Card counting is a system, which allows the average blackjack player to seize the initiative over the house. There are many different card counting systems, of which the most well known is the Hi/Lo count system. The Hi/Lo is a level one counting system that assigns a value of +1 to the cards 2,3,4,5,6 and a -1 count to the cards 10,J,Q,K,A. There area many other systems up to and including a level four counting system. This is by far the most complex type of card counting, and requires months of hard training.

In general there is little additional advantage to be gained by using any system above a level 2. An example of this being the Omega II advanced, which assigns the values of +1 to the 2,3,7, a +2 to the 4,5,6, a –1 to the 9, and a –2 to 10’s and face cards.

The number you maintain in your head while playing blackjack is used in two ways. Firstly you use this number to ascertain the proper play for any given hand based on the composition of the remaining cards in the shoe. Secondly you use the count for bet spread in order to get your money in the game when it’s good, and get out when it’s bad. Basic strategy can be used in conjunction with any card counting strategy as a substitute for memorization of charts, but at best this will only yield a .75% advantage.

Any advantage by the player can be put in to money terms if you think of it in a simple way. Supposing you have a 1% advantage over the house you will make, on average $1 for every $100 wagered. In all counting cards can be a rewarding profession if you can manage the stress of huge money swings, and the demands for discipline.

Coming soon: Omega II advanced charts What Casinos will do to card counters