Counting cards in blackjack has long been a topic of interest for avid casino players

04 oktober 2023 Peter Mortensen

It is a strategy that involves keeping track of the cards that have been dealt in order to gain an advantage over the casino. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of counting cards in blackjack, its historical significance, and what players need to know to utilize this strategy effectively.

Introduction to Counting Cards in Blackjack

Counting cards is a skill-based technique used by players to determine the likelihood of drawing a favorable hand. It involves assigning values to different cards and keeping a running count of the cards that have been dealt. By doing so, players can adjust their bets and playing decisions accordingly.

Counting cards can be an effective strategy to gain an edge over the casino, but it requires a deep understanding of the game, concentration, and practice. It is not illegal, but casinos take measures to deter card counters, such as using multiple decks and implementing stricter rules.

Understanding the Basics of Counting Cards


To successfully count cards in blackjack, players must be familiar with the basic principles. The Hi-Lo system is the most commonly used method for counting cards. It assigns a value of +1 to low cards (2-6), -1 to high cards (10-Ace), and 0 to neutral cards (7-9).

Players keep a running count by mentally adding or subtracting the assigned values of each card that is dealt. A positive count indicates a deck that is rich in high cards, which is favorable for the player. Conversely, a negative count suggests a deck with an abundance of low cards, which benefits the casino.

Key Considerations for Card Counters

Counting cards in blackjack requires discipline and a keen eye for detail. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

1. Practice makes perfect: As with any skill, practice is essential. It is recommended to start with a single deck and gradually progress to multiple decks.

2. Avoid detection: Casinos frown upon card counting, so it is crucial to maintain a low profile. Avoid sudden changes in betting patterns or excessive staring at the cards.

3. Master basic blackjack strategy: Counting cards is useless without a solid understanding of basic blackjack strategy. Familiarize yourself with the optimal playing decisions for different scenarios.

4. Bankroll management: Counting cards does not guarantee winnings. It is crucial to manage your bankroll responsibly and set limits to avoid losses.

Historical Evolution of Counting Cards in Blackjack

The concept of counting cards dates back to the 1950s when mathematician Dr. Edward O. Thorp published his groundbreaking book, “Beat the Dealer.” Thorp’s work introduced the world to the concept of card counting and provided players with a mathematical approach to gain an edge in blackjack.

Thorp’s book revolutionized the game and attracted both praise and controversy. Casinos scrambled to implement preventive measures, such as shuffling decks more frequently and training dealers to detect card counters.

Since then, numerous card counting systems have emerged, each with its own set of rules and variations. The MIT Blackjack Team gained significant attention in the 1990s for their highly successful card counting exploits, which led to the creation of the famous movie “21.”


Counting cards in blackjack is a strategy that can give players an advantage over the casino. However, it is not a guaranteed path to riches and requires skill, practice, and discipline. By understanding the principles of card counting, mastering basic blackjack strategy, and managing their bankroll responsibly, players can increase their chances of success.

While card counting has evolved over time and faced challenges from casinos, it remains an intriguing aspect of the game. So, if you are a casino enthusiast looking to enhance your blackjack skills, counting cards might just be the strategy for you.


Can I guarantee winnings by counting cards?

Counting cards does not guarantee winnings. It simply gives players a slight edge over the casino. Success depends on various factors, including skill, strategy, and bankroll management.

Do I need to be a math genius to count cards?

No, you don't need to be a math genius to count cards. Basic math skills and practice are sufficient to understand the principles of card counting.

Is counting cards in blackjack illegal?

No, counting cards in blackjack is not illegal. However, casinos do not encourage it and take measures to deter card counters.

Flere Nyheder