Card Counting Overview

Card counting in blackjack has achieved an almost legendary status thanks to a plethora of movies, books and TV shows depicting the activity. The idea has tempted thousands of gamblers over the years but few have taken the time to master the skill.

Card counting is a relatively easy skill to understand in theory but the true difficulty of the endeavor doesn’t reveal itself until one actually tries it in a real casino setting. The sights and sounds, the dealers, pit posses and other players all make it hard to keep track of which cards have been played and which bets needs to be made.

And that, my friends, is why casinos still offer blackjack games. Even though a few people have beaten the game in the past, it’s still a highly profitable game for every casino. Casinos would lose money by removing blackjack because the vast majority of blackjack players will never be able to gain an advantage over the casino.

How it Works

There are several methods of card counting but the general idea is to keep track of how many high cards and low cards have been revealed over the course of the game. If a lot of low cards have been revealed, the remaining deck is going to be rich in high cards. If a lot of high cards have been revealed, the remaining deck is going to be rich in low cards.

When a deck is rich in high cards, it’s advantageous for the player to increase the size of his bets because blackjacks are more likely to occur. During these times, the card counter will bet as much money as possible to take advantage of the favorable odds.

When the deck is rich in low cards, the dealer has the advantage so the card counter then makes smaller bets. The card counter would make no bets at all during these times, but then he’d have to leave the table – not to mention it would quickly tip off security to the fact that a card counter was in action.

Knowing that, the card counter then assigns a value to each card he sees at the table. Low cards will have a value of plus one and high cards have a value of minus one. When the count is high, it means a lot of low cards have been revealed and that the deck is rich in high cards.


Card counting without the aid of a device is legal in the United States. If you know how to count cards without using any machines, computers, calculators, etc., then you can count all the cards you want.

In some states, casinos have the right to bar known card counters from their property. In other states, casinos have to allow all guests, including card counters, to enter their premises.

Anti Card Counting Measures

Casinos have gotten increasingly clever in dealing with card counters over the years. In states that allow casinos to ban card counters from the premises, all they have to do is use facial recognition software to spot known card counters.

In states that do not allow casinos to ban card counters, the casinos have found all sorts of other ways to fight them. Many casinos have added more decks to the game and employed the use of constant shuffling machines to render card counting useless. Sometimes casinos will even send pit bosses and undercover security workers to talk to and distract the card counter.

Card Counting Online

Unfortunately, card counting does not work online because online casinos automatically shuffle the deck after every single hand. There’s no point in keeping track of the cards because they all get shuffled at the beginning of every hand.

Instead of trying to beat the casino at its own game, look for online casinos that offer players large deposit bonuses and nice rewards systems. If you can’t beat the game, you might as well get something out of it.

Ready to Try Card Counting?

There are two popular blackjack counting systems that you may want to look at. They include the KO Count System and the Hi-Lo Count System. Both systems will take some time to get down and will not be easy to master. However, getting a card counting system down can prove to be very profitable.