The Different Card Counting Systems

We have already looked at the basics of counting cards and discussed just how easy it can be. This is not something that requires a huge mathematical brain. The simplest of card counting systems are as easy as adding and subtracting 1 and knowing which cards to add and subtract. However, it does get more complicated and there are several card counting systems out there. The ones that are a little more complicated also tend to be more efficient, but you should try and start small and work your way up, otherwise you’ll get overwhelmed very quickly.

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Browse through the systems listed below to find one that’s right for you and your level of ability.

Level 1 Systems

Hi-Lo: This is one of the most widely used systems and the one that we would recommend for first-time counters. It is easy and it works well. Many other systems are a little unbalanced, but this is a perfectly balanced system and one that is easy to implement, which is why it is so popular. Hi-Lo is all about adding and subtracting 1, with picture cards worth +1, cards ranked 2 to 6 worth -1, and cards ranked 7 to 9 worth nothing.

Red Seven: Another very easy system, Red Seven is also popular amongst blackjack players that are new to card counting. This is an unbalanced system, because the number wouldn’t equate to 0 if you counted all of the cards in a deck. Some players also find it a little more difficult than Hi-Lo and other systems. It is called Red Seven as Red Sevens are worth +1, while Black 7s are worth 0. It is similar to Hi-Lo in some counts, but different values are given to red and black cards.

Knock-out Blackjack: This method was popularized by a book that was written about the system. This system is not too different from Hi-Lo, but it is a little more complicated, with 7s carrying a value. The Knock-out system values tens and picture cards as -1 and suggests you increase your bet when the count gets to +2 and above. In fact, one of the pluses of this system is that it talks about actual bet values more than other level 1 system.

Level 2 Systems

Omega II: This system has been around since 2001 and is a little more complicated than the three mentioned previously, but not as complicated as the one that will follow. There are cards that carry a -2 and +2 value, as well as ones that carry -1, +1 and 0, so there is more to take note of during a game. Still, the extra level of difficultly is worth it as this is a very efficient card counting system and one that has been said to work almost all of the time.

Level 3 Systems

Wong Halves: This system was created by one of the biggest names in blackjack, Stanford Wong. This is a very effective system and one that was developed by someone who knows his stuff, but it’s also significantly more complicated than the ones mentioned previously, so you should try and work your way up to it or at least practice a lot before you try it in a real casino. There are half points and single points in this system, which adds greatly to the complexity.