2 Ways to Count Cards in Blackjack

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Counting Cards in Blackjack at Vegas Aces

The only way to beat a blackjack game is using card counting, players can never rely on luck to win. You need to have skills that will ensure you have an advantage over the casino. Like every other casino, the blackjack game has a house edge that ensures the players always lose and casinos win.

Using a perfect basic strategy, playing blackjack brings the house edge down to 0.5%. This is not good enough to beat the house edge. Players need to advance their blackjack playing skills and play using advanced blackjack basic strategies.

The advanced blackjack strategy is for counting cards in blackjack that have been dealt against the remaining ones on the shoe.

What Is Card Counting?

Counting cards in blackjack uses a card counting system to know the ratio of high cards to low cards. The card counting systems are simple to learn but need time to master and play perfectly. Playing a deck with more high-value cards such as 10’s, Jacks, Queens, and Kings is more advantageous play.

Hi-Lo System

This is one of the most common card counting systems most blackjack players use. It is easy to learn, and with practice, you can easily master this card counting system.

Assign Values to Cards

The first step to counting cards in blackjack is assigning a value to every card. The low cards of two through six are assigned a value of +1. The mid-value cards of seven through nine are signed with a value of zero.

The low-value cards of ten trough ace are assigned a value of negative. 

Keeping the Running Count

As cards are dealt, you can either add one, add zero, or subtract one during the game. The running count is keeping track of the cards being dealt. If the dealer deals cards in the sequence of king, 7, ace, 4, and 5. 

The player would keep a count of -1 when the king is dealt, and add a zero to 0 when card 7 is dealt to total -1. The count will be updated to -2 when the ace is delt and for the 4 and five, you will add +1 for each to make the count to 0.

The running count is done for every card that comes out of the shoe in every blackjack round until the dealer shuffles. A negative count of cards means fewer high-value cards in the deck. A positive count means there are more high-value cards in the deck.

When the count is zero, all the cards in the deck have been dealt. You can practice by dealing with all the cards in the deck, and if the count is zero, your count is accurate. To improve your counting speed, always count after the second round of cards to count the cards in pairs.

When dealt a high and low card, you can count them as a zero. After the second round, you count the cards as they are dealt, including the splits. Keep the total count in each round as the count fluctuates from negative to positive to continue using it in the next round.

The true count tells the player how the composition is changing. The true count gives the player a better view of the remaining cards in relation to the number of decks being played. The true count is found by dividing the running count by the number of decks not dealt.

The player should raise their bets any time the true count rises. Playing perfect basic strategy and card counting will give you enough information when playing blackjack and beating the game.

Omega II System

This is one of the most powerful counting cards in blackjack systems, with an efficiency of 99%. The system was made famous in the book Blackjack for Blood by Bryce Carlson. It is a balanced card counting system where if you start counting from zero at the beginning of a deck, you will end at zero if the whole deck is dealt.

In this card counting system, the numbers 2, 3, and 7 are assigned a value of +1. Cards 4, 5, and 6 are assigned a value of +2, the 9 cards are assigned a value of -1, the face cards and the 10 are assigned a value of -2, and the 8 and Ace cards are assigned a value of 0.

The cards are counted and kept as each card is dealt from the deck. A positive count means that there are more low cards in the deck. A negative count indicates there are more high cards in the deck.

Blackjack players use card counting to increase their bet during a high negative count. This is because the presence of high-value cards is advantageous to the player.

In the Omega II system, the Aces are valued at zero; keeping a separate count of the aces in play is recommended. A deck rich in aces is good for the players as they are bound to get a blackjack. This system has a lot of variables to know, and keeping track of two counting systems can be very hard, and it requires a lot of practice to master its use.

Blackjack is based on dependent events that are correlated. Removing a card from the deck affects the game and how the bets should be made before the shoe is dealt. Also, you can read our article about 52 factorial. Card counting improves the player’s decision-making by gaining insight into the undealt cards. Remember, if you want to know more about Vegas Aces, check our social media and be aware of every news.

Counting Cards in Blackjack FAQs

What is card counting in blackjack?

Blackjack, like any other casino game, has a built-in house edge. The house edge in games ensures the casino will always win. Blackjack players have come up with counting cards in blackjack systems that ensure they can keep count of the ratio of high to low cards in the remaining deck.

More high cards in the deck are advantageous to the player than low cards. The high cards give the player a high winning chance when used alongside basic blackjack strategy.

How do you add 1 to the running count in blackjack?

The cards are assigned a value of +1 for cards in the range of 2 through 6, zero for cards in the range 7 through 6, and a value of -1 for 10 through Ace. As the cards are laid down, you add or subtract a value of one depending on the value. The oval score is kept in each round of the game.

How do you capitalize on counting in blackjack?

Card counting helps blackjack players know the cards remaining in the deck. A high-value count means there are more high-value cards in the deck. When the count is high, you should always raise your bet to ensure you capitalize on the use of card counting.