Hi/Lo Count at Blackjack

The hi-lo strategy of counting cards in blackjack is also called the system of plus/minus or the system of high/low. A man named Harvey Dubner created it by simplifying the groundbreaking system of counting that Edward Throp came up with: the Ten-Count. This was done to give players and easier time at using it. The hi-lo strategy is made for both beginners and intermediate players and is probably the easiest system of card-counting out there today. In general, it is highly recommended for players who only dabble in the game as opposed to full-time blackjack players.

Because of how easy it is, the hi-lo system of card counting is a common weapon that blackjack teams put to use. This is because it works very well when matched with the stiff curve of learning of multilevel teams of blackjack.

A More Thorough Explanation

Learning this hi-lo count happens to be easy. In fact, any player that can add has a strong chance of becoming an expert at it. First of all, you have to learn each deck card's respective value, as follows in this chart:

  • 2 to 6
  • +1 Count
  • 7 to 9
  • 0 Count
  • 10-value cards and Aces
  • -1 Count

The chart shows that there are various card value groups. The smaller cards with values of 2 to 6 count as +1 when played. The middle cards with values of 7 to 9 are neutral and don't change anything in the count when played. The bigger cards with values of 10 or the Aces count as -1 when played. This is a very balanced system because counting down each card will give a 0 count at the end of 52 cards (a single deck).

The hi-lo system of card counting is similar to tug-of-war since every card changes the overall count somehow and the battle keeps going between the higher and lower cards for card count control. You should root for under dogs here since smaller cards will give you higher chances of winning. When the amount of smaller cards inside the deck is less, your chances of getting a blackjack will go up. The same goes for dealer busts and starting with stronger hands.

When joining a table after getting a new shoe, the count begins at 0. Then, add or subtract 1 or 0 for each card that comes out. If you miss a card by accident and lose your count, you can still change your chances of winning, though, so don't worry and just have some fun.