Counting cards in blackjack is a popular strategy among casino players to gain an advantage over the house

03 oktober 2023 Peter Mortensen

If you are interested in casino games, then understanding the concept of counting cards and its evolution over time is crucial. In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive overview of counting cards in blackjack, its historical development, and everything you need to know about it.

Introduction to Counting Cards in Blackjack

Counting cards in blackjack is a technique used by skilled players to keep track of the ratio of high to low-value cards remaining in the deck. By doing so, players can make more informed decisions about their bets and playing strategies, increasing their chances of winning.

Unlike other card games where the deck is shuffled after every hand, in blackjack, the cards are typically dealt from a shoe containing multiple decks. This provides the opportunity for players to gain an edge by tracking the cards already played and adjusting their bets accordingly.

Historical Development of Counting Cards in Blackjack


The concept of counting cards in blackjack can be traced back to the 1960s when mathematician Edward Thorp published his groundbreaking book, “Beat the Dealer.” Thorp’s book introduced the basic principles of card counting, including the concept of assigning point values to different cards. This revolutionary approach completely changed the way blackjack was played, and casino operators were forced to take notice.

Initially, Thorp’s methods faced resistance from casinos, and they tried various countermeasures to prevent card counting. For instance, they introduced continuous shuffling machines to eliminate any advantage gained from counting cards. However, skilled players continued to refine their strategies, and the popularity of counting cards grew.

Over the years, several famous blackjack players, such as Ken Uston and Stanford Wong, further advanced the art of card counting. They developed more sophisticated methods and systems, including the Hi-Lo system and the Wong Halves system, which increased the accuracy and effectiveness of card counting.

Counting Cards in Blackjack: What You Need to Know

To understand the basics of counting cards in blackjack, it is essential to know how the point values are assigned to different cards. Here is a brief overview:

– Low-value cards (2-6) are assigned a +1 value.

– Medium-value cards (7-9) are assigned a 0 value.

– High-value cards (10-Ace) are assigned a -1 value.

By keeping track of the running count, which is the sum of the point values of the cards already played, players can estimate the composition of the remaining deck. A positive running count indicates a higher proportion of high-value cards, favoring the player, while a negative count suggests a higher proportion of low-value cards, favoring the dealer.

It is important to note that card counting is not illegal, but it is often frowned upon by casinos. While counting cards can give players an advantage, it requires skill, practice, and a deep understanding of the game. Moreover, casinos employ various countermeasures, such as frequent shuffling, using multiple decks, and banning or restricting suspected card counters.

In conclusion, counting cards in blackjack is a fascinating technique that has significantly influenced the game’s history and strategies. While it is not an easy skill to master, understanding the basics of card counting can enhance your enjoyment and potentially increase your chances of winning when playing blackjack at a casino. Remember that counting cards requires vigilance, subtlety, and adherence to casino rules. So, if you are interested in exploring this intriguing aspect of casino gaming, embrace the challenge and develop your card counting skills responsibly.


Can I use card counting to guarantee winning in blackjack?

No, card counting is a strategy that can increase your chances of winning but does not guarantee consistent wins. It requires practice, skill, and effective bankroll management.

Is card counting in blackjack illegal?

No, card counting is not illegal. However, casinos discourage this practice and may ask players to leave if caught.

Which card counting system is recommended for beginners?

For beginners, the Hi-Lo system is often recommended. It is easy to learn and widely used.

Flere Nyheder