to visualize the numbers mentally instead. This practice not only allows for a more efficient memorization process, but also eliminates the need to move one's lips while playing. Should any fellow players perceive your counting behavior, they may deem it as cheating and report you, potentially resulting in expulsion from the casino. To avoid such undesirable consequences, it is advisable to master the art of mentally visualizing the cards without drawing unnecessary attention to oneself.

When counting, it is advisable to use shorter expressions to save time and effort. For instance, instead of saying "uno positivo" to indicate a positive one, it is more efficient to say "più uno." Similarly, instead of using "uno negativo" to signify a negative one, it can be shortened to "meno uno." By utilizing these concise alternatives, we can expedite the counting process and reduce the number of syllables required.

To avoid any suspicion, it is crucial not to move your lips or give away any signs of deception. The key is to maintain a sense of discretion, making your opponents think they have the advantage, while in truth, you hold all the cards. This way, you can calmly and confidently play your game without any disturbances or interruptions.

Counting Order

In these two scenarios, the methods of card counting can differ depending on the distribution of the cards, whether they are dealt facing downwards or upwards. Allow me to elaborate on the various approaches to card counting in each of these situations.

Discovering the Art of Counting with Concealed Cards

Counting cards in a game where the cards are dealt face down is a crucial strategy. The first step is to evaluate the value of the cards in my hand. After that, I focus on the dealer's cards and keep track of all the cards dealt to both myself and the other players at the table, regardless of their outcome. The process is straightforward - I simply count the cards as they are revealed, making it an easy task.

How to Keep Track of Playing Cards Publicly

When playing games where the cards are openly dealt, such as face-up, it becomes necessary to begin by tallying the cards present on the table, inclusive of the dealer's card. Instead of proceeding with the arduous task of individually counting each card, a somewhat perplexing method to implement, it is advisable to patiently await the placement of all cards on the table, affording you the opportunity to swiftly assess the complete array of cards before your eyes. In doing so, you will also have ample time to discreetly conceal your counting technique, perhaps by engaging in casual conversation with the dealer or other players at your table.

Perform a precise calculation.

When casinos were limited to using just a single deck for blackjack, it was significantly easier to obtain an accurate count. Nowadays, however, with the implementation of multiple decks (usually 5 or 6, all housed in the shoe beside the dealer), the task has become increasingly challenging. As a result, you may find it more difficult to count effectively, potentially leading to mistakes and misjudgments when adjusting your bets.

At that moment, the precise count will be a positive calculation, which can be obtained by dividing the total in your ongoing game by the number of decks remaining in the shoe. For example, if the count is +5 and there are still 5 decks of cards to be used, the exact count will be +1.

On the other hand, if you happen to be participating in a game that requires a single deck of cards, you'll have to employ a different strategy. Instead of dividing by the number of decks, you must pay attention to the percentage of cards still in the shoe or those that haven't been played yet, and carefully assess the value of the cards on the table.

Learn Other Methods

In addition to the Hi-Lo method, which is explained earlier, the most popular one due to its simplicity and favorable outcomes, there are other alternative methods that you should familiarize yourself with. It is important to broaden your knowledge beyond the techniques you already possess. The Hi-Lo method is suitable for whether the cards at your table are dealt face down or face up. Additionally, there are various variations of the Hi-Lo method, which are listed below:

  • In the KO method, the sole distinction from the Hi-Lo is that the value of the 7 card is +1 instead of 0.
  • The Omega II method assigns a +2 value to the 4s, 5s, and 6s, as well as the face cards, and assigns a -2 value to the 10s, with the aces having a value of 0.
  • In the Halves approach, the value of the 2 and the 7 is halved, resulting in +0.5 points each. The 5 card carries a value of +1.5 points, while the 9 has a negative value of -0.5 points.


Knowing when to start counting is crucial in the technique known as "wonging," which involves discreetly and undetectably counting cards. Contrary to its complex nature, wonging simply refers to counting without drawing attention. To effectively implement card counting, it is recommended to use this strategy in larger tables, as it becomes more challenging for fellow players to discern whether you are employing an advanced tactic or not. By playing alongside multiple individuals, you are able to seamlessly blend in and minimize the risk of being exposed.

When playing blackjack at a casino, it is crucial to be mindful of the casino's regulations. Certain gambling establishments have implemented rules that restrict access to blackjack tables once the shoe has reached the midway point of the deck. Should you decide to join the game during this period, it will undoubtedly capture the attention of those around you. More significantly, it will raise suspicions that you are engaging in card counting. After all, why else would you be aware that this is the opportune moment to enter the game?


In casinos, we are well aware that there are numerous distractions that we may encounter while engaged in our games. These distractions include the incessant jingling of slot machines, varying in intensity, as well as the constant movement of waitresses hurrying to serve players at the tables. Additionally, there are individuals who simply cannot refrain from talking even during gameplay, further contributing to the cacophony. Moreover, the presence of smoke can obstruct our view, making it difficult to concentrate on the game at hand. In some instances, there may even be individuals who become intoxicated and create a disturbance until they are eventually escorted out of the casino. In summary, there is a wide array of distractions that cater to the preferences of every individual.

When it comes to training, it is crucial to recreate the chaotic atmosphere of a casino in order to sharpen your mind and enhance your ability to make calculations and concentrate on the cards under adverse conditions. Therefore, the most valuable piece of advice I can offer is to incorporate various forms of distraction during your practice sessions. To gradually elevate the level of difficulty, consider turning up the volume of the television or even having children play nearby as you train. By doing so, you will effectively simulate the noisy and bewildering environment of a casino, ultimately honing your skills to perfection.

Blended Within the Masses

To avoid any confusion, it is important to clarify that counting cards in casinos is not a criminal offense, yet it can result in being barred from the establishment if one is caught. Therefore, it is prudent to adopt preventive measures to safeguard one's strategy and avert any false accusations of cheating.

Lose yourself amidst the multitude, revel in the enticing allure of the casino and its immersive ambiance, and you'll evade any semblance of suspicion. Observe the gameplay of another patron, indulge in a libation, and relish the interludes between each hand. By emanating an air of tranquility, no one will dare to impute the act of card counting upon you.

When it comes to playing blackjack, it's important to focus on your strategy rather than getting caught up in wearing flashy and branded clothing. While a stylish outfit may grab the attention of other players, it can also draw curious glances that might scrutinize your every move. Remember, success in blackjack lies in your approach, not your attire. So, keep it simple and let your strategy do the talking.

Remember, one more thing I can tell you is to avoid fixing your gaze solely on the game table and cards, imitating the actions of a seasoned card counter. Instead, try shifting your eyes, observing the surroundings as if you were deeply engrossed in something unrelated to the game. Essentially, enjoy yourself and bear in mind to refrain from moving your lips while keeping track of the cards.

Sitting at the gaming table, it's important to engage in conversation with others while practicing counting the value of cards. This helps to conceal your actions and keep your mind focused on the task at hand. Whether it's chatting with other players or the dealer themselves, a brief conversation can be a helpful distraction. So, don't hesitate to strike up a conversation while keeping track of the cards. It's a clever way to maintain your concentration without drawing any suspicion.

By establishing a connection with the dealer, you can greatly enhance your chances of winning at the casino. Building rapport with them, perhaps by offering a small gratuity during your visits, can buy you valuable time to strategize your next move, ultimately giving you an edge over other players. The dealer's role is pivotal in maximizing the advantages you can gain, so it's wise to cultivate a friendly relationship with them.

Casinos are equipped with surveillance cameras to avoid any untoward incidents within their premises. It is imperative that you remain vigilant and adopt an inconspicuous demeanor. Given the fervor of certain patrons and the substantial amounts of money being won at the gaming tables, it is crucial to exercise caution and not allow your anxiety to give away any signs of unease. Keep in mind that your actions and behavior should not raise any suspicions, as the casino staff is actively monitoring the activities taking place.

The key to success lies in one simple rule: never rush. It is important to take your time in every situation, allowing yourself the opportunity to carefully consider your options. Remember, blackjack is meant to be enjoyed as a game, so make the most of your evening regardless of the outcome. Keep in mind that luck plays a significant role, regardless of how diligently you analyze and strategize. In the end, fortune holds the ultimate power.