In this article we will get acquainted with the most common card counting system in blackjack – High/Low. Harvey Dubner is considered to be the founder of the High/Low system, but Stanford Wong made a significant contribution to its development. It is the simplest of all existing ones, it cannot be called very effective, accordingly, it is not used by professional players.
In addition, if you use the same institution for a long enough time, you will quickly be found out and, most likely, will be asked to leave their walls. Nevertheless, the High/Low system is perfect for any beginner to understand the principle of counting cards and increase their chances of winning.
What About the Chances?
Speaking of chances. Do not think that even if you own this system perfectly (as, indeed, any other), you will be able to increase the amount with which you entered the game several times. We are talking about a small percentage of the total amount, which can be regularly carried away as your winnings. So, if you have not lost the desire to get acquainted with the High/Low system, let’s start.
How to Count Cards Using the High Low System in Blackjack?
The principle of operation of this system is based on the fact that each card in the deck is assigned one of three numeric values: +1, 0 or -1. Because of this, you can also find the name “plus / minus”. Cards from ten to ace have a value of -1, from twos to sixes, respectively, + 1, and the rest are 0. As it is easy to calculate, the total sum of the values of fifty-two cards in the deck is also zero.
During the game, you add up the value of the cards that are played back and go into the bump, including those that the dealer cuts. The higher this number is, the more high-value cards (dozens and pictures) are left in the shoe. This increases the chance of a good combination for you and is best suited for playing a basic strategy.
- In such a case, if the number rises to 5 or higher when counting, it makes sense to raise the bid.
- If the amount is negative towards the end of the short, it is better to reduce the bet.
- In the case when several players are sitting at the table, if possible, it is recommended to skip the move altogether until the number being counted becomes at least neutral.
Let’s give an example: in the distribution, the cards are queen, eight, ace, three, jack, ace. The total amount is -3.
How to Play Blackjack Professionally?
It is also worth considering the number of cards that have not yet been played. After all, the value of +5 will be much more significant if there are about fifty cards left to play than after the first hand. To do this, there is a concept of “true counting”, in which the resulting number is divided by the number of decks remaining in the shoe. If the resulting number remains positive even in this case, this is the most appropriate time to raise the bid.
It is not difficult to guess that this will most often happen near the end of the cards in the shoe. Naturally, it means playing according to the basic strategy, with mandatory compliance with all the recommendations set out in it. If all these rules are followed and bets are varied correctly, the casino’s advantage in blackjack not only disappears, but even goes to the player’s favor by a few percent.