For Beginners, Step 1 in Learning a “Counting System” Can Help You Win

If you are a casual player, like I am, you want to know some basic counting systems to help you when you’re at a table.

I’m no mathematical genius (you know that by now, right?), and my memory sucks, so I’m always looking to get some kind of edge when I play.

Cos I love the game.

So, it’s time to start counting cards!

First you should decide which system you want to learn.

In general, the two systems most often recommended for beginners are the knock out KO count or the Hi-lo count.

The difference between these two is that the KO count does not require a conversion to the true count and saves an extra step by sacrificing a little accuracy.

The first step towards counting cards once you’ve chosen a system is memorizing the relative value of each of earch card in the deck, and learning to count down a deck.

Not easy for me to do.

Let’s look at the Hi-Lo count system.

2, 3, 4 , 5, 6 Count +1
7, 8, 9 Count 0
10, J, Q, K, A Count -1

In the High-Low count there is only 1 level of value, so cards are counted as +1, 0, or -1. All 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 cards have a value of 1. 7, 8, and 9 have a value of 0.

10, J, K, Q cards all have a value of -1. Some counters will advise you to learn not to notice that 7, 8, and 9 cards exist at all to minimize the number of things that you must pay attention to.

Start with that, and next week, we’ll get to the next step…but this week, practice assigning numbers to cards you see dealt.

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