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How to Count Cards in Blackjack

Learn how to count cards in blackjack in this Howcast video about gambling.


I wanted to go really briefly into how to count cards. It's a common misconception to a lot of new players that a card counter is required to count every single card that's coming up. And that's really not how it works, it's a lot simpler than that. And basically I'll go into the most simple method, is a high-low system, where as the cards come out then point values are given to all of those cards. So for here I'm just going to deal out five hands. So in the case here, all the tens and aces, in this case we don't have any aces here, but the tens would be considered minus one. Right? And the reason why it's a minus is that tens are generally good for the player, so when they come out then the rest of the shoe just gets a little bit worse. All right. And then we have cards two, three, four, five, six, these are considered good cards to come out in the beginning and so these have a point value of plus one. So all the other cards which would be a seven, eight, nine, those are considered neutral, because they don't really help you that much, they don't really hurt you that much. So in the case here these two cards would make this shoe right now minus two, and this would go minus three, minus four, this is a plus one so it goes back to minus three, these cancel each other out because you got one high and one low, so minus three. And then we've got these two here, minus one. And this is neutral.

So, generally as the shoe goes on it's going to skew into positive or negative territory, and when the count gets really, really positive, then generally a lot of card counters, what they'll do, they'll put more money on their bets because they know the shoe here is rich in the ten value cards that's gonna make them money. In the case where it's extremely negative, what people will do is, generally the card count, if it's negative they don't play because it's not very good for you, but if they do, they play the bare minimum, or sometimes what they'll do is they'll kind of vary their play, because they figure, you know, it's a whole bunch of low cards coming up, so they may hit a seventeen, where they normally wouldn't, or like a twelve versus another card here, versus like say a five, where he knows that the shoe is a little bit cooler with the small value cards. Normal basic strategy says you would leave that alone but you may consider hitting that if he's counting cards. And that's a very basic on how to count, it's about plus and minus and when it gets to a certain predetermined point, determine exactly how you're betting and your strategy and all would determine how big your bets get. And that's card counting.

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