There are a variety of blackjack counting systems in the gaming industry and many of these systems have been developed by major blackjack professionals during an actual game and then perfected as the game continues.  Many blackjack counting systems still stem from old systems such as Edward O. Thorp’s but need to be constantly upgraded and perfected as the casino and gaming rules keep evolving.

The main blackjack counting system is called a Hi/Low card counting system and it was developed to simplify the counting process when players could not remember the suits and cards. The idea of this counting system is that all of the dealers beneficial cards are referred to and counted at -1. All of the players beneficial cards are counted as +1. Many cards are considered neutral for the dealer and the player and they are counted as 0. The score in the beginning of the game begins at 0.

Here is the explanation of how cards are counted:

  • 2-3-4-5-6 cards are counted as -1.
  • 7-8-9 are considered neutral and counted at -1.
  • 10,J,Q, K and Ace are counted as +1.

Here is how this Hi/Low blackjack counting system works:

When the game of blackjack begins, the player remembers that the starting score is 0. As the cards are being dealt, the player watches all of the cards being dealt and then calculates them based on their -1, 0 or +1 value. Then the next hand of blackjack is dealt and the player remembers the final score of the first round. If the score was quite low at the end of the first round, the player’s chances of winning are much higher. With this reference, the player then increases the bet if the odds are theirs and decreases the bet when the odds are not in their favor.


When it comes to other blackjack counting systems, they may vary and there may be a different value on each card, but they are all based on the same principles as the Hi/Low blackjack counting system. The values of the cards may become more difficult to remember so it may be a good idea to stick to the basic Hi/Low counting system until you truly get the hang of it.

If we consider the Uston SS card counting system developed by Ken Uston, the only major difference in the system is the value of the cards. For example, 2,4,6 are counted as 2, 5 is counted as 3, 7 is counted as 1, 8 is counted as 0, 9 is counted as -1 and 10,J,Q,K and Ace are counted as -2. This blackjack counting system proves to be much more challenging when it comes to remembering the values, but with enough practice and concentration is can easily be become second nature.