Counting cards in blackjack is a highly skilled technique used by players to gain an advantage over the casino

04 oktober 2023 Peter Mortensen

It involves keeping track of the cards that have been played in order to estimate the probability of certain cards being dealt in the future. This can give players valuable information for making strategic decisions and increasing their chances of winning.

In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of counting cards in blackjack, covering everything you need to know about this intriguing technique. Whether you are a seasoned casino player or simply interested in learning more about casino games, the information presented here will give you a deeper understanding of blackjack and its strategies.

A Brief Introduction to Counting Cards in Blackjack

Counting cards in blackjack revolves around assigning values to each card based on its rank. The most commonly used system is the Hi-Lo system, where cards 2 to 6 are assigned a value of +1, cards 7 to 9 are assigned a value of 0, and cards 10 to Ace are assigned a value of -1. As the cards are dealt, players keep a running count by adding or subtracting the values of the cards.

By keeping a running count, players can estimate the remaining ratio of high to low cards in the deck. This knowledge can be incredibly valuable, as it helps players determine when the deck is favorable for them to place higher bets or when it is more advantageous to play conservatively.

A Historical Perspective on Counting Cards in Blackjack


Counting cards in blackjack has a fascinating history that dates back to the 1950s. It gained prominence with the publication of Edward Thorp’s book, “Beat the Dealer,” in 1962. Thorp’s book revolutionized the way blackjack was played by introducing the concept of card counting. His mathematical approach to the game sparked both interest and controversy within the gambling community.

Thorp’s groundbreaking work inspired many players to fine-tune their card counting skills and put them to the test. As casinos became aware of this technique, they started taking countermeasures to prevent players from gaining an edge. This led to the introduction of multiple decks, shuffling machines, and other measures to counter card counting strategies.

Throughout the years, various card counting systems have emerged, each with its own nuances and complexities. Systems like the Hi-Opt I, Hi-Opt II, and the Zen Count have gained popularity among skilled players. These advanced systems take into account not only the running count but also the number of decks being used, allowing for more accurate predictions.

Is Counting Cards in Blackjack Legal?

The legality of counting cards in blackjack is often a subject of debate. While it is not illegal to use one’s mind and apply mathematical strategies, casinos reserve the right to refuse service or exclude players they suspect are counting cards. However, it should be noted that card counting is not considered cheating, as it does not involve any form of manipulation or deception.

The primary reason casinos dislike card counters is that it diminishes their house edge and potentially leads to financial losses. Therefore, it is crucial for players to be discreet and avoid drawing unnecessary attention to themselves while employing this technique.

Tips for Counting Cards Effectively

Counting cards in blackjack requires practice, concentration, and a solid understanding of the system being used. Here are some tips to help you improve your skills:

1. Master basic blackjack strategy: Before attempting to count cards, ensure you have a solid foundation in basic blackjack strategy. This will help you make the best decisions regarding hitting, standing, doubling down, and splitting.

2. Start with a simple card counting system: Beginners should start with a straightforward system like the Hi-Lo count. Focus on accuracy and speed before moving on to more complex systems.

3. Practice with a deck of cards: Start by flipping over cards one at a time and keeping a running count. Gradually increase your speed until you can maintain an accurate count without hesitation.

4. Keep a low profile: Be discreet and avoid drawing attention to yourself. Don’t celebrate wins or show frustration when losing, as this could raise suspicions.

5. Manage your bankroll: While counting cards can give you an edge, it does not guarantee consistent wins. Proper bankroll management is crucial to ensure long-term success.

In conclusion, counting cards in blackjack is a sophisticated strategy that can give skilled players an advantage over the casino. While it requires dedication and practice to master, it can be a powerful tool for increasing your chances of winning. However, it is essential to remember that casinos take measures to counter card counting, and players should exercise caution and discretion while implementing this technique. By understanding the history and techniques behind counting cards, you can further appreciate the intricacies of blackjack and the strategies employed by players to outsmart the house.


Is card counting illegal?

No, card counting itself is not illegal. However, casinos may ask players who are caught counting cards to leave or ban them from the premises.

What is the Hi-Lo Count system?

The Hi-Lo Count is a popular card counting system that assigns values to cards. Low cards (2-6) are assigned a value of +1, neutral cards (7-9) have a value of 0, and high cards (10-Ace) are assigned a value of -1.

Why is mastering basic strategy important before attempting card counting?

Basic strategy forms the foundation for advanced techniques like card counting. It helps minimize losses and ensures that players make optimal decisions based on the dealer's upcard and their own hand.

Flere Nyheder