Blackjack Games: How to Win Them with the Help of Card Counting

Speaking about various blackjack games, every gambler will consider card counting being the best strategy to beat them for sure and get a quite good income out of this game. Card counting can be used for playing almost all blackjack games thanks to its unique principle of counting cards from a shoe. The development of this strategy began in 1950s, and today many counting systems are based on it.


Roger Baldwin was the first person who made an attempt to explain card counting blackjack strategy to average gamblers in 1957 but he was not very successful because his explanation was not understandable for gamblers.

He published the article The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack where described the idea of using card counting at blackjack games; the main principle was the following: if a gambler is able to remember all cards which were already dealt, he will be able to predict what cards were still in a shoe and what his chances were to get this or that card and improve the result.

In 1962 average players got a chance to learn card counting and use it in casinos because the book of Edward Thorp Beat the Dealer was published: the author was able to explain the principle and schemes of this blackjack strategy in an understandable way, and that is why Edward Thorp was always considered to be the father of card counting though he just continued the work of Roger Baldwin and began the era of various counting systems' appearance and development.

How to Count Cards?

If you decided to become a good card counter you should have a good memory first of all: to count cards is not as easy as you may think because it is unnecessary to remember every card dealt from a shoe and try to predict what cards are still inside. The principle of card counting is the following:

All cards of a deck can be divided into 3 types:

  • The cards good for a gambler (high cards - 10's, Jacks, Queens, Kings, Aces)
  • The cards good for a dealer (small cards - 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's, 6's)
  • The neutral cards (7's, 8's, 9's)

If a high card has been already dealt, it means that the chances of a gambler to get it became lower; if a small card was dealt - the chances of a gambler to get a high card became higher; neutral cards do not give any advantage neither to a gambler nor a dealer.

So, everything you should do is to start your counting with a zero (0) and add or subtract 1 point every time when a card is dealt from a shoe: all small cards are counted as +1 (because they leave you more chances to get a high card) and all high cards are counted as -1 (because they decrease your chances to get a high card during a game). The neutral cards are counted as 0.The bigger your count - the bigger your chances for winning are; so, you are welcome to increase your bet. If your count is negative or just low - it would be better not to make big bets.


The following counting systems are of different difficulty level, so every blackjack player can choose the most appropriate one to use at blackjack table. Actually, there are in about 20 various counting systems but the most widely used of them are:

Moreover, many gamblers prefer to use a such-called team play (the author of this blackjack strategy is the famous blackjack player, the member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame, the manager of the successful blackjack team of 1970s - Al Francesco).

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