The Hi-Lo Strategy

The Hi-Lo strategy is one of the most popular card counting strategies, as well as one of the easiest to learn. Created by Harvey Dubner, this is a great strategy for beginning to intermediate blackjack card counters and if you can do the simplest of math then you can use it to improve your blackjack success.

When using the Hi-Lo system, each card value in the deck is assigned a number. 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 cards each are assigned a numbered score of +1. These are the "low" cards. Cards with a value of 10 (10, J, Q, K) and Aces are each assigned a numbered score of -1. These are the "high" cards. The middle card values of 7, 8 and 9 are given a score of 0.

As cards are dealt out, a card counting player must do the math according to each card. If a string of cards is dealt as follows: 10, J, 3, 5, Q then the player determines the value as -1 – 1 + 1 + 1 – 1 for a total value of -1. You must begin the card count after the deck is shuffled with the first card that is dealt. If you miss cards and you lose your count then shift your odds and decrease your chances of winning.

The larger the number becomes as you count cards, the more large cards remain in the deck. If the count is far into the negatives then this means that many of the 10-value cards and Aces have already been dealt and many small cards remain in the deck.

The Hi-Lo strategy of counting cards is a fantastic system for new card counters and is a great way to ease yourself into the world of card counting and improve your chances of winning at blackjack.