Counting Cards in Blackjack — Beginner’s Guide

Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games, and it’s easy to see why. The rules are relatively simple, and there is a great deal of strategy involved. Plus, nowadays, the online gambling world provides every Blackjack enthusiast with a pile of opportunities: they can learn and practice the Basic Blackjack strategy and card counting techniques with special online drilling exercisers for free; they can play the game against random algorithms at online casinos (free Blackjack games in demo mode), and even face a professional Blackjack dealer, wager and win some money in real time at Live Casinos.

While the game of Blackjack is famously simple to learn, there are a lot of discussions around the game, and they can quickly become heated and divisive.

For example, one of the debates in the center of this debate is the question of whether 3 to 2 or 6 to 5 is the better option. On the one hand, 3 to 2 offers a higher payout for blackjack hands, making it more lucrative in the short term. So, the debate must have stopped right here. 3 to 2 payouts are better than 6 to 5. It’s math, and you can’t argue with math, right?

However, 6 to 5 Blackjack has become increasingly common in recent years, and some players started saying that it offers a better long-term chance of winning. The key difference lies in the fact that 6 to 5 blackjacks tables occur more often than 3 to 2 blackjacks. This means that, while the individual payouts are lower, people just see them more frequently.

As a result, some players believe that 6 to 5 Blackjack offers a better chance of coming out ahead in the long run.

This is how misleading concepts spring out from “nowhere” from time to time (they are not coming from nowhere, by the way: there are always witty marketologists behind things like these) and become the truth that is “accepted” and “understood” by everyone involved. No questions asked. Something similar happened to counting cards in Blackjack. Action books and box-office successes about groups of geniuses who bring down casinos have led to a belief that we, ordinary people who love Blackjack, can’t learn how to count cards.

Well… Let’s look into the matter a bit deeper. It is always worth taking the time to understand what you are dealing with before starting to deal with it.

The Hi-Lo counting cards strategy in Blackjack

In blackjack, the Hi-Lo strategy is a widely used approach to counting cards. The idea behind this strategy is simple: count the cards that are dealt, and use that information to make decisions about how to bet and play your hand.

The Hi-Lo card counting technique is a popular way to keep track of which cards have been played in a blackjack game. By doing this, players can get an idea of which cards are still left in the deck and adjust their betting accordingly. The basic idea behind card counting is that high cards (e.g. tens and aces) are good for the player, as they increase the chance of getting a blackjack. Low cards (e.g. fives and sixes) are bad for the player, as they increase the chance of busting. In practice, card counters will keep a “running count” of all the cards that have been played, making adjustments to their bets as the ratio of high to low cards changes.

While there are a number of different ways to count cards in blackjack, the Hi-Lo strategy is one of the most popular and easiest to learn. Here’s a look at how it works.

The first step in using the Hi-Lo strategy is to assign a value to each card. The values are as follows:

  • +1 — for cards 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
  • 0 — for cards 7, 8, 9.
  • -1 — for cards 10, Aces, J, Q, K.

Now that you know the values of the cards, you can begin counting.

Every time a new card is dealt, simply add it to the total value of all the cards that have been dealt so far. For example, if two 5s are dealt in the very beginning, the total count of the deck will be 1 + 1 = 2. If then an Ace is dealt, you would add -1 (subtract 1) from those 2 points. The total count will be 1.

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