Card Counting in Black jack


Card counting while at a Black jack table is a way to get a long term, statistical advantage over the casino. In 1962 Edward O. Thorpe's book "Beat the Dealer" appeared. Thorpe, through the use of computer trials, proved that certain cards were favorable to the player, and other cards favorable to the dealer.


Play BlackJack now at Casino On Net


machine for card counting
Machine for counting cards


Card counting strategy

Card counting is a means of tracking the relationship between the high-value cards, which are good for the player, and the low-value cards, which are good for the dealer.


But why are the low-value cards better for the dealer?


The dealer has to follow rigid rules regarding hitting. The dealer must hit if he or she has less than 17. The most important card in the deck for the dealer is therefor the lowly-appearing five, because this card will make at least 17 out of any stiff hand. Now card counting allows us to know when there are more high cards than low left in the deck/decks, and we raise our bet accordingly, because we then have an advantage over the house.

Common card counting system

One common card-counting system assigns a value to certain cards:


Twos through Sixes are given a +1 value.
Tens through Aces are given a -1 value
Sevens, Eights, and Nines are valued at zero.


As shown there are five cards with +1 and five cards with -1, so if you count a whole deck you should end at zero.

As the player sees the cards being played, the player adds those values together. From a starting point of zero, this "running count" fluctuates between negative and positive values. If the first hand dealt from a deck has a Two (+1), a Nine (0), a King (-1), an Ace (-1), a Ten (-1), and a Jack (-1), the running count is -3.


The point of this system is to bet money when the deck is more advantageous to the player and less otherwise. During play, use basic black jack strategy (See blackjack chart). By altering the amount you bet in this way, you will be betting more money when the cards are in your favor and less when the cards are in the casino’s favor, resulting in more money won and less money lost!


You decide the size of the bet unit. If your first bet were 10$ and card counting after that hand left you with a score of +2 you would then bet 20$ (twice your first bet).


If more than one deck is being used a true count helps to determine what bet to place. All you have to do is divide your running count by the number of decks remaining. So if there were one and half decks left you would divide the ongoing count by 1.5.

Other card counting sytems

There are many different counting systems, and not all systems start at zero with a newly shuffled deck. Some systems are Balanced Systems, meaning that if you take one complete deck of cards and count it all the way thru, your final Running Count will be zero. An Unbalanced Counting System does not end up at zero after counting thru the deck.


Play BlackJack now and get $888