With a traditional card counting system, every card in the deck has a unique value, and you are trying to work multiple sets of numbers at the same time, all the while trying to play your hand the right way. With the Hi-Lo betting system, you can make simple calculations and still maintain basic strategy moves without disruption.
To get a better understanding of the mechanics behind the Hi-Lo betting system, we need to look closely at the values given to all the cards in the deck. With this system, each card in the deck is given one of three values.
The cards 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, considered to be the low cards, are all assigned the value of +1.
The cards 10, J, Q, K, and A, considered to be the high cards, are all assigned the value of -1.
The cards 7, 8, and 9, have no value in this system, and are all assigned the value 0.
By taking a normal deck of cards and dealing out the cards while yelling out the count will help you get better at doing this is a real game scenario. So for example, we start at zero, when the queen is dealt we are at -1. Then a 4 makes it zero again. The 3 makes it +1, a 2 now moves the count to +2, and a 6 brings the rolling count to +3.
To see the count in a visual format, let us assume that the following cards are dealt this round, 10, K, 4, 6, Q, so you determine the value as -1 – 1 + 1 + 1 – 1 for a grand total value of -1. The count resets each time the cards are shuffled.
So how does this translate to you winning money? Simple, the higher the number gets, the more favorable cards are still in the deck. As you get close to the end of a deck, if the count is +15, you know a bunch of high cards are coming, and this means you could get a premium hand or a ten when you have a double down opportunity.
When that count is into the negatives, say like -17, this means many 10-value cards have already been dealt and a large amount of the smaller cards still remain in the deck.
This Hi-Lo strategy of card counting is a great system for beginner card counters and a simple way to ease yourself into card counting and improving your chance of winning playing Blackjack.