Hi-Lo Card Counting System

  • The Hi-Lo (name High/Low is used too) card counting system is a basic method for a player to memorize the dealt cards (the cards left the game). It reckons as the most popular blackjack counting system among the blackjack enthusiasts.

    In accordance with card counting system regulations the principal aim of a card counter is to watch the player cards + the dealer ones and to keep in mind all the dealt cards. Thus the player may vary his bet amounts and decision strategy depending on cards quality left in the shoe.

    Harvey Dubner has created the Hi-Lo card counting method. This system is best suitable for amateurs to start their card counters career. The Hi-Lo system is rather easy to learn and master. It's the perfect choice for tournament types gaming beginners.


    Pay you attention to the following chart and then read the explanation attentively.

    The Hi-Lo system presents 3 basic groups of cards depending on their value.

    • The 2's till the 6's (small cards) form the group of cards which count +1;
    • 7's, 8's and 9's (middle cards) belong to count nothing group;
    • 10's + face cards and Aces (big cards) shape the -1 count group.

    Also we stress that the small cards amount in the deck is 20. The same is with the big cards. And the middle cards possess 12 cards in the deck.

    The Hi-Lo card counting system is balanced. Thus if you finish the count of all the cards in the deck you get number 0 as a final point - the same as the starting one.


    Now let's get closer to Hi-Lo system understanding.

    Imagine the green tournament table with 3 players and 1 dealer hands to play. The dealer shuffles the deck and then distributes three initial 2-card hands:

    1. King + ⑤ for Mr. Brown
    2. Queen + ⑦ for Mr. Grey
    3. ⑨ +⑦ for Mr. Counter

    Then the dealer places an Ace as a hole card for himself.

    Thus Mr. Counter starts to count:

    1. Mr. Brown cards: -1 count and +1 count = 0;
    2. Mr. Grey cards: -1 count and 0 count = -1;
    3. Own cards: 0 count and 0 count = 0;

    The dealer face-up card: -1 count;

    Thus Mr. Counter counts -2 count in whole.

    The count is negative for now and the next Mr. Counters actions will be performed considering this very fact.

    The count is proceeding and every next card which is dealt influence the whole count.

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