Card Counter Conventions and Strategies

Card counting is a simple extension of the basic card skills you may or may not already have. If you do it with a friend or a devices, it becomes an ethical issue, a casino policy violation, and probably a crime…if you do it alone, in your head, it becomes one of the best friends the serious blackjack player can have.

Basically, you are simply paying attention to the cards that you see and adjusting your plays accordingly. That’s what you do anyway, really… but with card counting, you assign a value to each card that is played, and add or subtract it from a running total in your head.

I know, that sounds like a lot to do, but it’s actually fairly easy (especially if you happen to be gambling online, and you can write it all down while you’re playing!). You’ve got one number in your head, that’s all… that’s the running total I talked about. When you see a card, that card will make you add something (sometimes nothing, sometimes one, and sometimes 2) to the total or take something away (sometimes nothing, sometimes one, and sometimes 2) from that total. And that’s about all there is to card counting.

The Hi – Lo strategy assigns card values as follows:

Strategy A 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Hi Lo -1 1 1 1 1 1 0 0 0 -1

So you can see that when you use this card counting system, you subtract 1 from your running total when you see an Ace or a 10, and add 1 to the total when you see 2 through 6.

Whether that running total number is high or low lets you know how to bet and where you stand with the rest of the cards in the deck. It ain’t a magic feather, but it’s an edge that with help you pull the odds a little closer to your favor. If you can learn to employ this very simple mathematical technique you will drastically alter your “luck”. Really we all know that luck is just preparation and timing meeting in the same place at the same time. It is the human mind giving meaning to mere coincidence.

Now some casinos may lead you to believe that this is immoral, improper or down right illegal but none of these are true. The casinos do frown on it because they do not like players that will work the odds in their favor. They seem to like their patrons to be like mindless zombies stumbling around in the dark, hoping to bump into a jackpot. DON’T BE FOOLED! Casinos were built on losers and that is just what they want more of not the opposite.

Humans tend to want to play cards the correct way. This is a natural instinct but some casinos would have us believe that you should do just that when playing on their tables…