What is Blackjack Card Counting & How to Count Cards

You’re probably wondering what is Blackjack Card Counting, right? Well, it is exactly what it sounds like. Card counting is simply keeping track of which cards have already been dealt so you can predict the odds of getting a better hand. If you play Blackjack long enough, then you will realize that basic strategy doesn’t always work out in your favor. Even though dealers are required to do blackjack basic strategy when they play, many people don’t even know basic strategy (and the casinos probably don’t want us to either). As card counters, we use our advantage over the casino by using their weaknesses against them.

Is Blackjack Card Counting Legal?

No, it is not 100% legal to count cards. Casinos have the right to ask you to leave if they feel that you are counting cards. However, this has never happened so far as I know. The only reason why casinos don’t want you to count cards is because if you are good at it, they are not making any money! Casinos make money off of the players who don’t know where to play or how to play their hand. Therefore, card counters will always be at a disadvantage in comparison with high rollers.

Why Card Count?

The main reason why people learn blackjack card counting is because of the money involved. The casinos give about 3% in payouts for all of your hard work of card counting! If you play blackjack long enough and perfect your skills then you will find that being a counter is extremely profitable at times… especially when luck isn’t on your side or when playing shorthanded (1-3 players) tables.

How Does Blackjack Card Counting Work?

I’m going to assume that you already know the basics of Blackjack if you want to be a card counter. If not, then I suggest you read up on it before continuing onto this guide.

The first thing we need is a way to keep track of all the cards that have been played. There are many different types of card counting systems out there so choose whichever one works for you best. The most popular system is by using an index or High-Low Count system where each number has an equal amount of positive and negative values assigned to them (e.g., +1, 0, -1). However, there are multiple variations… but that will depend on which version you decide to learn about.

The next thing we need to know is how the casinos count their cards. Most of the time, they use a Hi-Lo type system to keep track of all the cards that have been played. I could go into detail about this but it’s probably best if you read up on your own instead.

Now you might be wondering which cards are the best ones to keep an eye on. Well, the majority of card counters will only focus on Blackjacks, 10’s, Aces and most face cards. Other cards that can potentially help your hand are 3’s-6’s (depending on the count), 7’s and 8’s. The nine and the ten are not really worth keeping track of all that much because they won’t make a big difference in the long run.

The last thing we need to determine is when is it profitable to increase our bet size(s). Many players usually start off playing at a table with minimum bets until the count gets high enough. They then move up to median bets and finally high stakes bets. This is the best system to use if you want to keep track of your bankroll (since it allows you to control how much money you spend).

How To Practice Blackjack Card Counting?

There are many different ways for practicing card counting so here are some tips and advice…

1. The most important thing with card counting is consistency and accuracy. So over time you will need to work on both practice sessions as well as real sessions at a casino. If you aren’t accurate then your actual risk goes up higher than what your target level should be!

2. You can use a basic strategy trainer or even play one of the many card counting simulations online. The idea is for you to get your accuracy and consistency as high as possible before going live at a casino.

3. Try using the Flashcard method which helps greatly with learning all of the negative and positive values that are used with the High-Low system.

4. The most important thing with card counting is to have fun with it. If you are having problems then just give yourself some time since this isn’t easy to learn or master! Just keep practicing and learning more about the game… it will come in handy later on.

5. Finally, if you are serious about card counting then I highly recommend that you read up on it some more. It’s not the easiest thing to learn but it’s fun and rewarding… especially when playing at a casino.

How To Keep Track of Cards

Now let’s talk about how we actually keep track of the cards while playing at the casino. The most popular method is by using a deck of cards with each card being assigned a value between -1 and +1. This system only requires one player to keep track of since they can just sit there and do all the counting for you.

At the beginning of the game, have your partner/teammate shuffle up an invisible deck so that you don’t actually see how many cards are being dealt out. Once all of the cards have been dealt then it’s time to count them one-by-one until we either hit negative or positive 5 (which would be considered as true count). If this happens, then there are now more high valued cards left in the deck than valued ones. Which means that it’s more likely that you will get a Blackjack or face cards in general.

The reason why the true count is important is because this value determines how high your bets should be after a shuffle. It can also determine when it’s best to bet low on a hand since too many ten-valued cards have been played out already. Don’t worry if all of this sounds confusing… it will make sense once you start practicing with an actual deck of cards!

Now some people might say that I’m not good at counting cards and stuff like that, but truthfully: I just don’t want to go through the trouble of learning how to count cards and I don’t want to risk my money either! – Some random player.


There you have it, how to count cards and make the best of your next Blackjack session. Of course, this isn’t easy to learn but with enough practice, the process will become much easier… I guarantee it! So, start practicing now since it will be worth your time and effort.