Whether you’re new to the game or you’ve been playing blackjack for years, many players have a lot of uncertainty around the idea of counting cards. There is a common misconception that counting cards is illegal, but it’s actually completely legal! It is seen as a skill and a strategy to help players get an upper hand against the house. While brick and mortar casinos do have counter measures to prevent players from doing so, there are no laws against it. Luckily with online play, using this strategy is easier. Counting cards is a skill that experienced players develop over time. It requires great concentration, diligence, and patience. Although it can be a challenge, it can be learned by new and seasoned players alike.

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How To Count Cards on Blackjack

Counting cards isn’t as complicated as it may seem. Some people think it’s about memorization, like keeping track of exactly how many Aces have been played or how many Queens are remaining in the deck. Luckily the process is much simpler than that. First, you must assign a numeric value to every card in the deck. Cards 2-6 receive +1 (positive), 7-9 receive 0 (zero), and 10-Ace receive -1 (negative). As each card is dealt, you must keep a running total of the deck count based on these values. The deck total, as in the cards that have not been dealt yet, is either positive or negative based on the count.

When the count is positive it benefits the player, but when the count is negative the advantage goes to the casino. This is because higher valued cards are of more benefit to players. A negative deck means there are fewer of these high cards left to be dealt, therefore chances of you receive one is less likely. Low cards make for trickier play and more difficult to hit blackjack. It is important to remember that when the deck is shuffled or another deck is added that you reset your count and begin again. Failure to do this makes your count untrue and you will be betting based on faulty information.

Having a count of the deck is only the first part, you must then use this information to change the way you bet. When the deck has a positive count, you should increase the size of your bet because you’re more likely to hit blackjack (or come close). When there is a negative count and the casino has the advantage, you should decrease the size of your bet.

Counting cards - This is how you can cheat the system

Remember this while counting cards

Like most casino games, when playing blackjack the house always has the upper hand. Anything that players can do to get an advantage is crucial to increasing the odds of winning. Counting cards is a great strategy for this, but it’s a skill that requires practice. Players counting have to keep track of the count as well as their normal strategies. Though it requires a lot of dedication, players who master this skill are able to gain the necessary edge over casinos to win bigger bets more often.