Your Guide to Counting Cards at Online Casinos Worldwide

Card counting in blackjack is a hot topic that is frequently contested. We seek to shed light on everything regarding this fascinating strategy, from how it began and the various methods of card counting to what it is and whether it is legal. So, if you’re curious about card counting and would like to learn about the different methods out there, as well as their pros and their cons, then you’re in the right place!

  • Aleksandra Nolan
  • Updated: 11.09.2023

  • Updated: 11.09.2023

    Introducing Card Counting

    An introduction to Counting Cards at Online Casinos

    This commonly used blackjack strategy is used by many players to figure out whether they or the live dealer has an advantage with the next hand. Card counting is done to try and one-up the house edge by keeping count of high and low-value cards that have been dealt. In this article, we’ll go into a little more detail about exactly what card counting is, whether or not it’s legal and much more!

    History of Card Counting

    The History of Card Counting

    Counting Cards OnlineMathematics professor and blackjack researcher Edward O. Thorp used early technology to see if monitoring the cards could help him gain an advantage in the game. He affirmed that it
    is possible to obtain a definite upper hand over blackjack, and all that is required are some basic mental exercises. The publication of his findings in the book Beat the Dealer in 1962 heralded the beginning of card counting. To this day many players all over the world have applied his methods in an attempt to get that big win but what exactly is card counting? Let’s delve right in and find out!

    What Card Counting is

    What Is Card Counting?

    Blackjack card counting is a maths-based approach that is often used to decide who will be in an advantageous position in the next hand- the player or the dealer. The goal and purpose of the card counters is to keep track of both high and low-value cards as they appear in the game, in order to reduce the casino’s house edge. Card counting allows players to have a better picture of the content of the remaining cards before they are dealt and played, allowing them to make better judgments and reduce losses.

    Legality of Card Counting

    Is Card Counting Illegal?

    Counting Cards in Blackjack

    Because this strategy has helped many players get the bigwin of a lifetime, you’d assume that it’d be illegal. However, there are no rules against card counting provided you don’t use any external card-counting app, card counting simulator or have someone beside you to help you count cards. Keep in mind that although card counting is not technically illegal, there have been players that have found themselves banned from online casinos because they’ve been caught.

    Why People Count Cards

    Why People Count Cards at Casinos

    Blackjack is a game in which the only way to win is to play wisely, carefully, and methodically. You can somewhat skew the odds to your advantage by following a proven strategy, meticulously calculating your bets, and learning how to count cards correctly. In this way, you can slowly build up your gains. Plainly put, players use card counting to increase their odds of winning

    Counting Cards Strategy

    Counting Cards

    How to try Card Counting

    How to Try Out Card Counting at Online Casinos

    With each system we mention below, some additional research may be needed before you can fully grasp how it works. However, once you understand it and have practised a few times, the real thrill and challenge can begin! Here we provide you with a few details about some popular card counting systems that you can use when playing blackjack.

    Card Counting Strategies

    Different Types of Card Counting

    Card Counting MethodWhat it is
    Zen CountWhen the player's true count is at 0 or less, he will be placing the minimum bet, and the idea is to increase your bets by 1 unit, or minimum bet, each time the count goes up. This steady increase is designed to not catch the attention of the casino, although players need to be aware too.
    Red 7The Red 7 system of counting cards in blackjack is simple and easy for beginners as it is a one-level system. The system is built on the principle of high vs. low cards. The higher value cards are assigned a value of -1 while the lower value cards are marked as +1. The neutral 8's and 9's are marked by a 0. With respect to the 7's in this system, colour plays an important role too. If the 7 is red, it is a low-value card (+1), if the 7 is black, it is considered neutral and assigned a 0. The higher the final count, the better it is for the players.
    Hi Lo:7The Hi-Lo card counting tequnique is the simplest strategy. The method is basic and straightforward, making it ideal for newcomers at blackjack. The Hi-Lo Card Counting System is as follows: Cards from 2 to 6 are given a +1 value because they are low cards, whereas the 7, 8, and 9 cards are given a value of 0, and the Ace, King, Queen, and Jack are given a value of -1. The counting procedure begins with the first card dealt from the deck. If the player's count is high with positive numbers, that means there are more high-value cards that remain in the deck, and vice versa, based on the card numbers and values. When the cards are first dealt, players normally start with a running count of 0 and divide the number by the number of decks in the shoe.
    Omega IIBruce Carlson invented the Omega II system, which is an intermediate level card counting system. It's also a multi-level system, with certain cards being worth two points and others being just one. Cards 2, 3, and 7 have a value of +1, whereas low cards like 4, 5, and 6 have a value of +2. The 9 has a -1 value, whereas the 10 and the face cards King, Queen, and Jack have a -2 value. The aces and eights are not tallied. This is a balanced card counting system, which means that if the player keeps track correctly, he will arrive at 0 when all the cards have been dealt.

    Tips for Card Counting

    Important Tips to Remember When Counting Cards

    How to Go About Counting Cards

    Now that you know a little bit about a few of the strategies that are used when counting cards, it’s time to take a look at a few helpful tips and tricks that can be used to increase your odds of winning even more! Below you’ll find our top 3 tips you should consider the next time you decide to try card counting. 

    1. Take the time to compare and choose the right card counting method for you.
    2. Start with low bets while you’re still learning how to practice this strategy, this will help you avoid losing big until you’re 100% confident.
    3. Make sure you have realistic expectations. Although card counting can increase your odds, it’s not a guarantee.

    Pros & Cons of Card Counting

    Pros and Cons of Counting Cards You Should Consider Before Giving it a Try


    • You can make a profit
    • There are different methods
    • Card counting isn’t as complex as it seems


    • You may be banned
    • It takes time and patience
    • Winning is Not Guaranteed

    No strategy is perfect, and when it comes to card counting there are a few pros and cons you will need to consider before deciding to try it out. To help you decide whether or not this strategy is a good idea for you specifically, we’ve provided a few of the pros and cons you can expect when counting cards at online casinos. 

    PROSCounting Cards at Online Casinos

    • Card counting isn’t as complex as it seems: Although you may think you need to be a mathematical whizz to count cards, that is simply not true. There are many basic and straightforward systems you can utilise; you just need to decide which one works for you.
    • You can make a profit: By overturning the house edge with card counting, players have the chance to gain a long-term advantage.
    • There are different methods: There are numerous ways to count cards which means you have the chance to compare them in order to find the one you think will work best for you.


    • Winning is Not Guaranteed: Unfortunately, you won’t make your fortune overnight with card counting. Your chances improve the higher you bet, but this is not a guaranteed winning strategy.
    • It takes time and patience: You have to be willing to put in the time and effort if you wish to see any reward in the future. That may mean hours of practice before you make a long-term profit.
    • You may be banned: Although it’s not illegal, casinos will ban you if you get caught doing it. Learning not to is a skill all on its own.

    What We Think About Card Counting

    What We Think About Counting Cards at Online Casinos

    Counting may appeal to serious gamblers and is an advantage play strategy. It’s easier than hole carding and shuffle tracking, it doesn’t require hours of work like poker and, with practice, you’ll become an ace in no time!

    Although you will need to take the time to compare different strategies and even then you might not get the wins you were hoping for, you will still be entertained, your mind will be engaged, and you could potentially turn some fun and planning into some profit.

    Try Card Counting at These Casinos

    Try Your Hand at Counting Cards at Some of the Best Online Casinos


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    Aleksandra Nolan

    Experienced online casino writer and reviewer who loves to share her knowledge and experience with others. She enjoys analyzing the latest trends in the industry and offering valuable tips to help others by having the most from betting at online casinos. She is constantly looking for new and interesting topics to write about and stays up-to-date on the latest changes in the online gambling industry.