Card Counting Strategy in Blackjack

If you are a Blackjack lover, you probably have heard the term “Card Counting”, but you may not know what exactly it is. Card counting is a strategy used in the game to track the number of high and low cards remaining in the deck of the dealer. When you can count the cards successfully, you can increase the betting amount when the odds are in your favor, ultimately increasing your chances of winnings. Card counting is a skill set that can give you a better idea about what’s in the dealer deck. However, some mistake this strategy with the technique to consistently win at the gameplay or sometimes to cheat in the play. 

There is one frequently asked question about this strategy is, “Is card counting strategy real? Does it work?”. Well, the answer is, the card counting strategy is real and it does work. You can easily learn the strategy, but mastering it may take all of your efforts and sometimes years. Another one of the most famous questions asked by the players is “Can you count cards while playing Blackjack at Online Casino?”. The answer to this question is quite complicated since most online casinos like LeoVegas and Jackpot City use RNG each time the cards are dealt, which makes card counting difficult. But some strategies allow you to count cards without getting caught by online casino operators. Let’s explore what these are!

Card Counting Strategies for Beginners 

Hi-Lo Strategy 

In the card counting technique, the most basic strategy for beginners is card counting. Here the cards are divided into two categories, High Cards and Low Cards. In high cards, values ranging from 10 – Ace (including face cards) carry a specific value of -1, while Low Cards value ranging from 2-6 are assigned the value +1. And, the remaining cards (7 to 9) are assigned the value of 0. 

Here, when the dealer deals a card you have to keep the track on the assigned value. For example, if the assigned value of the card is 5, it will be counted as +1, while in the next turn, if the card is dealt if 10, its value will be -1, your progressive total will be 0. 

The player has to keep on adding the values, every time a new card is dealt until a deck is shuffled again. And the total value is considered as ‘running count’. This is all, you only have to keep the calculation really simple.

We have summarized the strategy for you in four steps. 

  1. Step 1: Give a value to each card (-1, +1, 0)
  2. Step 2: keep a record and remember the value of each card dealt. 
  3. Step 3: Continue to add the card values to the deck (The Running Count)
  4. Step 4: Place your bets according to the card count. Increase your bet value if the count is negative and reduce the bet amount if the count is positive. 

Advanced Card Counting Strategy

When you feel you have mastered the basic strategy, you can proceed towards advanced strategies of card counting. 

Omega II

Omega II strategy is the balanced betting system, where 0 is the base value. This card counting technique was developed by Bryce Carlson, he even wrote a book explaining the strategy in depth. In this technique, the value of the cards differs from the basic one. 

  1. Card 10 and face cards are assigned value -2
  2. Card 9 is assigned value -1
  3. Card 8 and Ace cards are assigned 0
  4. Cards 2,3,7 are valued as 1 
  5. Cards 4,5, 7 are assigned value 2

The negative count represents that the card deck consists of high cards, while a positive count represents that there are more low cards in the deck. 

Group Play 

Group play involves a team effort of card counters. This strategy involves counting of multiple decks on multiple tables simultaneously. Here the team of card counters use signals for the communication and avoid the attention. They signal the players when is the right time to join the hand, and along with the right betting size. 

Wong Halves 

The name of the betting system belongs to its inventor, Standford Wong. Wong Halves is counted as an advanced system based on its assigned values since it involves fractions as well. 

  1. Value of card 10, Ace and face cards is -1
  2. Value of card 9 is -0.5
  3. Value of card 8 is 0 
  4. Value of cards 3,4, and 6 is 1 
  5. Value of card 5 is 1.5

This is also a balance system, meaning when a deck is completely dealt with, the total count must be 0. Since some values are in fractions, you can double up all the values to get a whole number.

Multiple Decks 

Multiple Decks strategy was innovated and implemented by a team of students who at MIT to win multiple dollars across multiple casinos for years. Their strategy became so popular it became a Hollywood movie in 2008, with the name 21.

Counting Multiple Decks 

The casinos try to prevent card counting by using multiple decks at a time, to make it hard for the player to track the running count. But the good news is that you can still count the cards using the Hi-Lo strategy. This basic strategy will save in the case. But how do you do it? Simple, just divide the running count by the numbers or remaining decks, and you will have the true count.

It is the true count that represents the advantage when multiple decks of cards are being dealt with. You must have the exact value of running total, so, you can work on the true count value. In case, when your running total is 4 and remaining card decks are 2, then the true count will be 2. 

The Best Strategy To Count Cards

Wondering, which is the best strategy to count cards in Blackjack? The experts suggest staying stick of the basis Hi-Lo strategy if you have not mastered it completely. Also, it is one of the simplest strategies that can help you win the game most times.  

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