The card counting system in blackjack is quite simple, and the only difficulty in applying it is learning it by heart. Indeed, in blackjack, and everyone agrees, the best players are those who manage to be as discreet as possible while being quick and meticulous in counting cards.

Considering that there are 13 cards in each suit we will assign a value to each of them:

  • The cards from two to nine will be qualified as +1 meaning that every time they come out you will count 1 point in your head. Indeed, when these cards come out, it means that the cards called “logs” have not come out. Therefore, they are still to come (the logs) and therefore your chance of having a good card to come increases. That’s why we add +1.
  • In the same way, when the 10, the Jack, the Queen, the King (the famous logs) come out, you count -2 points. Here again it is easy to understand that if these cards come out it means that they will not come out afterwards. And therefore, your probability of seeing one in the future decreases.
  • The ace is considered to be worth zero. Again, this makes sense since it can be worth both 1 and 11 and therefore be considered both a strong and a weak card.
  • You will see that out of all 13 cards the total balance value of the deck is zero since there are eight cards worth +1 and one card worth -2, with the Ace being worth zero. This system allows you to know when the game becomes positive for you. If the score is high and positive, then the probability of aces, kings, jacks or queens coming up is increased.

In the same way, if a lot of 10s, Jacks, Queens or Kings in  come up, then the index moves into negative numbers, which means that the odds are against you.

Be careful, of course, if you want to get the best results with this technique, you have to arrive at the beginning of the game, i.e. when the shoe has just been shuffled, and count the cards until the game is over, i.e. when the shoe is shuffled again. Arriving in the middle of the game would make you lose your acuity since you would not know which cards have already been dealt. This would skew your calculations.  Many players believe that the longer you stay on a machine, the more likely you are to win. Again, this is a vain hope because your chances of winning the jackpot are the same for your first or your hundredth game.

So, you can tear your hair out waiting to hit the jackpot after a hundred spins. So there’s no point in hogging the same slot machine for hours and pushing your limits.

The True Count Strategy in Blackjack

Now that you understand the principles of basic blackjack technique as well as counting technique, we can go one step further and try to master the true count strategy. This strategy is not very difficult to implement and once applied, it can make a real difference in your game and allow you to beat the dealer.

Without going into detail here (we will do so in an article dedicated to this strategy), the True Count method consists of making the card count even more accurate. Knowing how many decks of cards are left in the shoe is a good way to measure the value of your count. The more decks in the deck, the less accurate the count, and conversely, the fewer decks left in the deck, the more accurate your count.