Card Counting Basics: A Beginner’s Guide to Practice

Master card counting in blackjack with this beginner's guide. Learn to monitor the deck, adjust bets, and boost your wins with our tutorial.
Card counting

Card counting is a well-known technique employed by blackjack players to gain an edge over the casino. By tracking the cards that have already been dealt, they can predict whether the remaining cards will be more or less favorable to their chances of winning against the dealer. In this article, we will explore the principles of card counting and how you can use them to improve your game.

Understanding the Basics of Card Counting

At its core, card counting is about monitoring the quality of cards that have been exposed and using this information to determine the quality of those remaining to be played. The simplest systems track high and low cards, with the ever-changing “count” helping players decide whether the deck is becoming more or less profitable.

To illustrate how card counting works, imagine playing a simple game with 10 red cards and 10 black cards. After shuffling and dealing 10 cards face up in a row, you can use the information about the exposed cards to predict the colors of the remaining cards. For example, if you see five red cards, you know that the other five cards must be black.

Increasing Your Bets When the Odds Are in Your Favor

The main principle of card counting is to increase your bets when you have a better chance of winning. By betting less money when the deck is less favorable and more when your chances improve, your winnings over time will be dictated by the accuracy of the information you gather and the size of your bet spread.

The bet spread refers to the difference between a small bet and a high bet. A larger bet spread allows you to take advantage of more favorable odds and increase your potential winnings.

Practicing Card Counting in Online Casinos

When it comes to online play, many internet casinos use constant shufflers, meaning that the cards may be shuffled between each round of play. This offers no residual information to carry into the next round, making card counting more challenging. However, some casinos offer “live play” dealt from eight decks for online players, which can be a more suitable environment for practicing card counting.

Additionally, some online casinos offer training tools, such as card counting trainers, to help players improve their skills. These tools can be an excellent way to practice counting from round to round and develop your card counting abilities.

Using Card Counting Effectively

It’s important to remember that card counting is not about knowing the exact cards you will be dealt. Instead, it’s about using the information you gather about exposed cards to make informed decisions about your bets. By increasing your bets when the odds are in your favor, you can gain an advantage over the casino and improve your chances of winning.

While card counting can be an effective strategy, it’s essential to practice and refine your skills to maximize your advantage. Additionally, it’s crucial to be aware of the rules and regulations surrounding card counting, as some casinos may prohibit the practice.


In conclusion, card counting is a valuable technique that can help blackjack players gain an advantage over the casino. By keeping track of the cards that have been dealt and using this information to predict the quality of the remaining cards, players can increase their bets when they have a better chance of winning. This strategy, combined with practice and a solid understanding of the game, can significantly improve a player’s chances of success in blackjack.