Online Blackjack Card Counting

For years, players have used blackjack card counting systems to gain an advantage against the house edge in blackjack. Although several blackjack card counting systems exist, most of them rely on the simple principle of attaching numerical values to cards at online blackjack sites, and then adding these values together in a running count as they're dealt from the shoe.

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As the count becomes higher, it becomes advantageous for players to bet larger sums of money. When the count is low or negative, smaller bets are warranted. Examples of blackjack card counting systems include:

10 Count

The 10 Count blackjack card counting system, which is intended for single deck blackjack, is a basic method of assigning values to each card taken from the shoe. All cards up to 9 are given a +4 value, and all 10-point cards are assigned -9. Add the values together as cards are revealed. When used optimally, this blackjack card counting system gives a 1% player edge.

Omega II Count

This blackjack card counting system is more advanced than the 10 Count, and it offers a higher level of accuracy. As with many advanced blackjack card counting systems, Omega II Count is balanced, meaning that a running total of zero will occur after all cards are counted. The values for each card are:

  • Ace, 8: 0
  • 2, 3, 7: +1
  • 4, 5, 6: +2
  • 9: -1
  • 10, Jack, Queen, King: -2

To use Omega II Count optimally, you must divide the running count by the number of decks not yet played.

Revere Plus-Minus Count

This blackjack card counting system is a simpler version of Rever Point Count, and it's optimized for single-deck blackjack. It's advisable to keep track of Aces separately with this system, which may influence the way you interpret the running count (more Aces remaining in the shoe warrants larger bets). Numerical values:

  • Ace, 7, 8: 0
  • 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: +1
  • 9, 10, Jack, Queen, King: -1

Red 7 Count

Although Red 7 Count is an unbalanced blackjack card counting system, it's still very accurate because of they way in which it assigns point values. Dividing by the number of remaining decks is not necessary in this system. You must start the count with the IRC (Initial Running Count). This is calculated by multiplying the number of decks to be used by -2. Card values include:

  • 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: +1
  • 7: 0 if black, +1 if red
  • 8, 9: 0
  • Ace, 10, Jack, Queen, King: -1

Wong Halves Count

Wong Halves is regarded as one of the most difficult and accurate blackjack card counting systems available. This is a balanced system. The difficulty of Wong Halves stems from the numerical values assigned to cards:

  • 2, 7: +0.5
  • 3, 4, 6: +1
  • 5: +1.5
  • 8: 0
  • 9: -0.5
  • Ace, 10, Jack, Queen, King: -1

Revere Point Count

This is a balanced blackjack card counting system intended for advanced players. The system relies on dividing by the remaining decks even with single-deck blackjack. Card values are as follows:

  • 2, 7: +1
  • 3, 4, 5, 6: +2
  • 8, 9: 0
  • Ace, 10, Jack, Queen, King: -2

Unbalanced Zen II Count

This is a predictably unbalanced blackjack card counting system, making it easier for new card counters. The Unbalanced Zen II Count is effective for both single-deck and multi-deck blackjack. Numerical values for cards:

  • Ace: -1
  • 2, 7: +1
  • 3, 4, 5, 6: +2
  • 8, 9: 0
  • 10, Jack, Queen, King: -2

Hi Lo System

Hi Lo is an old blackjack card counting system designed by Edward Thorp, who also invented the 10 Count system. This system requires you to divide your running count by the amount of remaining decks. When the running count drops to zero or lower, only bet the minimum amount. Hi Lo numerical values are relatively easy to remember:

  • 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: +1
  • 7, 8, 9: 0
  • Ace, 10, Jack, Queen, King: -1

Hi Opt 1 System

Hi Opt 1, sometimes called Highly Optimum or Einstein Count, is a more advanced version of the Hi Lo blackjack card counting system. Since the Aces have a value of zero in this system, it's wise to keep a separate running count for them. This is a balanced system. Numerical values include:

  • Ace, 2, 7, 8, 9: 0
  • 3, 4, 5, 6: +1
  • 10, Jack, Queen, King: -1

Hi Opt 2 System

This is a more advanced version of the Hi Opt 1 blackjack card counting system which relies on the player to keep separate counts for 8s, 9s and Aces. Although the Hi Opt 2 system is arguably the most accurate blackjack card counting system, it's also the most difficult to master. Point values:

  • Ace, 8, 9: 0
  • 2, 3, 6, 7: +1
  • 4, 5: +2
  • 10, Jack, Queen, King: -2

KO System

The KO blackjack card counting system (aka Knockout) is an unbalanced system in which the running could will equal +4 after all cards are counted. This is an ideal system for beginners, since it doesn't require you to divide the running count by the remaining decks.

  • 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7: +1
  • 8, 9: 0
  • Ace, 10, Jack, Queen, King: -1

Uston Advanced Count

The Uston Advanced Count blackjack card counting system (which is sometimes modified as Uston SS Card Counting and Uston Advanced Plus-Minus Count) is an advanced system that requires a side count of Aces. The numerical values, which are complicated relative to most other systems, include:

  • Ace: 0
  • 2, 8: +1
  • 3, 4, 6, 7: +2
  • 5: +3
  • 9: -1
  • 10, Jack, Queen, King: -3

Zen Count

The Zen Count system is another advanced blackjack card counting system that requires players to convert the running count into a true count based on the decks remaining in the shoe. The point values for each card are:

  • Ace: -1
  • 2, 3, 7: +1
  • 4, 5, 6: +2
  • 8, 9: 0
  • 10, Jack, Queen, King: -2

MIT Blackjack Team

The MIT Blackjack Team was a group of students who began devising and mastering new card counting strategies in Boston before making frequent trip to Las Vegas, where they reported earned over $5 million playing blackjack.

The MIT Blackjack Team introduced a new blackjack card counting system entitled Ace Tracking, now incorporated by many other systems. "Ace Tracking" refers to keeping a separate running count of Aces and betting higher when there's a surplus. The Team also introduced the idea of Shuffle Tracking, a concept stating that most casinos force their dealers to shuffle quickly, resulting in large chunks of unshuffled cards.