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How to Count Cards!

There’s very few casino games more beloved and widely played than Blackjack – the topic of hundreds of movies, plenty of strategy books and a draw for hundreds of players on major sites like bgo.com. While other games like slots and roulette are fantastic fun, some players just want a more strategic experience and are drawn towards Blackjack for the particularly favourable odds it allows the player. One of the major things you can do to tip the odds in your favour is to put into practice a combination of basic strategy (a widely accepted method that helps you to make the best possible play for any given hand) and card counting. While basic strategy can be found as a chart from many sources, card counting is a little different and requires some skill to execute.

Essentially, card counting takes advantage of the fact that when cards are dealt from a deck of cards (or multiple decks of cards) it will have an effect on what cards will be dealt after the fact. If every ace is dealt then the odds of you being dealt an ace after that will be zero. But keeping track of every single card as it is being dealt would be nearly impossible – that’s why card counting works a little differently. What you do is, you ascribe a count of either negative or positive to a set value of cards. In Hi-Lo, the split is usually +1 for a card ranked 2-6 and -1 for a card ranked 10-A with 7-9 being worth nothing. Once a hand has been played, you quickly see how many cards are negative and how many positive and once you’ve worked out the total of the two you know if the deck has a positive or negative count. If it’s negative then there aren’t many high value cards left and if it’s positive there are plenty of high value cards left!

For a visual example, check out this infographic!