Count Cards in Blackjack

How to Count Cards in Blackjack?

What is Blackjack?

Blackjack is a common card game. A player takes turn to deal cards to other players and collects the cards they receive. In the end, everyone with a hand of 5 cards has to perform a straight flush or better, to win the game. Blackjack is much easier to learn than its western counterpart, casino poker.

Poker has simple, mathematical rules, whereas Blackjack has many more aspects to learn, in order to win. But Blackjack has many benefits over traditional gambling games, such as roulette and baccarat. A players player skill, knowledge and experience level, count in making a profitable play at Blackjack.

In this blog, you’ll find out, how to play Blackjack in order to win and what each and every card means. We will use the card counting approach. This technique is used by the top professional gamblers in Las Vegas. In this post, you will learn, how to count cards correctly and to win as well. Let’s start at the very beginning.

How to read Blackjack Cards

A player, is taught, how to correctly read and understand cards. This helps them to win at Blackjack. A Blackjack card contains various information about the type of card, the hole and the number. A player is taught, to read, the cards in the hole. In this, they are taught, the number that is visible in the card, usually, printed on the upper right corner.

A card’s name is printed on the card in the hole. You can see on the corner of a card’s card, the card’s name, usually, printed on the upper left corner. The top area of a card, called the ace of spades, is called the Overcard.

  • If a player has an ace of spades on the top part of their cards, they are in the “advantage” position. The ace of spades card’s color is blue.
  • If the card has an Overcard, it means that the card belongs to the player that has the most face cards in their hand. This means that, the player in the advantage position will have to have a good hand to be in the advantage position.
  • If the card has nothing on its top, and no face cards on the top part of their cards, this means that the player is in the “pit” position. They will have to play the minimum of 3 cards in their hand before the player that has the most face cards in their hand.
  • When a card has two Overcards, this means that the player is in the opposite advantage position, than before. The player has to hold only 2 face cards in order to have an advantage.

A card’s value is on the bottom part of the card. In order to determine the value of a card, first, find out, the value of all cards in a player’s hand. Then, multiply the value of the card in hand, by two. This is the value of the card. If you were to drop a card down in your hand, would you drop down a card of the same value, or one of a lower value?

The next step is to divide the card’s value in half. This is where, the gambler’s skill comes in. The game of blackjack requires you, to take two similar cards and compare them to each other. You look at the lower part of the card (that is the half of the card which you can see), you look at the highest part of the card (that is the half of the card you can’t see).

Then, you compare the two halves of the card. The card, with the lowest value, is the best. This means, that the player has the same chances to win, when the card is dropped. If you drop down a card that has a value, of less than zero, then, the card will not be able to be won. In blackjack, you are supposed to win.

Blackjack Parts

Blackjack has two main parts: the “game” and the “action.” The game is what you do to make the hand you need to win the hand. The “action” is how you do it. The game gives you clues on how to play the game.

The Action

The main “action” in blackjack is making moves to reduce your opponent’s chance to win the hand. These moves include making either all-in or weak/meager bets. You can also “straighten out” or make the appropriate moves based on the card shown, i.e. – look for the 3 of spades, or 3 of clubs, etc.

The Numbers

Blackjack is a “counting” game. Each card is worth a number of points. The first move, or the initial bet, is taken as a “counting” bet. If the count is going in your favor, the bet is called a “strong” or “winning” bet.

Bets, Holds and Win/Loss

Each of the five cards in a deck has a point value. The number of points for each card in a deck is called the point value. You can multiply a point value by the face value to get the hand value. The face value for a hand is the cards worth one point each.

  • Four of spades = 1 point
  • Four of clubs = 2 points
  • Three of hearts = 3 points
  • Two of diamonds = 4 points
  • One of clubs = 5 points


When you are playing blackjack, you need to know the odds of winning the hand.

The odds of winning a hand:

5-3 – 20%

5-2 – 25%

5-1 – 30%

10-15 – 40%

10-8 – 60%

4-1 – 80%

3-2 – 100%

That means to have a 1 in 15 chance of winning the hand, you need to bet 20% on it.


Holding cards in your hand to raise you to a good hand, or stay in the game after you’ve gone broke. As with all plays in blackjack, it all depends on your play. But a good rule of thumb is not to raise to a flush if you can’t make the flush. Also, if you don’t want to raise to a flush, but you’re not comfortable leaving your spot, it might be better to move to a five or nine bet.

The last thing to remember is that when you are playing blackjack, as in other games, your opponent is likely to either catch on to the rules of the game, or he/she may not be playing blackjack. When your opponent catches on, he/she will typically make an extra bet to win the hand, or offer a weak action to get you out.

If he/she doesn’t catch on, it’s fine to bet a few extra points or hold on to the hand. Of course, even after your opponent catches on, you can’t always expect him to play blackjack. So if you don’t have the best hand, you’ll often get jacked up.

The Basics

In order to understand the game, you need to know the basics. This section will introduce you to some of the finer points of blackjack, and hopefully at the end of this section, you will be able to correctly call for a blackjack, call what you are playing against, and understand the point values of the cards and play.

Blackjack Basics

There are two forms of blackjack played, Texas and the Real World.

  • Texas Blackjack

Texas blackjack is one of the most popular forms of blackjack in casinos, bars, and bingo halls throughout the world. The rules are the same as in blackjack in that the dealer deals, raises, and folds. The dealer cannot bet (trick) when he/she deals, raises, or folds.

But in Texas blackjack, players can see the cards dealt from the dealer’s hand before the bets are made. This differs from blackjack in that players have less information about the hand they are playing against. In Texas blackjack, the dealer shuffles the deck of cards, but he/she doesn’t turn the deck over to reveal the cards for the first hand.

A player must make three bets before he/she is allowed to draw cards. All bets must be made with a minimum of four cards, and may not go past 21. When all players have made three bets, the dealer deals the cards for the first hand. During the initial deal, it is illegal to raise or lower a bet more than three cards, and the dealer cannot get into a hand by giving away cards.

When players see that the first hand is going to be their best hand, they can bet on it. When they win, they are paid out at the point of their best hand. When they lose, they are paid out based on how they played their cards, and not the house point. You may call with a single card, or double a single card.

If you double a single card, you will get a bonus of three points. You may also call with a higher card. For example, if you have a Jack of clubs and a 7 of hearts, you can bet a total of seven cards.

  • Real World Blackjack

Blackjack in the Real World is played in the same manner as in real blackjack, except that no bonus points are awarded. This is one of the main reasons you may find that in the Real World the blackjack player may win less.

The card dealt to the player is known as his/her “Turn”. The player may play cards on the “Board” (alternatively called the “Ace Deck”) or “Deck” (alternatively called the “Seven Card Deck”).

When the player is dealt 21 or over on the deck (known as a “Royal”, the sixth highest value in the deck) he/she may place the highest number of cards (called “stones”) on the “Queen of Diamonds”. Each card must be face down on the table, and the Queen must be face up on the table.

  • If the player places cards on the “Queen”, he/she may play any cards on the table, face down.
  • If the player places cards on the “King of Hearts”, he/she may play any cards on the table, face up.

This is one of the main differences between blackjack in the Real World, and Texas Blackjack.

How to Count Cards in Blackjack?

Counting cards in blackjack is very similar to counting cards in Mexican Hold ‘Em, but there are a few important distinctions. During the first three bets, the player counts up the cards dealt from the dealer’s hand. The player must make three bets before he/she is allowed to draw cards. Each of the three bets must be made with a minimum of three cards, and may not go past 21.

Each player must then turn his/her card over and place it on the table. The dealer then shuffles the cards for the player’s second hand. All bets must be made with a minimum of four cards, and may not go past 21. When the player is dealt the second hand, he/she makes a new count of the cards dealt.

If there is a Queen of Diamonds, the player may play any cards on the board, face down. If the player chooses to place cards on the Queen of Diamonds, the player must first turn his/her card over. The player then places his/her highest card face up on the table, and his/her second highest card face down.


Counting cards in blackjack is not as difficult as it may seem. Try it out and you will soon be counting cards in no time. It is also a very easy way to have an edge over your fellow players, whether you are playing in a casino, in a house, or for fun!

There are a few resources online where you can learn about blackjack strategy. If you like this article, please subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more fun and useful content. It will ensure that you don’t miss out on anything. Drop us a line below, or feel free to share with a friend!

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