How to Count Cards

Counting cards is used in blackjack to give a player an edge over the casino. Contrary to popular belief, counting cards doesn't require any type of "Rain Man"-like savant qualities, nor is it illegal... it's just highly frowned upon. Therefore, if you start counting cards, you'll have to learn to be incredibly stealthy.. Anyone can learn how to count cards with a little bit of practice​​

STEP ONE - Getting Acquainted with the Game


LEARN BASIC STRATEGY. First things first, you can't really be an effective card counter if you don't know the ins and outs of basic blackjack strategy. Sure, you could count the cards, but it wouldn't result in you winning anything. Try to walk before you run.
  • It's in your favor to practice in casinos, if you plan on counting cards at casinos. Unlike at your kitchen table, there are a ton of other factors going on that must be considered -- like hiding the fact that you're hustling everyone.
  • When you play blackjack with a well-practiced strategy, you get the house's advantage to relatively 0.  All casino games are in favor of the house, so this 0 is pretty good!
​Familiarize yourself with the concept of counting cards. General strategy for card counting uses the Hi-Lo strategy. High cards are given a specific value (-1) and low cards are given a specific value (+1). When added up, they total the running count. That's it. The simpler you can keep it, the less your brain will want to explode -- so think of this simplicity as a good thing.
Understand why card counting works. It works because high cards (tens) improve a player's chances of hitting a blackjack, which pays out at 3:2. They also increase the dealer's chances of going "bust." Low cards, on the other hand, are bad for the player (who wants a blackjack and to beat the house) but good for the dealer (they prevent them from busting on 16 or lower).

 This is the chart that tells you what each card in the deck is worth.
2-6 is +1
7-9 is 0
10-A IS -1
Card counting is important because it lets you know when you should bet big. You bet big when the count is positive, and you bet low when the count it negative. You should increase your bet as the count increases and lower your bets as the count goes negative. 
Double deck- increase your bet when the count reaches +4 and up
Six decks- Increase your bet when the count reaches +7 and up. 
As the count goes back down lower your bet.