Counting cards in blackjack is a popular and fascinating technique that can give skilled players an advantage over the house

03 oktober 2023 Peter Mortensen

In this article, we will delve into the depths of this strategy, providing a comprehensive guide for those interested in casino games. Whether you are a casual player looking to improve your blackjack skills or a seasoned gambler, understanding the concepts and history behind card counting is essential. So, let’s explore the world of card counting in blackjack!

What is card counting in blackjack?

Card counting is a strategic method used by players to determine the ratio of high to low cards remaining in the deck. This technique gives players valuable insights into the probability of certain cards being dealt, enabling them to alter their bets accordingly. By keeping track of the cards that have been played, players can make more informed decisions during the game and potentially increase their chances of winning.

It is important to note that card counting is not illegal, although casinos frown upon the practice and may ask players to leave if they are caught counting cards. Additionally, card counting requires a considerable amount of effort and concentration, making it a challenging skill to master.

The history of card counting in blackjack


Card counting has a rich history that dates back to the early 1960s when mathematician Edward Thorp published his groundbreaking book “Beat the Dealer.” In this book, Thorp introduced the concept of card counting and provided strategies and techniques for players to gain an edge in blackjack. This publication revolutionized the game and sparked widespread interest in card counting.

Initially, card counting involved keeping track of the ratio of high cards (10s and Aces) to low cards (2s to 6s). Players would use a system known as the Hi-Lo method, assigning a value of +1 to low cards and -1 to high cards. By mentally adding or subtracting these values as cards were dealt, players could ascertain the overall card composition.

Over time, casinos caught wind of this strategy and started implementing countermeasures to thwart card counters. They began shuffling the decks more frequently, using multiple decks, and introducing automatic shufflers to minimize the effectiveness of card counting. Despite these countermeasures, dedicated players continue to refine their card counting techniques and adapt to the ever-evolving casino landscape.

How does card counting work?

Card counting revolves around assigning point values to each card denomination. While there are several card counting systems available, we will focus on the widely-used Hi-Lo method.

The Hi-Lo method assigns the following values to each card denomination:

– Cards 2 to 6: +1

– Cards 7 to 9: 0

– Cards 10 to Ace: -1

As the cards are dealt, players mentally keep track of the running count by adding or subtracting the respective values. For example, if the initial count is 0 and a 3, 4, and 10 are dealt, the running count would be +2 (+1 +1 -1 = +1). This running count, when divided by the estimated number of decks remaining, gives the “true count” a more accurate representation of the card composition.

Positive and negative true counts indicate different scenarios for the player:

– A positive true count (+1 or higher) suggests a surplus of high cards remaining in the deck, which is advantageous for the player. In such cases, the player may consider increasing their bets.

– A negative true count (-1 or lower) indicates an abundance of low cards, which favors the dealer. Players may opt for smaller bets or choose not to play during such scenarios.

Counting cards in practice requires focus, speed, and mental agility. Players must stay alert while maintaining conversations and engaging in normal gameplay, making it a challenging skill to master.



Card counting in blackjack remains a popular and controversial strategy in the world of casino gaming. While the practice is not illegal, casinos attempt to discourage it by implementing various countermeasures. However, skilled players who dedicate time and effort to mastering card counting techniques can potentially gain an advantage over the house.

Understanding the history, concepts, and techniques behind card counting is crucial for blackjack enthusiasts. By employing the Hi-Lo method or other card counting systems, players can make more informed decisions and potentially increase their chances of winning. However, it is important to approach card counting responsibly and with a clear understanding of the risks involved.

So, whether you are intrigued by the mathematical complexities of card counting or simply want to improve your blackjack skills, diving into the world of card counting is an adventure worth undertaking. Happy counting and good luck at the tables!


Can card counting guarantee winnings in blackjack?

No, card counting does not guarantee winnings in blackjack. It is a strategy that can give players an advantage over the house, but it is not foolproof. Card counting requires skill, focus, and mental agility, and even with these attributes, there is still an element of chance involved in the game.

Is card counting in blackjack illegal?

No, card counting is not illegal. However, casinos discourage the practice and may ask players to leave if they are caught counting cards.

What is the Hi-Lo method of card counting?

The Hi-Lo method is a widely-used card counting system that assigns values to each card denomination. Cards 2 to 6 are assigned a value of +1, cards 7 to 9 have a value of 0, and cards 10 to Ace are assigned -1. By keeping track of the running count and dividing it by the estimated number of decks remaining, players can determine the true count.

Flere Nyheder