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5-Step Guide to Blackjack Card Counting

One of the most successful techniques when playing blackjack is card counting. But if you already know the game well, it’s a great way to determine when the chances are in your favor. You can improve at blackjack if you learn the basics of card counting and then try more advanced card counting techniques.

blackjack card counting

Things you should know

  • To use Hi-Lo, the most popular way to count cards, give each card a value. Then, make a moving total based on how much each card is worth.
  • Figure out the number of cards in each deck, also called the “true count.” As the true count goes up, you should keep changing your bets.
  • Hide your plan by moving slowly and acting like you’re interested in something else.

Step 1: Each card should be assigned a value

Hi-lo card counting is by far the most used method. If the percentage of high cards to low cards is higher than usual (many high cards are still in the shoe), the player can use this strategy to increase the amount of money they can win when the deck is favorable. They frequently consult a number that tells them whether to bet, how much to bet, and when to gamble.

each card should be assigned a value

There is a positive number in a good deck. The higher the number, the more you wish to wager. The number increases as more high cards are still available for play.

Remember card numbers

You have to give each card a number so you can keep an eye on how many high cards there are compared to low cards and see if the deck is on your side. Start at 0 and increase your total as each card is drawn.

The value of cards 2 through 6 is +1.

  • Cards 7-9 are worthless.
  • Cards with a value of 10 are worth -1.
  • Aces also have a value of -1.

Step 2: The Running Count

To find the true count, divide the current count by the number of yet undealt decks. Casinos no longer operate (at least in most cases) with a single deck of cards. Therefore, the likelihood of seeing a game that functions with 5 or 6 (in what is referred to as the shoe) is much higher. 

blackjack running card counting

Your running total might not be accurate as a result. Divide the currently active count by the number of decks awaiting deal to obtain the true count. For example, the true count is +1 if your running count is +4 and four decks are still available.

Take a sneak peek into the discard box to determine which decks are still available. Then, when you’ve got more time, do this between hands.

If you only have one deck, turn the cards over and multiply them. For example, say the count is +4, and you still have 3/4 of the deck. Following that, you would multiply by four to get 16 and divide it by 3 (just over 5). Some people decide to follow the running count in a single deck, but they know that the true count is always somewhat different (always higher).

Increase your bets

Once the count is running favorable, raise your stakes. “Positive” refers to values of approximately +2 and higher. The greater the count, the higher money you should wager. However, remember that if you vary your wagers excessively, the casino may take offense.

Generally speaking, for every point, the score rises, you want to increase your bet by one unit. Anything more dramatic beyond that will be observed by hawk-like observers in the skies.

Test yourself

Grab a deck (without the jokers) and look through it while maintaining a score. If carefully numbered the cards, you should arrive at a very round 0. Make an effort to finish the deck in under 25 seconds. 

  • Begin timing yourself once you can go through the deck and always come out at 0. Although the arithmetic is extremely straightforward, getting off track is trivial. Therefore, be reassured if you first constantly come up with a different number.
  • Pick a card, then place it face-down on the table. Then, go through the deck and tally your results; which card still needs to be turned in?

Step 3: Determine the “True Count” or Counting Per Deck

Casinos started utilizing numerous decks to thwart card counters. Well done, casinos! We must convert our data into a “True Count” or count per deck to use our running count in a game with several decks. Each step will be explained below.

true count or counting per deck

A +5 running count with six cards left in the game is entirely different from a +5 running count with one deck left. The player has yet to gain an advantage in the first situation because there is only one extra high card in each deck. The proportion of high cards to low cards is more crucial to a card counter than the sheer number of additional high-value cards.

There are five more 10s and Aces in the remaining 52 cards, giving the player the advantage if you had that running count of 5 with only 1 deck remaining. This makes the “True Count” significant.

Example #1

If our Running Count is ten and we have five decks remaining, our True Count is 2. (10 ÷ 5)

Example #2

Our True Count is -3 if we still have two decks, and our Running Count is -7. (-7 ÷ 2)

When using basic strategy and card counting, we can use this information to bet according to our advantage. That’s how card counters like myself make our living! The true count will also inform us when to change our playing strategy. These are referred to as “playing deviations.” We offer our members free charts of gameplay variations.

Step 4: Adjust the bet when a real count increases and decreases

Knowing when the house edge shifts in the player’s favor requires keeping a running count and an accurate count. Still, if you don’t use that information to alter your strategy, you’ll merely be playing a mentally taxing game of blackjack. You must increase your bets as the genuine count increases to take advantage of the knowledge you learn through counting. When the cards are in your favor, you should bet heavily and wager sparingly when the count is against you or neutral.

real count increases and decreases

Step 5: Make your moves slowly

Move cautiously to avoid raising suspicion. Stay at the table you hit for a while. Then why would you go? And give it some thought before you make a move at this table. We know, we know. We said you should be so skilled that you can spit out the ideal card without even thinking about it. But move slowly, or you’ll stick out because typical blackjack players didn’t spend the last three months preparing this identical setup. Everything you do must be carefree and informal.

make your moves slowly

Don’t stay away from the table to the table whenever the cards get good. It will quickly draw the casino staff’s attention to you. Instead, place little stakes until the deck is more loaded. Then, increase informally because you’re succeeding rather than knowing what’s coming.


A strategy employed in blackjack is card counting, which keeps track of the percentage of high-value to low cards still in the deck. Players can estimate the likelihood of favorable or unfavorable cards being dealt by assigning point values to each card and keeping a running count.

Although card counting is not prohibited, casinos can refuse assistance to players they believe to be engaged in the practice. Therefore, it is crucial to practice card counting discreetly and within the rules and regulations of the casino.

To avoid detection, blending in with other players and avoiding drawing attention to yourself is crucial. Avoid dramatically increasing or decreasing your bet sizes, and be mindful of your behavior at the table.


The 5-step guide to blackjack card counting provides a comprehensive and structured approach to mastering this powerful technique. When done correctly, card counting allows players to make more informed decisions, adjust their bets, and improve their chances of consistent wins. However, it is essential to note that blackjack card counting requires practice, discipline, and a deep understanding of the method. By following these iplwin terms and conditions diligently, players can improve their skills over time and enjoy greater success at the blackjack table.

Register at IPLwin to test out card counting and see if you can win big.

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