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Blackjack Strategy Guide: Best Card Counting System to Use

Any gambler who’s finished reading a blackjack basic strategy guide and are planning to try their hand in card counting as a next step will need to know what they can use as a starter. Once the gambler has the hang of a card counting system, they can either continue using it or shift to another system.

Many professional card counters have both had trouble and profit from counting cards, and there is no doubt that the practice works. Blackjack players must only be patient and stick to card counting to profit in the long-run. Believing the common ideas that people think about card counting listed in this article will keep gamblers from profiting through the practice.

Hi-Lo Card Counting System in Blackjack

One of the best card counting systems that starting card counters can use is the Hi-Lo card counting system. The system is easily understood and effective to get an edge over the casino.

The Hi-Lo system was created by Harvey Dubner in 1963 and refined by Julian Braun, and then further modified by Edward Thorp, who published the system in the book Beat the Dealer, which was considered as the first card counting book. Stanford Wong then refined the strategy once more and published his version in the book Professional Blackjack.

Using the Hi-Lo System

Card counting works by keeping track of high cards’ ratio to low cards left in the deck, allowing gamblers to raise their bets when the odds are in their favor. Blackjack players are more likely to be dealt a blackjack or a natural when the deck still has a high number of aces and 10 cards in it.

When using the Hi-Lo system, gamblers assign a value to each card. This infographic has already tackled card counting and assigning a value to cards, using the Hi-Lo system as an example, but this guide will further tackle it.

Every card is assigned a value in the Hi-Lo system. The cards’ values are set as follows:

– 2-6 = +1

– 7-9 = 0

– 10-Ace= -1

As each card is dealt, the blackjack player must add 1, subtract 1, or do nothing based on the card’s value to maintain a running count.

A deck has 20 cards that are worth +1 and 20 cards that are worth -1. Counting through an entire deck using the system will end in a total value of 0 since there is an equal number of cards with +1 and -1 values and multiple with 0 values. Because of this value, the Hi-Lo system is considered a balanced counting system.

Because Hi-Lo only requires players to add or subtract only 1 per card, card counting experts call the system a “single-level” card counting system. More complicated systems assign different values to different cards. More complicated card counting systems give other values to the cards to improve their accuracy, let people have a better edge against the casino, and raise their bets.

Beginners can stay with the Hi-Lo system and take their time making money little by little with a less accurate counting system and lessen their chances of getting caught counting cards.

Blackjack Strategy Guide Best Card Counting System

Keeping a True Count

Gamblers playing a blackjack game that uses a single deck will not have to worry about converting the running count to a true count since they can keep perfect track of a limited number of cards. When people play a blackjack game that uses more decks, like most tables, card counters must convert the running count to a true count.

Most blackjack games use six to eight decks. If a game uses eight decks, the player will have to keep track of 32 aces and 128 10 cards. Each card’s effect dealt in a game with six or more decks is diluted because of the large number of cards played, so gamblers must divide their running count by the number of decks remaining in the shoe.

Besides keeping the running count into account and dividing it by the number of decks, gamblers must learn to estimate the number of decks still in the shoe.

Bet Sizing with the Hi-Lo System

The best way to use the Hi-Lo system is by sizing the bets accordingly. The gambler must first decide on a range in the units they’ll use before playing. 1 to 4 units are usually the recommended range for betting to keep the gambler from getting caught as a counter. Betting conservatively keeps the dealers and the pit bosses from thinking that the gambler’s counting cards.

The moment a player bets wildly as if the bets they made didn’t make sense, the dealer can get suspicious and think the player’s counting cards. When the gambler is suspected of counting, the dealer might shuffle the deck, ask the gambler not to play blackjack games, or ask the player to leave the casino.

A card counter must size their bet according to the true count. Bettors must bet as follows:

– If the true count is negative, 0, or 1, place the minimum bet

– If the true count is +2, double the bet size

– If the true count is +3, triple the bet size

– If the true count is +4, quadruple the bet size

Playing with a conservative bet size allows the gambler to have a better chance of staying under the radar since they won’t be betting too much money on something risky. Gamblers can also alter the system to limit further how much they’ll bet.


The Hi-Lo system is perfect for beginners due to how easy it is to use. The Hi-Lo also allows veteran blackjack players to concentrate on keeping both the pit boss and the dealer off their backs by making it seem like they’re losers.

Blackjack players have access to other card counting systems, and most of them are better systems than the Hi-Lo, thanks to the fact that they provide more accurate counts. Hi-Lo is still arguably the best system due to its popularity among new and long-time card counters. The system might not be as interesting as more complicated unbalanced systems, but it gets the job done perfectly with little risk. Several card counters didn’t even move away from Hi-Lo even after years of using the system.

Starting blackjack players can try out the Hi-Lo card counting system by playing live blackjack online in a trustworthy online casino like CM2Bet. Playing a demo version or an RNG-dependent game of blackjack won’t help gamblers get the hang of the Hi-Lo system.

Any gambler who wants to try their hand in sports betting can also rely on CM2Bet as a reliable sportsbook betting Singapore. CM2Bet offers gamblers a selection of casino games and sports betting options through Singapore Pools that people can enjoy from the comforts of their homes. Register now at and play live blackjack with us or choose from our other selection of games.



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