Counting cards high low

6 comments on “Lesson 4 – Card Counting – How to Do It”

By now you’ve chosen a counting system that you want to learn and even though it may be different than the Hi / Lo Count which I’m going to discuss here, the methods used to learn it are the same. Just make adjustments where appropriate and you’ll do fine.

The Hi / Lo counting system assigns a “point” value to each type of card in a deck. The first step in card counting is to memorize those values. Here they are

2 +1 3 +1 4 +1 5 +1 6 +1 7 0 8 0 9 0 10 -1 J -1 Q -1 K -1 A -1
Card Point Value

A bit of simple math will show you that there are, in a complete deck, an equal number of “plus”-valued cards and “minus”-valued cards. This is called a “balanced” count and since all cards are valued either 1 or 0, this is also a “single-level” count.

The Power of Card Counting

The Hi / Lo count recognizes that the cards 2 through 6 are of greatest value to the dealer, since these cards turn the dealer’s “stiff” hands (12 – 16) which s/he must hit into good hands. For example, a 5 turns a dealer’s 12-16 into 17-21, consequently it is the most important card for a dealer. On the other hand, an Ace is most important to a player, since it’s the key component to a “blackjack” which pays 3 to 2. So, as “little” cards are played, they are no longer available to the dealer and since there are an equal number of plus- and minus-valued cards in the deck, a “plus” count tells us that there are a higher proportion of tens and aces left in the unplayed portion of the deck. This situation is favorable for the player since the chances for a blackjack have increased and doubling or splitting situations stand a better chance of receiving a high card.

Of course, a dealer has the same chance of receiving high cards as you. But remember that the dealer does not receive 3 to 2 for a blackjack, may not double or split and must hit 16 or less. Also, as you will learn in a later lesson, knowing the proportion of 10-valued cards in the decks gives you the knowledge to make profitable insurance bets.

Learning The Point Values

This is the only exercise you will ever need to learn the point values of your counting system. It’s the one I use when I’m switching counts for a single-deck game or back again to the one I use for multi-deck games. Just take a deck of cards and begin turning them over one at a time and recite the point value of each card. If a card is a plus-value, I don’t say “Plus 1”; I just say “one”, because it implies “plus” anyway. If a card is a minus-value, I say “M 1”, not “minus 1” because it saves a syllable. For the “neutral” or zero-value cards, I say nothing — they are completely ignored for counting purposes with the Hi / Lo system.

So, how does this look? Here’s a quick example

Ace (M-one) 9 5 (One) 6 (One) 7 King (M-one) 2 (One) 10 (M-one)

Notice that I’m not keeping track of the cards, but merely stating the point value of each. You must practice this until you have the point values firmly implanted in your mind but don’t worry, it won’t take long.

Single-Card Countdown

If you feel you know the point values of each card in your system of choice by heart, you may now begin to count down a single deck. Simply remove any three cards without looking at them (to check your accuracy) and set them aside. Now turn over cards one at a time and keep a running total of their values. Remember your old algebra classes? If you add +1 to -1 the result is 0. That applies here, so keep it in mind as you go through the deck.

Here’s an example:

1st card Ace The count: M-one 2nd King M-two 3rd 10 M-three 4th 6 M-two (make sure you know why) 5th Queen M-three 6th 5 M-two 7th 3 M-one 8th 6 Even (I don’t use “zero”) 9th 4 One (again, no “plus”)

Got it? Good. You’re not very fast yet, are you? Well, don’t worry about that; we’ll work on speed later. When you’ve completed the deck, the count should be off by the value of the three cards we set aside in the beginning. Look at those cards, check your accuracy, shuffle and begin again. Get into the habit of removing three cards every time you do any counting exercises since they will keep you from fooling yourself when you make a mistake.

For now the key is accuracy; keep at this until you can go through a deck three or four times in a row without mistakes. What you have learned here is called the “running count”. Next time we’ll work on speeding up your ability to count; can you believe I’ll have you zipping through a deck in less than 20 seconds? The babes really love that at parties…


  • Continue testing yourself on basic strategy by doing the Basic Strategy Reconstruction and Basic Strategy Decisions exercises. You won’t win if you can’t play proper basic strategy.
  • Begin learning the point values of your chosen system and when you know them by heart — and only then — start doing single-card countdowns of one deck.
McLegacy LLC Blackjack Hi-Lo 21 Card Counting Casino
Mobile Application (McLegacy LLC)
  • Free Card Counting Trainer!
  • Realistic Gameplay!
  • Free Daily Chips, Level Up Bonus Chips and More Free Chips!
  • Popular Blackjack Payout!
  • Beautiful Casino, Chip and Card Themes!
  • Global Leaderboard
  • Become a Top Blackjack Player
You might also like
Winning Strategies for Playing Blackjack : High Low Count
Winning Strategies for Playing Blackjack : High Low Count ...
An Intro To Card Counting At Blackjack
An Intro To Card Counting At Blackjack
Top Game Kingdom LLC Hi Lo Counting Strategy Poker FREE
Mobile Application (Top Game Kingdom LLC)
  • Beautiful 2D graphics and realistic gameplay
  • Fast payouts and play style
  • Similar to other online free casino games with the ability to double down
  • Join a leaderboard and compete with other gambling partners
  • Beat Cleopatra in her card counting glory!
  • Win coins and become a top player
Card Counting - High Stakes Secrets - MIT Blackjack Team
Card Counting - High Stakes Secrets - MIT Blackjack Team ...
The High-Low Count Strategies for Blackjack
The High-Low Count Strategies for Blackjack
Funny Code RXY Blackjack - Multiple 21 High-Low Card Counting Strategies
Mobile Application (Funny Code)
  • This blackjack game offers strategy advices which can help you throughout your game! After learning the advices, you can easily play on your own, practice and be...
  • Options for card counting included! Choose either Hi-Lo card counting or KO strategy. This will help you practice your card counting skills and make it perfect before...
  • You have the option to play from 1 to 8 decks
  • You can toggle Surrender and also Insurance on or off!
  • Free daily chips as you level up! More chips are free!
Gamewright Hide and Eeek
Toy (Gamewright)
  • Playing time: 15 minutes
  • 2 to 6 players
  • Reinforces counting
  • Ages 8 and up
  • Instructions included
BLN Vintage Trade Cards Featuring Children - Shopping Day Raiding the Bank Little Girl Counting Pennies - 10x10 Iron on Heat Transfer for White Material (ht_170097_3)
Jewelry (3dRose LLC)
  • Heat transfer is transparent and should be applied only to white or light colored material
  • Material used for heat transfer should be able to withstand high heat.
  • Not true color until transferred.
  • Application instructions included
  • Washing instructions: Do not use bleach, dry on low heat, turn inside out
Blackjack High-Low Card Count Shattered
Blackjack High-Low Card Count Shattered
How to Count Cards in Blackjack - High Low Card Counting
How to Count Cards in Blackjack - High Low Card Counting


What are the card values in the high low count

The card values in Hi Lo card counting are plus 1 for 2, 3, 4 , 5, 6, zero for 7, 8, 9 and minus one for 10, J, Q, K, A.

How do you 'high low' count cards in blackjack

Assign these #s to the cards: -1: face cards, Ace. 0: 7, 8, 9. 1: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Add the point value every time a card is played.

Related Posts