Card Counting in Blackjack: Myth or Reality?

Blackjack card counting is a controversial and mysterious subject in the world of casino gambling. Hollywood movies and books have immortalized the art of card counting as one of the ways of giving players an edge over casinos. Any punter who uses Lotus365, India’s top betting platform will understand whether they should count cards or not. This blog explores what it means, how it operates, its effectiveness as well legal implications and morals.

What is Card Counting?

Card counting is a technique used by blackjack players to determine whether the next hand is likely to give an advantage to the player or the dealer. Players keep track of high cards versus low value ones which are dealt so that they know when to lower their bets and adjust their playing tactics.

High Cards (10, J, Q, K, A): These favor a player because they provide a higher chance of hitting blackjack (21) and also increase chances that dealers would go for broke.

Low Cards (2, 3, 4, 5, 6): The dealer has better chances with these since he/she has fewer busts and more chances of building up strong hands.

Neutral Cards (7, 8, 9): In general these do not affect the game significantly thus most counting systems ignore them.

How Does Card Counting Work?

The most common system for card counting is called Hi-Lo strategy. Here’s how it works in brief:

Assign Values: In this Hi-Lo scheme each card gets assigned a value:

2 through 6 = +1

7 through 9 = 0

10 through A = -1

Running Count: As each card comes out you either add or subtract its assigned value from your running total. So if your first three cards are: 5 – leftwards count +1; let me check this again: (-1) for ten; and four at right delta plus one equals +1.

True Count: To adjust the running count for decks, divide it by the number of decks left to get the true count. So suppose your running count is +6 and there are 3 decks remaining, then the true count should be +2.

Betting Strategy: When you have a high true count it means that more higher value cards remain in the deck; therefore, you should raise your bets. Since a low true count indicates only a few higher value cards will follow later, your bets should be small.

Effectiveness of Card Counting

Card counting can give players a small edge over the casino, typically around 0.5% to 1.5%. Although this may not sound much, it can be more than enough to make substantial money in the long run. Regardless of this fact, card counting is not perfect as psychology would expect since it requires undivided attention from its followers and is based on memory skill as well.

Variability: With noisy casinos and distractions one cannot maintain an accurate counting score.

Speed of Play: Rapid dealers or multiple players make an exact tally difficult to keep up with.

Casino Countermeasures: Some methods that casinos use include frequent shuffling, automated shuffling devices and just banning people who they think are counters.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

The issue of card counting is not illegal but casinos do not like it. Casinos are private establishments that can refuse to serve anyone they think is involved in card counting. Those found out may be requested to leave, barred from the casino or blacklisted in several casinos.

Ethical Debate: The ethics surrounding card counting are argued about. While some insist on its being a simple use of skill to have an edge against other players, others believe that this disrupts the game’s integrity.

Casino Policies: Every casino has its policies concerning card counting; therefore, individuals must know and consider them when playing games involving cards.


Card counting in blackjack is a legal strategy that allows slight advantage over the house provided one is skilled at it and remains unnoticed. On Lotus365 Casino Games, understanding how to count cards can help you understand more about the game even if you don’t want to count cards yourself.

Caitlin Valiant

The author Caitlin Valiant