Master High-Low Card Counting Strategy in 2023

Are you ready to level up your game and boost your chances of winning? Mastering the high-low strategy can be your ticket to consistent success at the blackjack table. This effective and straightforward method has been a game-changer for countless players, and it can be for you too. Keep reading to discover how the high-low card counting system works, advanced techniques, and how to avoid detection while employing this strategy.

Key Takeaways

  • High-Low Card Counting is a popular and straightforward blackjack strategy that gives players an edge.
  • The core principles of the system are running count, true count, and point values which inform successful decisions at the table.
  • Blending in with other players while avoiding detection is key to successfully using this card counting system online or offline.

The Fundamentals of High-Low Card Counting

A blackjack table with cards and chips on it

Card counting has long been a popular strategy among blackjack players, and the hi lo card counting system, also known as the high-low blackjack card counting system, stands out as one of the most effective and easy-to-learn methods. Its simplicity reduces the likelihood of making mistakes while counting cards, giving you an edge over the house and enhancing your chances of winning.

So, how did high-low card counting come about, and what are its core principles?

Origin of High-Low Card Counting

The high-low card counting system was created by in 1963, revolutionizing the game of blackjack. This groundbreaking method gave players a strategic advantage over the house, and its influence can still be felt today.

Pioneers like Tommy Hyland, Joe Bernstein, and Jess Marcum have further developed and fine-tuned the hi lo system, making it a mainstay in the world of blackjack.

The Core Principles

The high-low card counting system is built on a few key components: the running count, true count, and point values. Assigning points to cards allows players to track the ratio of high to low cards remaining in the deck, which is essential for making informed decisions during gameplay. The simplicity of the high-low system makes it suitable for players of all experience levels, as it doesn't require complex mathematical equations to be effective.

Grasping the core principles of the high-low system and honing its techniques can notably boost your of success at the blackjack table. The running count, true count, and point values work together to give you a comprehensive picture of the game's current state and help you make the best possible decisions.

Mastering High-Low Point Values

A blackjack table with chips and cards on it

To truly excel at high-low card counting, you need to have a firm grasp of the point values assigned to each card and how they influence your gameplay. These point values are the foundation of the high-low system, and understanding them will enable you to make accurate predictions about the remaining cards in the deck.

Comprehending the point values empowers you to make informed betting decisions.

Assigning Point Values

In the high-low system, cards are assigned points of +1, 0, or -1. High cards, which are advantageous to the player, receive a negative point value, while low cards, which are favorable to the dealer, receive a positive point value.

Assigning these point values and maintaining a running count enables you to gauge each card's value and devise the best betting and playing strategy, depending on the game's current state.

Maintaining Running Count

Maintaining an accurate running count is pivotal for success in hi lo count card counting. The running count is the sum of the points assigned to each card that has been played. To maintain an accurate running count, you need to be diligent in adding and subtracting these points as each card is dealt.

One tip for effectively maintaining a running count is to practice counting cards in a simulated environment, such as an online blackjack game or a deck of cards at home. This will help you become more comfortable with keeping track of the point values and enable you to do so more quickly and accurately during real gameplay.

Converting Running Count to True Count

A blackjack table with chips and cards on it, showing the true count

Converting the running count to the true count is significant for a precise understanding of the game's current state and making informed decisions. The true count takes into account the number of decks remaining in the shoe, providing you with a more precise estimate of the card composition.

Importance of True Count

The true count is significant because it allows you to:

  • Make better betting decisions
  • Adjust your overall strategy based on the current state of the game
  • Ascertain when it's beneficial to adjust your bet size
  • Adhere to your basic playing strategy

Taking into account the true count can help you make more informed decisions and improve your chances of winning.

This invaluable information can make all the difference in turning a profit at the blackjack table.

True Count Calculation

To calculate the true count, you'll need to divide the running count by the number of decks remaining in the shoe or an approximate estimation of the same. This is a crucial step when you count cards in blackjack. For example, if your running count is +10 and you estimate that there are four decks remaining, your true count would be +2.5.

Maintaining the true count throughout your gameplay allows you to fine-tune your betting and playing strategy, maximizing your potential winnings with a well-calculated maximum bet.

Advanced High-Low Techniques: Illustrious 18 and Fab 4

A blackjack table with chips and cards on it, showing the Illustrious 18 moves

As you become more proficient in the hi lo card counting system, you may want to explore advanced techniques that can further enhance your decision-making during gameplay, especially in double deck games.

The Illustrious 18 and Fab 4 Surrenders are two such strategies that can provide you with valuable insights and increase your odds of success at the blackjack table.

Illustrious 18 Moves

The Illustrious 18 moves are a set of 18 indices or exceptions to the common rules of basic blackjack strategy that apply when using high-low card counting. These moves are specifically designed to be used with the high-low card counting system and enable players to make optimal plays based on the count.

Mastering the Illustrious 18 moves allows you to polish your playing strategy, enhancing your winning odds.

Fab 4 Surrenders

An image showing a person using high low card counting technique while playing blackjack during the Fab 4 Surrenders game.

The Fab 4 Surrenders are another advanced high-low technique that can significantly impact your gameplay. These four distinct surrender decisions can be taken in specific blackjack scenarios, allowing you to make the most of your true count and optimize your .

Learning and integrating the Fab 4 Surrenders into your high-low card counting strategy could significantly bolster your table performance.

Evading Detection While Using High-Low Card Counting

A blackjack table with chips and cards on it, showing the Fab 4 surrenders

Although mastering the high-low card counting system can yield significant benefits, it's important to bear in mind that casinos continuously monitor for card counters. To protect your advantage and continue reaping the benefits of your card counting skills, you need to learn how to avoid detection by staff.

This means understanding the telltale signs of card counting, such as betting patterns and table behavior.

Blending In

One of the most effective ways to avoid detection is by blending in with other players at the table. Here are some strategies to help you blend in:

  • Act casual
  • Engage in conversation
  • Avoid drawing attention to yourself
  • Change tables frequently
  • Vary your bet sizes
  • Refrain from openly counting cards

By following these strategies, you can maintain a recreational player's profile and avoid detection.

Seamlessly blending in and avoiding suspicious behavior will enable you to use your high-low card counting strategy discreetly.

Managing Bet Spread

Another crucial aspect of evading detection is managing your bet spread. Modulating your bet size based on the count and the number of decks in play will help you reduce the chances of casino personnel detecting your basic strategy and minimize the house edge.

Remember to keep your betting patterns consistent and avoid making sudden, large bets that could draw attention to your card counting activities. Instead, stick to the minimum bet when possible.

High-Low Card Counting in Online Casinos

A blackjack table with chips and cards on it, showing how to blend in

With the rise of online casinos, many players wonder if it's possible to use the high-low card counting strategy in virtual blackjack games. While there are some unique challenges associated with online card counting, opportunities do exist, especially in live dealer blackjack games.

Challenges of Online Card Counting

Card counting in online casinos can be quite difficult due to factors such as random number generators and reshuffling after every hand. Additionally, some online casinos may employ software designed to detect card counting patterns.

Consequently, keeping an accurate count and utilizing the high-low card counting strategy can pose more challenges in online games compared to land-based casinos.

Live Dealer Blackjack Opportunities

Live dealer blackjack games present a more viable option for card counting in online casinos. In these games, a human dealer deals the cards from a physical shoe, allowing for card counting opportunities similar to those in land-based casinos.

Nevertheless, awareness of the limitations of deck penetration and pacing in live dealer games is crucial, as they can influence your count's accuracy and your capacity to gain an edge as a player.


Mastering the high-low card counting system can undoubtedly give you a significant edge at the blackjack table. By understanding the fundamentals of this strategy, assigning points values, maintaining an accurate running count, and employing advanced techniques like the Illustrious 18 and Fab 4 Surrenders, you can optimize your gameplay and increase your chances of success. Whether you're playing in a land-based casino or exploring online opportunities, the high-low card counting system can be a powerful tool in . So, why not give it a try and see the difference it can make in your blackjack game?

Frequently Asked Questions

What is high low card counting?

High Low card counting is a card counting system in which cards are given values from +1 to -1 and tallied to gain a better understanding of the odds of winning.

This system assigns a score to each card, 2-6 equaling +1, 7-9 equaling 0, and 10-Ace equaling -1.

How do you count hi-lo in blackjack?

Hi-Lo card counting involves assigning points to each card from 2-6 (+1), 7-9 (0), and 10-Ace (-1). This makes it easier to track the fluctuations of the deck and adjust your betting accordingly.

What is a high count in card counting?

A high count indicates that there is an increased ratio of high cards (ten-ranked and Ace) compared to low cards (two through six) in the remaining undealt cards, thus increasing the probability of a high card being dealt next.

This increases the chances of the dealer busting and the player being dealt a favorable hand.

Do you bet more when the count is high or low?

When card counting, you should bet more when the count is high and less when the count is low, as it favors either the player or the dealer accordingly.

This strategy helps to give you an advantage over the house edge, and you should adjust your betting decisions based on the composition of the deck.

Can the high-low card counting system be used in online casinos?

It is possible to use the high-low card counting system in online casinos, especially with live dealer blackjack games.