Guide to Blackjack Card Counting

Looking to boost your winning chances in blackjack? Read this post to learn the blackjack card counting strategy and how it works.

There’s no doubt that blackjack is one of the most popular casino games in the Philippines. Winning is not easy, but you can beat the dealer and win large amounts of money using blackjack card counting. The art of card counting is very important if you want to win a game of blackjack. Once you’ve mastered the skills, you can confidently play the game, knowing you have a strategy that you can count on. In this post, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about card count to help you understand the skills and become an expert.

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History of blackjack card counting

Players created different strategies for almost all casino games and blackjack is not an exception. Several people have documented the strategy of card counting. However, the first effective strategy was written in the 1962 book “Beat the Dealer” by Edward Thorp. However, Jess Marcum is believed to be the first person to have counted cards in 1949. His strategy is said to have incorporated a complete points-counting system. Aside from the two, others have contributed massively to this strategy.

blackjack card counting

The blackjack card counting strategy

The card counting strategy helps you determine whether the dealer or player has a probable advantage on the next hand. This is the best way to beat the house. This strategy is mainly about keeping a tally of high and low-value cards in the game. Having this information will help you determine whether the house has an edge. If the advantage is on your side, you can proceed to bet more.

If you have previously played blackjack and understand the rules, you know high cards work in your favor while low cards work in the dealer’s favor. The Hi-Lo strategy is the best option for those who are just starting out. Below, we take a closer look at successful card-counting strategies in the Philippines.

Card values

Most blackjack players use the Hi-Lo card counting system. In this system, high cards, which include Aces, 10s, and 9s, are assigned a -1 value, while low cards, which are 2 to 6, are given a +1 value. The other cards are neutral and are given a value of 0. Then start counting from 0 and add the value of the card to the total.

Running Count vs True Count

The goal of card counting is to determine the proportion of high cards. To figure out the percentage of high cards in relation to decks remaining, count the cards that have been dealt. It’s, however, important to keep in mind that there’s a difference between the running count and the true count. Running count refers to the total to which you will add the new numbers when the cards are dealt. The player gets an edge over the house when the value of the running count increases. However, if it drifts toward negatives, the advantage starts shifting toward the dealer.

The true count is what you get when you divide the running count by the decks remaining. For example, in the case of a +5 running count and 6 decks remaining, you’ll have less than one extra high card remaining per deck. So, as a player, you don’t have an advantage yet. However, in a situation where there is a +5 running count with one remaining deck, there will be five additional Aces or 10s in the 52 remaining cards. In this case, the player has the advantage.

Adjust your wagers

You may also want to adjust your wagers to get the most out of a blackjack game. Use the information acquired from the running and true counts to determine when the advantage will tilt in your favor. You can then raise your stakes when the cards are in your favor. However, place small bets when the odds are against you (neutral or negative).

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Card counting tips to keep in mind

There are a few card counting tips you can try to increase your winning chances. These include:

Place minimal bets – If you’re a beginner, it’s advisable to place minimal bets. It’s only after you have mastered the strategy that you can increase the size of your bet.

Keep your card counting secret to yourself – Try to reveal to other players that you’re counting cards. Ensure you behave as usual when the game is going on.

Go with a strategy that suits you – If you’re a beginner, consider card counting techniques like KO and Hi-Lo. Veteran players can go with complex techniques

Try other strategies – While card counting is an effective strategy, you should rely too much on it. Try other strategies to see how they work out for you.

The best card counting techniques

There are many blackjack strategies and techniques out there. However, not all are effective, although the concept is usually the same. Let’s look at some of the card counting systems you can use.

Hi-Lo technique

This is a pretty simple system that only requires you to remember three card values. Simply add one for low cards (2-6), subtract 1 for high cards (face cards, Aces, and 10s), and leave neutral cards that way. You can then calculate the running count and make the decision.

You can then calculate the true count by dividing the running count by the number of decks remaining. From there, you can adjust the size of your bet. If you have a true count of 0, 1, or negative, you will bet small amounts. However, wager twice your minimum bet if you get a value of 2.

Red 7 technique

This strategy doesn’t involve calculating the actual count. However, you’ll need to memorize a few more card values. For instance, 10, J, Q, K, and A are worth -1, cards from 2 – 6 are valued at +1, and 8s,m 9s, and black 7s are valued at 0. 

This strategy uses a start card count system. The number of decks is multiplied by two. This will give you a starting count on which you’ll build your running count and be able to add card values. There is no way of determining your bet size, but it’s recommended to place small bets when you have a negative or low.

Is it a good idea to count cards?

Here are the pros and cons of counting cards.


  • Boosts your winning chances
  • Minimizes losses
  • Gives you the ability to beat the house edge
  • Improves your decision making


  • Requires high concentration levels
  • Some casinos won’t allow can’t counting because of the advantage it gives the player


Card counting is one of the best ways to beat the dealer. Learning this art will help tilt the advantage in your favor. If you’re a blackjack fan, card counting is effective in helping you make a profit from small wagers. The strategy will tell you when to place small or large bets. Most importantly, choose a reputable online casino that guarantees fair payouts and safety.


No, it's not illegal, but players are not allowed to involve others in counting or using counting devices.

Yes, there is. You can use other strategies to boost your winning chances.

Yes, it does. As long as it’s done correctly, players have a chance to win.

Yes, it also works for online blackjack. However, since online casinos use software to shuffle cards, card counting is very difficult.

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