Counting cards

This is a blackjack strategy understood by dealers and players in the casino. The aim is to keep a count of the high and low-value cards as can be seen in the game, trying to minimize the house edge of the casino.

Who and when were tThe counting cards invented?

The father of card games counting is an American mathematician named Edward O. Thorp, who created the counting card method.

Counting cards the old days
Counting cards the old days

He explains wagering and playing tactics for optional play in his 1962 book Beat The Dealer. Despite being mathematically solid, some strategies are no longer effective in casinos.

How does counting cards work?

Card counting is a straightforward operation. There are several approaches to dealing with the cards.

To start, you need to learn the basics of the game. Find out the best strategies for winning a game like blackjack by playing free versions online.

This is a great way to practice and fine-tune how to play and become an expert.

Knowing the principles behind card counting increases a player’s likelihood of scoring a blackjack.

Using Hi-Lo Strategy

This is one of the most popular card counting strategies. The player that places larger bets boosts the number of wins when the deck is favorable.

This works better if the ratio of high-to-low cards is higher than usual.

They always have a number that informs them how much to wager. Then, to keep track of the high-to-low card ratio, you must assign each card a value.

Starting at zero, add each card drawn to your total. With this knowledge in hand, learn how to bet accordingly.

When the odds are in your favor, raise your stakes. As the count increases, you ought to bet more.

The casino may object if you make an excessive number of bets.

Learn other styles of Card counting

There are also other card-counting strategies to consider. For example, while Hi-Lo is the common strategy, because it produces good outcomes and is easy to learn, you could also look into Ace/Five, Zen Count or Knock Out.

Take the time to know the statistics of each variety because statistical analysts have all these numbers figured out, and it’s not simple.

Also, cautiously learn the concept of back counting.

Many casinos have banned mid-shoe entry due to back counting, so, if you consider doing this, be careful because you might get the wrong type of attention.

Camouflaging your strategy

Let your bet ride, and if you need to, increase the bet. Instructions to shuffle the deck when the bet increases mysteriously are given to the dealers.

Only increase your bet modestly and at seemingly random times during the game to help you keep on track with your card counting.

Then, take note of who is watching you. There are hundreds of cameras and people operating around the casino at all times.

If anybody suspects you of counting, they will pay attention to you, so it is best to behave yourself.

Also, take your time and do everything slowly. Before making a move, give it some thought because everything you do should not attract too much attention or scrutiny.

Advantages and Disadvantages of counting cards

There are several advantages and disadvantages to counting cards.


  • For instance, it helps you to practice your skills more effectively than playing with a full deck.
  • You can always tell how many cards are in the deck by looking at the number of cards left.
  • Players can completely overturn the house edge and gain a long-term advantage.
  • It gives players a chance to turn a long-term profit.


  • Since you must understand every number used for every card, mastering this is challenging. Some people may find it to be difficult since they dislike memorizing
  • It takes time for your brain to learn how to count the cards correctly, so you won’t be able to count quickly when playing an actual game.

What games can it be used on?

Here are a few games where counting cards can be used, for example;

  • Boggle — This is one of the most popular games for counting cards. In this game, you have to find words in a grid as fast as possible.
  • Concentration — The object of Concentration is to keep your eyes focused on the card and not let them wander off.
  • Roulette — A simple game where you bet either red or black and win if it matches the color of your card. If it doesn’t match you lose.
  • You’ll also find poker games online — Online poker sites offer many types of games that are played using counting cards. Some online casinos offer special rules for playing certain poker games with counting cards.


How many decks of cards should I use for a game?

Depending on the number of people and the kind of game you’re playing, you need to utilize a certain number of decks.

For instance, if your group like to play games in teams, and you have four participants, you should use two decks of cards.

What’s the best way to count cards?

People typically employ two techniques: one method counts all face cards, while the other method counts all non-face cards.

When it’s only one person counting, the person spreads out the faces of every card on the table and arranges them in ascending order.

Then, stack all non-face cards in discrete heaps on top of one another according to suit.

Why should I count cards?

When playing blackjack, and you want to know how many cards are remaining you may raise before your opponent folds, counting cards may be helpful.

This method can also be used to count the players in a pot and determine who has any hidden cards that could hurt their hands.

Is counting cards illegal?

No it is a legal activity!