Does Card Counting Still Work?



Eddy Cheung

If you’re a blackjack player, then you must be wondering if card counting still works. But this is a question that is most common among blackjack elites who are the minority, unfortunately. For the majority, they don’t even know what card counting really is. So, please keep reading to learn a few things about this blackjack strategy and how to make money from it.

Does Card Counting Still Work?

What is card counting?

First and foremost, card counting deals with blackjack only and has zero relations with the poker game. That said, card counting is a strategy that determines if the subsequent hand will give the player or the dealer a good advantage.

In simple words, it helps reverse the house advantage by keeping a tally of all low and high-valued cards seen by the punter. Card counting minimizes losses in an unfavorable count by allowing gamers to wager more if the count offers an advantage.

How to count cards during gameplay?

You’ve probably seen card-counting in action-packed movies. Usually, come across as a very complicated process that’s only a reserve for geniuses. But guess what? Card counting isn’t that complex. Below is what to do:

Step 1. Assign values to the dealt cards.

First, a player needs to watch the cards and allocate these values to each type:

  • Low cards (2 through to 6) = +1
  • Neutral cards (7 through to 9) = 0
  • High cards (A through to 10) = -1 Tallying cards is also called “running count.”

Step 2. Calculate the true count.

Now you need to create a “true count” to keep track of the several decks available in most real-money blackjack games. To make the conversion, divide the running count by the remaining decks. You can estimate the remaining decks by looking at the shoe. For instance, if you have a +9 running count and the deck estimate is 3, the true count is +3.

Step 3. Know your advantage.

Next, apply the “true count” to determine if you hold an edge over the house. Here is how true count determines the advantage or disadvantage: -3 = 2.05% house edge -2 = 1.53% house edge -1 = 0.80% house edge 0 = 0.42% house edge +3 = 1.77% player’s advantage +2 = 1.17% player’s advantage +1 = 0.58% player’s advantage Remember that a higher true count lets you risk more with high confidence.

Is card counting still effective?

Card counting started in the 1960s when a famous gambling author, Edward Thorp, had a massive advantage over casinos. But honestly, his Ten Count system wouldn’t succeed in the current blackjack world. Today, there are savvy pit bosses, facial recognition technologies, and worse gameplay rules.

But of course, players are still making money today by counting cards. However, you must be skilled enough to cheat the house. For example, some of the best casinos are more tolerant of players who count cards. So, know exactly where to count your cards.

Also, be extra careful when spreading bets. Be mindful of the spread bet size. In this case, the pit boss is likely to notice bigger spreads. In short, avoid being greedy.

Lastly, you can switch up appearances on your hot night out if you play in a land-based casino. That’s because gambling venues are likely to recognize you after multiple visits. A striking look is always going to attract unwanted attention.


You can make good money from card counting if you have good skills and practice enough. And as you can see, learning this blackjack strategy is straightforward. But be careful not to get caught because you can get banned right away. Good luck!

Best gambling quote: “Gambling is not about how well you play the games, it’s really about how well you handle your money.”

Favorite Casino Game: Blackjack

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