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How to Count Cards in Blackjack Game

Card counting is one of strategies of the advantage play, which means that in order to win you should use your memory, abilities to calculate quickly and without mistakes, your observation skills. It is more difficult than using blackjack strategy chats, but it increases your chances to win.

Playing blackjack you may use information about the state of shuffle and about the cards which have already been dealt. For achieving these data you need to know how to count cards. Process of card counting involves adding or subtracting numbers according to the start number (zero).

This strategy is based upon the principle of basic dependence, which means that the higher proportion of high cards in deck is, the higher chances to win the player has and vice versa. If the deck is in you favor, you should rise the bets, if not – minimalize your bet.

Strategy of card counting does not presuppose remembering all dealt cards. You should count points according to the system which has been developed for tracking and counting dealt cards. There are different systems of counting cards, but you may pick the one you can memorize easily.


Each card in the deck has its own value in card counting. You should operate these values during the game. Game starts with a new deck, so the primary count is zero.

According to the Running Count Strategy cards are valued as:

Running Count Strategy is also called The High/Low Blackjack or Unbalanced Strategy of counting cards. This system is applied to 1-deck game.

How does the Unbalanced Strategy work?

Let’s analyse an example of blackjack game and ways of the card counting using the picture below.

There are 4 players at the table and 9 cards. Recollecting the information above, we may count cards values. Our first results are:

The total count of the game is 1. It means that a great part of cards with small value have been already dealt and the deck comprises cards with high value. Player should not raise his bet, because deck still does not favor him. If the total count were four or more, player could raise his bet. But as the result is still positive, the player may not minimize his bet.

When dealer deal the next circle of cards, player should start counting from the last total count.

Remember! If the result of counting process is more than 4, you may raise bets. It means, that deck is full of high cards. If the total score is lower than 4, minimize your bet – now deck does not favor you. .


The main difference between balanced and unbalanced strategies lies in quantity of decks. Balanced strategy is applied to the multi-deck game. It involves method of Running Count, but the result must be divided into the number of decks left in shoe. In this case you receive True Count. If you choose Balanced Strategy of card counting, you should complete the following steps:


Count values of the dealt cards


In order to receive a True Count you should divide the Running Count into the number of decks left in the shoe.


If the True Count is more than 4 – you may raise your bets, if vice versa – minimize the bet.

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