Rahul Arora Last Updated by on May 9, 2023

Learn How to Count Cards in Blackjack to Beat the House

Counting cards in blackjack is a viable strategy that can help you boost your winning chances of becoming a winning player and help you determine when to place a high-value bet. Here you will learn the steps of how to count cards in blackjack as we’ll cover the top blackjack card counting techniques, and we’ll share some of the best online casinos in India where you can try your card counting knowledge.

What is Card Counting in Blackjack?

Card counting in blackjack is a mathematically provable option to get a playing advantage over the blackjack dealer. If this is a reasonably technical definition, to clear things up, you can look at card counting like a strategy where the low cards benefit the dealer and the high cards benefit the player.

A blackjack card-counting practice can significantly tip the scales in your favor!

The goal in blackjack is to reach a hand of 21 without going bust while having a better score than the dealer. So, it is in your interest to accurately predict when a high or a low card will be drawn. Using card counting helps you determine the best time to raise your stakes, as you can predict when a high card is likely to come up and play this advantage in your favor – it is a basic blackjack strategy that can help you lower the house edge and get a better winning chance!

The idea behind counting cards comes from a simple statistical point. When the blackjack rules are considered, the player can stop taking cards at any time, while the dealer must take an additional card when their score is less than 17. Thus, a high card will likely make the dealer go bust (over 21), benefiting the player.

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How Does Card Counting Work in Blackjack?

Counting cards in blackjack is simple – you start with a score of 0 and then add or subtract the relevant values of the drawn cards, keeping the running score. The running score tells you the probability of a high or low card coming up, so you can adjust your bet or double it if the blackjack variety you play permits it. A note: using card counting will not help you win blackjack side bets.

Please note that there are many card counting strategies in blackjack, and the table below outlines the most popular ones that you can use when playing blackjack at 888Casino:

Card Counting Strategy 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10, J, Q, K A
Hi-Lo +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 0 0 0 -1 -1
Hi-Opt I 0 +1 +1 +1 +1 0 0 0 -1 0
Hi-Opt II +1 +1 +2 +2 +1 0 0 -2 0 2
Red Sevens +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 (red seven)

0 (black seven)

0 0 -1 -1
Wong Halves +0.5 +1 +1 +1.5 +1 +0.5 0 -1 -1 -2
Ace-Five 0 0 0 +1 0 0 0 0 0 -1
Omega II +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 0
Victor +2 +2 +2 +3 +2 +2 0 -1 -3 0
Zen +1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +1 0 0 -2 -1

Basic Blackajack Strategy


Hi-Lo System Strategy

The Hi-Lo strategy is the simplest card-counting blackjack practice you can apply because it has straightforward and easy-to-remember card scores. Here is a simple rundown of how to count cards in blackjack using the Hi-Lo system:

  • Assign the value to every card and memorize them. Start your counting when a new card shoe is brought to the table, as shown in the table below:
High cards: 10, J, Q, K, A: -1
Medium cards: 7, 8, 9: 0
Low cards: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: +1
  • Keep a “Running Count” based on the values of the cards dealt in the round. For example, anytime a low card is drawn, you add 1 to the score; when a medium card is drawn, you use a zero; and when a high card appears, you subtract 1.
  • Use the running count to calculate the true count, as you will need this to know the statistical probability of the true count. The true count results from dividing the running count with the decks remaining in the shoe. For example, if your running count is 8 and you have 4 decks remaining, the true count is 8/4=2.
  • Adjust your upcoming bets as the true count rises or falls. For example: if the true count exceeds 3, you can take an insurance bet. If the true count is 2, you should consider surrendering if your score is 15 and the dealer has a 10-score card. Hit if you have 12, the dealer has a 6, and the true count is lower than -1.
Hi-Lo is one of the most popular balanced card counting systems in blackjack.

Ace-Five Count

Another simple to understand and use blackjack card counting system is the Ace-Five count. Per this strategy of counting cards, you only need to count the 5 and A cards. To use this card counting practice, you must wait for a new card shoe to be brought to the table, and you’ll have to set a low and high stake for yourself. The low stake can be the table minimum, and you can set a high stake to double the low stake, and you can adjust the high stake as the game progresses. Here is how to use the Ace-Five card counting strategy, which you can test out by playing blackjack at 10Cric:

  • Start with the fresh card shoe, the low stake, and a 0 running count;
  • Every time a 5 is drawn, you add 1 to your count, which puts the count in your favor;
  • Every time an Ace is drawn, you subtract 1 from your count, which puts the count in the dealer’s favor;
  • If the running count is equal to or less than 1, then make the low stake bet;
  • If the running count is equal or more than 2, double your previous stake bet;
  • If the running count continues to be more than 2 on the next round, you should double your stake;
  • If the running count drops below 2, you should revert to the low-stake bet.
The Ace-Five card counting strategy is simple to apply at online casinos.

Online Blackjack Advanced Card Counting Strategies

You need to learn how to play blackjack before using the above blackjack strategies. Do not get us wrong, they are relatively simple, but here we’ll talk about advanced card counting strategies that need more practice and better attention from you. You can join Betway and try to apply one or more of the advanced online blackjack card counting strategies.

Omega II System

The Omega II card counting system in blackjack is a balanced system that takes a lot to master. Per the Omega II card counting strategy, you get a more precise prediction and better chances of winning. The goal of the Omega II count is to place higher stake bets when the running count is high, which means there are fewer low cards in the shoe. A low running count means more low cards are at play, and the high cards have been used.

Omega II card value scores
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10, J, Q, K A
+1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 0
  • You start the running count with 0 with a fresh card shoe;
  • You add and subtract the card’s value scores as they are drawn;
  • If the running count is high, there are fewer low cards in play – you should make a higher bet
  • If the running count is low, there are more low cards in play – you should make a lower bet
Per Omega II, bet high when the running count is high and low when the running count is low.

Wong Halves Strategy

The Wong Halves strategy of counting cards in blackjack is one of the most precise card counting systems that, when applied correctly, can raise the accuracy of the predictions up to 99%. However, this is a relatively complex counting strategy because it requires complex calculations, and you have to be very good at math to implement it correctly.

This strategy is often called “Wonging” or back-counting, and many try to use it at land-based casinos. Still, while not illegal, it is frowned upon, and if caught using this strategy, you will surely be banned from the casino. Here is the rundown of the Wong Halves strategy:

Wong Halves card value scores
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10, J, Q, K A
+0.5 +1 +1 +1.5 +1 +0.5 0 -0.5 -1 -1
  • Start with a fresh card shoe and add or subtract the assigned card value to the running count;
  • Refrain from making a bet, but keep careful score of the running count;
  • You should make a sizable bet when the running count is in the player’s favor.
Implementing card counting in an online computer-generated blackjack game is nearly impossible!

When is Counting Cards Effective in Online Blackjack?

Card counting could be effective in online blackjack when used correctly. However, you must note that many online blackjack variations have high-speed rounds and may have difficulties following the drawn cards. The strategy of counting cards uses math and statistics to determine the low and high cards ratio, and it gives you the advantage of placing a relatively high-stakes bet when the odds are in your favor.

Please note that many online casinos have explicit bans on using card counting techniques, and if you break their rules, you risk losing your bankroll and access to the online casino. Luckily for you, we’ve checked, and you can freely try your card-counting abilities at 22Bet’s blackjack tables.

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How to Bet When Counting Cards?

It is easy to bet when counting cards, as the running count is the probability that will “tell” you when placing a high or a low bet is good. When you try counting cards in blackjack, you should be very careful with following every card and memorize the running count as the game progresses and the cards are drawn from the shoe.

If you use the basic or Hi-Lo strategy, you should place a higher-stakes bet when the running count increases, and vice versa – place a low-stakes bet when the running count decreases. It is similar to the other blackjack card counting strategies you can use at your favorite Indian online casino.

Card counting does not guarantee a win, but it dramatically improves your winning chances!

Tips for Mastering Online Blackjack Card Counting

When playing online blackjack, we must be clear that counting cards can be very challenging. It is because most online blackjack games, like the ones at 10Cric, are computer-based games run by RNGs that shuffle the cards after every round of play. The live dealer blackjack games offer a chance to count cards, but these tend to go slowly and have lower stakes. Still, if you wish to try counting cards in online blackjack, here are some helpful tips:

  • Learn the basic blackjack rules before you try any card-counting strategy
  • Start the game early as a new card shoe is introduced into the game
  • Watch and record every drawn card, adding or subtracting the appropriate card value
  • Make sure you increase your bet by a small increment, as online casinos have pattern recognition software that can identify if someone is counting cards


How does blackjack card counting work?

Blackjack card counting is a strategy where you assign each card a specific value and add or subtract these values with every drawn card. It gives you a better winning chance, as if your calculations are correct, you can increase your bet stake and win a bigger payout.

Is counting cards illegal in blackjack?

Card counting is not illegal in blackjack, as this is a mental activity that may tip the player’s favor. Still, many land-based casinos frown and ban this activity, as when done correctly, it can bring the winning chances up to 99%.

Is it difficult to count cards?

The basic card counting strategy in blackjack is fairly easy to perform, but complex strategies require significant aptitude toward calculating the running count.

How do you get good at counting cards?

As with every activity, you can get good at counting cards with practice. You can use the free or demo versions of online blackjack to try your card-counting skills.

How long does it take to learn how to count cards?

It depends on your skills and level of knowledge, but you can master this skill in a matter of days if you get enough practice.

What is the best blackjack app for counting cards?

Several online apps can help you count cards in blackjack, and you can test these using your smartphone.

Do blackjack dealers count cards?

Many blackjack dealers count cards to know when it is time to shuffle or change the shoe. Still, they will not reshuffle the deck if they have a good incentive, even when they know the odds are against the casino.

How to beat blackjack without card counting?

You can win at blackjack without card counting if you learn the rules, play wisely and be diligent with your bankroll.

How does online blackjack prevent card counting?

Online blackjack games prevent card counting by reshuffling the cards after every round. Many live dealer online blackjack games shuffle their cards early, so the players won’t start with a fresh card shoe, making card counting impossible. Pattern recognition software also identifies when a player will make an increased bet when the cards are in their favor.

What are the odds of winning blackjack with card counting?

Players counting cards in blackjack have slightly better-winning odds, as card counting lowers the casino’s edge. For example, most casinos have a 6:5 blackjack payout, with 3:2 for natural blackjack. It increases the house edge by about 1.4%, but counting cards can lower this to about 0.2% and increase RTP to 99.5%.

What is the easiest way to count cards?

The easiest way to count cards is to use the basic blackjack card counting strategy, the Hi-Lo system. However, this works best when playing the game with one or two decks.