The Hi-Lo count system is one of the most popular “blackjack card counting system” in use these days as it is a system easily learnt and with practice can be perfected not like the true count system. Using the Hi-Low count you need to assign a value to each card dealt on the table of either +1, 0 or -1 . Ace through 10 cards are given a value of -1. The 7, 8, 9 each count as 0 as they are neutral cards. Hi-Lo card counting assigns the 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 as +1.
The way it works is one counts the cards are dealt i.e. J(-1) ,8 (0), 2 (+1) will give you your count value of 0 which is a neutral count giving the edge to neither the casino nor the player, the basics of the system work as follows the higher your positive count the better your odds are of winning the next blackjack hand and the lower “-” the more chance you have of losing the next hand. The percentages are marginal but so is the house win percentage if one plays by basic blackjack strategy.
Other factors that come into play are the number of cards dealt from the shoe as well as the number of decks used. The less cards left to go in the shoe with the highest positive count is your most favorable opportunity and is the time to increase your bets to gain that extra edge over the house. The same goes for the number of decks used look for single deck blackjack as there are less cards and look for dealers who cut the deck thick enabling you to see more cards to base your play on.
Professional card counters will tend to sit at 3rd base (the last position on the table) giving him the opportunity to see all the cards that have been dealt and have the last play. This is a very easy counting system combined with good basic strategy play and lots of practice you can get great results.
You can practice counting cards by going through a deck card by card and keeping track of your count total while gradually increasing your speed, you can also stand at the back of a table and observe a blackjack game in progress to see how refined your skills are. Remember what makes a good card-counter is practice, practice, practice and more practice. Try honing your card-counting skills playing online in the comfort of your home on your computer online games can be played for free and even though the cards are probably shuffled each hand it could give you the needed edge and practice.
Many Casino’s now have automatic shufflers otherwise known as continuous shuffles like the popular one2six shufflers, these machines render card counting obsolete as obviously if the cards are constantly shuffled your High – Low card count would be rendered useless.
The blackjack hi lo card count systems mentioned are similar if not the same as so flamboyantly shown in the movie 21 where 5 MIT students count cards and make loads of money, 4 of the count team were playing the table’s minimum and counting cards when there was a high or favorable count they would signal to the big player who would then join their table and make big bets exploiting the odds of the Casino in their favor. While the theory may be correct to an extent the movie exploits the wins as being the norm, this is not the case, card counters do not win every session and loose often it’s the overall win they are after.
Read more about Card Counting and other Blackjack card counting systems