Learning How to Card Count Step by Step

Card counting is an advanced strategy that can be used in blackjack and baccarat. Be warned however that card counting may take players days to even years to master; it depends on the player's will, skills and constancy of practice.

Secondly, be aware that card counting will never be effective if a player is unaware of the basic strategies of the game. If you use this strategy in blackjack, for instance, you should know WHY you're going after the face cards and aces. You should know what to do when you do have them with you.

But enough with the warnings and on to the steps that shall teach you how to card count!

To practice, you would need about 4 to 5 decks of cards. This is to ensure that you'll be able to card count just as easily when multiple decks are used. In short, we're taking the bull by the horn. Let's start the first lesson by directly confronting the main problem of most card counters: multiple decks!

Now, mark the cards that are numbered from 2 to 6 with a +1 sign. Next, look for all the face cards, 10s and Aces and give them a -1 sign. Leave the 7s, 8s and 9s untouched.

So now, you have the basic point system used in card counting: 2s to 6s counts as 1, the high cards count as m1 (for minus one) and the three remaining cards count as zero. In short, they don't matter - in your strategy that is.

Now, remember this sequence:


In card counting, you should automatically assume the cards to be arranged as such.

Then, memorize the equivalent formula for that sequence:


It's important that you memorize this completely and accurately. You can't afford to make mistakes. You're not even allowed to mouth them out, nod your head in rhythm - you're not allowed to move at all, in short, or do anything that would indicate you're card counting.

Now, we'll use a situational example to teach you how to use this system. Let's say there are two more faced down cards left to be dealt and you find yourself at m2. You should be aware that the rest of the cards left then can be anything between 2 and 6.

Confusing? You'll get the hang of it just as long as you practice hard and practice often.

Not all of us can learn advanced strategies overnight so don't beat yourself up if it's taking you longer than you thought to master card counting.

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