Learn How to Count Cards Playing Blackjack: No, You Don’t Need Maths! 

Ask any blackjack player what the most controversial tactic is and most of them would tell you that it’s counting cards. I’m Sensei Joe, from parts unknown, an honorary martial arts expert, gambling legend and your Gamble Sensei. In fact, I’m so legendary that most people don’t know who I am. Anyway, if you’re keen to learn how to count cards in blackjack then I have good and bad news for you. 

The good news is that you’ll be able to enjoy better odds of winning when using this strategy. However, the bad news is that it’s incredibly difficult, and it requires a tremendous amount of focus to effectively pull off. Nevertheless, I believe that I can teach you anything and if you can’t get this right after this session then I’ll give you my dojo – I won’t, but you get the point.  

Here we’ll be looking at everything that you’ll need to know about how to count cards in blackjack online. This includes various tips and tricks that you can use to make the process much easier.  

What is Card Counting?

Card counting has been the technique used to maintain count of how many low and high cards are left inside the dealer’s deck of cards. Once you effectively count cards, you can start raising your bet because you know the probability is stacked in your favour, thus increasing your chances of winning big. 

Card counting on the other hand, is not for studying how to continuously win at online blackjack or even how to cheat at blackjack. It’s merely a skillset added to your standard gameplay to help you understand what’s in the deck. If you want to learn how to count cards in blackjack then check out the following passage. 

How to Count Cards in Blackjack

To thoroughly card count, whether it be in a digital blackjack game or within a casino, you simply keep a running total based on the face value of any cards disclosed. Learn how to add up cards in these easy steps. 

Assign a Value to Each Card

When it comes to the Hi-Lo card counting system, the card values are generally as follows. 

  • 2 – 6 = +1 
  • 7 – 9 = 0 
  • 10 – A = -1 

With each card that’s been dealt, you’ll either add 1 or you’ll subtract 1. There’ll also be scenarios where you’ll do nothing because of the value of the card.  

The Running Count

With each card that’s being dealt, you need to update your running count. This is because you’re being exposed to new information. As a card counter, you’ll need to do this for every card that’s released from the shoe. Round after round, this will be the process until the croupier shuffles the deck again. 

This data would’ve been sufficient to begin placing bets in the times of single-deck blackjack. 

As the running count rises, the advantage shifts to the gamer. In the event of the running count falling below zero, the casino’s advantage grows. 

Calculate a True Count

Casinos started using numerous decks in an effort to prevent counting cards. Nice try, casinos! To utilise my running count in a numerous deck game, I simply convert it to a “True Count” or tally for each deck. 

A +5 count with up to 6 decks left is entirely distinct from a +5 count with just one deck left. In the first case, there’s less than one extra high card for each deck left. Therefore, the player doesn’t have an advantage. 

A card counter is interested in the density of high cards versus the density of low cards. So, it’s not just the amount of extremely high cards. So, let’s say that you had a running count of five with only one deck left. We understand that there are five extra 10s as well as Aces in the residual 52 cards, giving you an advantage. That’s what makes the “True Count” so useful. This is also why it’s important to know how to count cards in blackjack with multiple decks. 

Alter Your Bets with the Rise and Fall of the True Count

Maintaining a running and true count is crucial for determining when the casino advantage shifts in your favour. However, if you don’t use that data to alter your strategy, you’ll be trying to play an intellectually taxing game of blackjack—which could be extremely difficult to win. To capitalise on the data gained from counting, you must increase your wagers as the true count increases. 

You’d want to bet big whenever the cards are in your favour and small whenever the count is neutral or negative and not in your favour. Bankroll control and appropriate betting tactics can be complex. It’s easy to lose a lot of money if you don’t know how to bet correctly. 

Why You Should Count Cards in Blackjack

In a nutshell, victory. If you play it correctly, you can score big with a single simple, and tactical game which surpasses other strategies. Having to learn to add up cards in this game can help you win a lot of money. Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games sensation because, in addition to being entertaining, you have a good chance of winning money.  

Particularly when you understand what you’re doing… It gets much better once you can turn the chances in your favour, increasing your chances of winning big. All you need to do is start simple and learn how to count cards in blackjack with 1 deck. 

Why You Shouldn’t Count Cards

There seem to be no state or federal regulations that make card counting a criminal offence. There’s nothing illegal about doing this in your head without the use of a mobile app or a card counting device. Regardless of the law, it’s considered cheating

I strongly advise you to exercise extreme caution if you intend to implement card counting in a casino. Casinos will take harsh measures against presumed card counters. You could well be told to leave or even blacklisted from the table. Beware that your every move will be scrutinised. You’ll often find this piece of advice in books that explain how to count cards in blackjack for dummies. 

Basic Blackjack Strategy

Since you’re new and you’d like to learn how to count cards in blackjack, the Hi-Lo system is best for beginners. Here your high cards are the face cards including Ace and 10. These will be assigned a particular value of -1. The low cards are assigned a +1 value and this leaves the remaining cards of 7 to 9 which count as 0. Hold on, there’s more. 

This basic blackjack strategy is easy to implement for a complete novice, to begin with, card counting whilst also playing at an online or land-based casino. As the croupier deals a card, make a mental note of that card’s value. If the said card is a ten, you’ll count it as a -1. However, if the succeeding card is a three, then its value is increased by one. Now your total is equal to zero

The concept is to keep doing this for each new card dealt without having broken your total until the next shuffle. The total is known as the ‘running count.’ 

Advanced Blackjack Strategy

While you can learn how to simply count cards with a simple strategy. A more advanced one can be more lucrative if done right. There are multiple systems that can be used, such as the following. 

  • Omega II – The Omega II method is a ‘balanced’ structure with 0 as the base.  
  • Wong Halves – This process was named after its founder, Stanford Wong. Because of its allocated values, a few of which were also fractions, it’s regarded as an advanced tactic. 
  • Group Play – A few card counters work together. The advantage of this strategy is that numerous decks on various tables can be tallied at the same time. 
  • Multiple Decks – For many years, a group of MIT students and graduates used this tactic to win huge amounts of money from various casinos. 

While I’d love to go into more detail about these, I feel that they deserve their own segment. These strategies can be incredibly complex, and they require a lot of time and effort to master. However, as difficult as they are, they’re not impossible to learn.  


Learning how to count cards in blackjack should be an enjoyable process. Sure, the practice is frowned upon, but if you do it at an online casino, there’s no way for them to catch you out. Ultimately, counting cards can make you a lot of money if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to learn the process. 


Can you count cards in online blackjack with the same method as you would in normal blackjack? 

Yes, you can. However, when it comes to online blackjack, you’ll need to pay attention to the general pace of the game as this can be an issue. Always ensure that you’re in a comfortable space that allows you to analyse the game properly without having any distractions around. 

Is counting cards in blackjack illegal and has anyone been arrested for it? 

Counting cards in blackjack isn’t illegal, however, any casino has the right to refuse service to you if they discover that you’re counting cards. No one has been arrested for counting cards, but there have been players that were banned from online casinos for using this tactic.  

Other Online Blackjack Guides

As I can see you have read till the end. There is only one thing I can do to feed your hunger for knowledge. Here are more guides for you to master your skills: