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Blackjack Card Counting for Beginners | Tips and Tutorials 2024

Want to play blackjack strategically? Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games, and it is no surprise why. It’s simple to learn, fun to play, and has a low house edge compared to other games. Playing with a bit of strategy can tip the edge even more in favor of the player, so take the time to learn how to do blackjack card counting, and you’ll be glad you did!

What is Blackjack Card Counting Strategy

Here, at MySer-Gambling, we review many ways to play blackjack strategically, and online blackjack card counting is one of them. If a player combines basic blackjack strategy with card counting, they have a solid foundation to play successfully. Basic blackjack strategy is made up of rules and guidelines for making the best move based on the player’s hand and the dealer’s up card. These indicators tell a player whether they should hit, stand, double down, or surrender for the best possible outcome.

The principle behind card counting is so the player can assess what cards have been dealt and what cards remain in the deck. More specifically, it helps players determine the distribution of high and low cards, whether the shoe has a lot of power cards or not. This will then allow him to make a better judgement of his next best move and what size bet to make. It’s a way to keep organized and present to what is going on at the table. All games follow patterns, and card counting helps with making sense of the random. While it is not 100% guaranteed to provide the player with a successful outcome, it does decrease the chances of losing.

Card Counting Systems

There are many variations of card counting systems out there. Learning blackjack card counting for beginners are super simple, like the Hi-Lo counting system. Other blackjack strategies are quite complex. The simpler card counting systems are usually level-one systems. This means the running tally goes up and down by +/- 1 only. A level-two system is a bit more complicated and the count being +/- 2. Another term beginners should know is the difference between balanced and unbalanced counting systems. A balanced counting system means when you count through an entire deck of cards, you will come to zero. Hi-Lo is an example of a balanced card counting system. An unbalanced counting system will have a count that is not zero, for example, the Red Seven system.  

Another level-one card counting system, the Red Seven, is as simple as Hi-Lo, making it a good one for beginners to learn and understand. The main premise of this system is the seven cards. A red seven counts as +1 and a black seven counts as zero. Otherwise, all other cards are the same value as in the Hi-Lo system. The other difference is that in the Red Seven counting system, the starting count differs based on the number of decks at play. One deck starts at a count of -2, two decks start at -4, four decks start at -8, six decks start at -12, and eight decks start at -16. What’s nice about the Red Seven is you don’t need to calculate a true count, which can complicate things for beginners.  

The Knockout system is another easy system that is good for beginners. It is an unbalanced system, like the Red Seven. It is not the most precise system, but it makes up for it by being easy to memorize and use. The counts are like Hi-Lo, but slightly different. In this system: 

  • the 10’s, aces, and face cards are counted as -1 
  • cards 2 through 7 are counted as +1 
  • 8 and 9 cards are counted as 0.  

An example of a more complex, level-two cards counting system is the Omega II. This is a balanced system and good for intermediate players. Here, the 10’s are very important. The counts are different from the level-one systems we have looked at so far.  

  • Aces and 8’s are counted as 0 
  • 2’s, 3’s, and 7’s count as +1 
  • 4’s, 5,’s, and 6’s count as +2 
  • 9’s count as -1 
  • 10’s count as -2 

Card counting is not realistic for winning at online blackjack. Random Number Generator (RNG) and other software capabilities of traditional online blackjack make it near impossible to count cards. Exceptions to this are single-deck blackjack or live blackjack. For other blackjack variants, it might be advantageous to seek out other tools, like a blackjack card counting calculator, that are available online. Players simply select the dealer’s card and their own hand and let the calculator do the work. It will show the best move for the player. You can even find a blackjack card counting app to help with these strategic plays as well.  

Ready to Play

There you have it – a quick guide to card counting systems for blackjack players! Whether you’re a beginner or have some experience under your belt, you have a good foundation for card counting systems. There are many more counting systems out there, so do your research and find the one that works for you and the type of game you like. By combining it with basic blackjack strategy, you can play blackjack effectively to win at the best online casinos!  

FAQ: Blackjack Card Counting

Is blackjack card counting illegal?

No, blackjack card counting is not illegal, but it is highly discouraged by casinos. Online casinos have made it nearly impossible, so it is not effective with traditional online blackjack, but still possible to card count with live blackjack.

What is the best card-counting system for beginners?

The Hi-Lo system is one of the most well-known and simplest to learn, but its popularity means that casinos anticipate it. Therefore, we recommend Red Seven as an alternative counting system that is great for beginners.  

  • Mustapha

    Mustapha, former journalist turned content writer, expertly combines his writing prowess and gambling passion at MySer-Gambling.com. With keen insights and engaging storytelling, Mustapha delivers captivating content, elevating the online gambling experience for our readers.