How to Count Cards in Blackjack?

Card counting is a popular strategy in blackjack. It involves players keeping mental track of the cards played in card games. Professional players have used it. However, many new players are still in doubt whether this strategy works and if it is worth taking the time to learn.

Learning how to count cards in Blackjack can be easy if you have a system. Counting cards can alter your playing style in various ways. In counting, you assign a value to each card and then add it to the running “count” when the playing starts. When the “count” is high, you will tend to increase your bet and lower it when the “count” is low. Whether you are using a different counting system, it will always point in the same direction. So if someone changes his or her bet depending on the value of the “count” like betting higher when it is high and lower when the “count” value drops, then probably he or she is counting. A person who is sitting out when you sit out, then that person might be counting as well. 

What is the Best Card Counting System?

There are different counting card systems. One of the most comfortable systems to follow is the Hi-Lo count. Its goal is to calculate “true count,” which will be your guide in adjusting your bets. Here are a few steps in calculating “true count.”

  • Start with a running count that is set at 0.
  • You have to adjust it gradually when the dealer deals with a new card. You should subtract one if your new card is a 10 or a face card, while if it is something from a 2 to a 6, you should add one.
  • Divide the running count based on how many decks in the play.

You would want to raise your bet when your true count increases, but to how much will depend on your instinct. Some books have formulas for it, but using it would mean getting caught by the casino managers, so it is better to use your own method.

Is Card Counting Considered Illegal?

Card counting is not illegal in the US or any parts of the world, as there is no law that you could get arrested for using your brain inside a casino. If ever it gets into account of illegality, it only means that you can make a law out of one's thoughts. However, 


Card counting is a strategy that wins because you will be able to know if the next cards will favour you, and you have a way to choose to increase your bet before the cards are dealt. A card counter does not change the cards that will be dealt to them neither does it add cards to the deck or switch them with other players, so there is no violation done, as long as the player plays the cards dealt according to the casino rules. However, even if it remains legal, you can be booted from the table if you are caught doing it. It is the best example of the difference between doing something illegal and doing something that others do not like you to do. Hence, it is better that you employ it less obviously.

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