The hi-lo is the most used cards counting system

High -low (or hi-lo) is the most used method for counting cards in the Blackjack game. Here's how it works and how to use it best!

The counting of the cards in the Blackjack game is certainly one of the most treated topics in literature relating to casino games. One of the most famous and most used methods of counting systems is certainly the one called hi-lo, or high -low, even dating back to 1963.

This method is theoretically very simple, because It is assigned to each card that passes on the table a value that can be +1, -1 or zeronull Things get complicated a little when we also go into consideration the number of remaining decks. However, there are simpler methods, such as the ACE-FIVE counting system.

Before proceeding, we remember that the counting of the cards is a practice not recommended by all the mess, therefore the following discussion must be understood with learning purposes. Here is a description of the functioning of the hi-lo counting system:

1st step

Need assign a score to each cardnull The table generally used is as follows:

A -1
K -1
Q -1
J -1
10 -1
9 0
8 0
7 0
6 +1
5 +1
4 +1
3 +1
2 +1

The assignment of the cards to the cards does not depend on the number of decks used.

2nd step

It starts with a zero "running count" Starting from the moment in which the change of decks takes place. In other words, you start counting when all the cards are analyzed inside the holder (deck/shoe).

Every time a card is revealed (even of the counter or other players) it starts to add or subtract from the running count on the basis of the table shown in point 1. We make a couple of examples to clarify considering the top ten cards extracted from the holder:

  • 6, 8, K, A, 2, 2, 10, J, 5, 3. It runs Count è 0 +1 +0 -1 -1 -1 +1 +1 -1 +1 +1 = +1
  • K, J, 10, 9, 8, 3, 5, 10, 7, 2. It runs Count è 0 -1 -1 -1 -1 +0 +0 +1 +1 -1 +0 +1 = -1

3rd step

Now it is necessary Calculate the so -called "True Count". To do this, you need to divide the value of the running count for the number of decks of cards left involvednull This is certainly the most difficult part for those who try their hand at the first time in the counting at the Blackjack, because it requires the player to have an idea, at least generic, of the number of cards remained at stake.

Fortunately, it is not necessary to make an extremely precise calculation, even an estimate will be fine. For example, if the running count is +10 and 3 decks remain, the True Count is equal to 10/3 = 3.33. Ringing at +3 makes things easier. The practice allows you to have an idea of the True Count even without doing continuously divisions in mind.

4th step

Bet: the greater the value of the True Count and the higher the episodes should benull Here mathematics gives way to personal style. It is possible to find guidelines on the type of bet to be made based on the value of the True Count, but in general these episode systems are recognized by the controllers of the casino, notoriously not very benevolent towards those who count the cards.

A rather natural game method is the one that plans to increase the bet only after a win, reduce it only after a loss and leave it unchanged in the event of a tie. To avoid losing control, it is also very useful to fix minimal and maximum limits regarding the value of the individual episodes. For example, you can decide yourself to bet a minimum of $ 1, increase by $ 1 for each win without exceeding $ 5 even if the winning series is greater than 4 hands. It is certainly not the most profitable bet system, but it is one of the most "safe" from different points of view.

How to focus based on the count reached

Books were written on this topic. In general you can proceed in two ways:

For novice weapons with the counting of the Blackjack cards, the use of a simple basic strategy is obviously recommended, so as to put greater concentration on the calculations, making valid decisions in any case. In a second moment, when (and if) the count is natural the use of more complex methods can bring the greatest profit margins.

The player's advantage on the counter can generally vary from 0.1% to 1%.

Can you use to count cards in online blackjack?

It is not possible to use the hi-lo counting method in virtual blackjack games, because the system automatically remitted the cards in the decks after each game, so it is not possible to obtain an advantage based on the value of the cards left at stake.

All counting systems, including this, mean only if applied by playing in real, live tables.

Test yourself with the high -low count!

If you think you are able to count the cards on the blackjack, you can test yourself by watching this video. Will you be able to count faster and faster?