Card Counting Systems

Card counting is an incredibly useful and effective blackjack strategy that allows a player to keep track of the density of high cards to low cards that remain in the deck over the course of a blackjack game. When there are more high cards in the deck the player is at an advantage, and therefore should place a higher bet. When there are more low cards in the deck the dealer is at an advantage, and the player should place a minimum bet.

There are a large number of card counting systems. Some are simpler than others. If you are just starting out with card counting then you will probably want to choose one of the more simple Level 1 systems. The more skilled you become at card counting, the easier it will be for you to work your way up to more advanced Level 2 and Level 3 card counting systems, which are more accurate.

New card counters will probably start out with one of the more popular Level 1 systems. These include the Hi-Lo card counting method, Red Seven, KISS and Knock Out blackjack. Hi-Lo is one of the most accurate of these systems, as it is a balanced system. This means that if you counted all of the cards you would end with a count of 0. When the count is negative there are more low cards in the deck and when the count is positive there are more high cards. Red Seven, KISS and Knock Out blackjack are known as unbalanced methods because when you count an entire deck you wind up with a count that is not equal to 0. However, these methods are still very effective.

More advanced card counters will probably work up to Level 2 or Level 3 card counting systems for more accuracy. The Omega II system is a balanced system and is one of the most popular Level 2 card counting methods. While most Level 1 systems keep card values to -1, 0 and +1 the Omega II system assigns a value of -2 and +2 to some cards.

Wong Halves is an extremely accurate Level 3 system, which is more complicated because it employs fractions. However, it is one of the most acclaimed and effective methods of card counting.

Whichever method you decide to use, card counting is a great strategy that can greatly improve your odds when you play casino blackjack.