The Hi-Low method simply involves keeping track of the high and low cards in a shoe, and therefore how many of them are still dealt. This does not mean keeping track of individual cards; it just means keeping the sum running by assigning 1, -1 or 0 to the cards that have been dropped, depending on their face value. The higher the total score, the more likely the high card will come next. Then, you increase your stake to expect this, when the high card increases your chances of winning blackjack.
However, there are many deeper levels of card counting. The more complex the card counting strategy, the more accurate and profitable. At the same time, the more complicated it is, the harder it is to follow, and therefore the more likely you are to make mistakes. Mistakes can be costly, because you will usually play a lot of cards at low odds, and if you make a mistake when high cards come up, you may sacrifice the rewards you get. Hence, the best card counters use strategies that aim to strike a balance between complexity and reward.
Count the real thing
One way to increase the accuracy of your card count is to use the number of decks that shoe holds to convert your basic number of cards into a number called the actual count. This implies that you need to keep track of the total number of cards dealt. From there, converting to a number is really easy. You just need to divide the total you have achieved by the number of cards remaining in the shoe. For example, if you have reached 8 and the dealer is using shoe 8 decks of which about half of the cards have been dealt, there will be 4 decks left. Dividing your count by the number of decks remaining leaves you with a real count of 2 (8/2). You can see right now that you don’t feel comfortable getting as high as you thought with your original count – and maybe you shouldn’t bet too high, as there is still a pretty low odds of The low card appears. You can see from this example how to get a real count gives you a more accurate picture of the cards remaining in the shoe.
Strategy for counting levels
According to Happy8 dealer, when applied to card counting, level means the highest value you give for each individual card when they are played. Therefore, the Hi-Lo strategy is a tier one strategy, since the highest value awarded to any card is 1 (any card from 2 to 6 counts as 1.) The tier 2 strategy has that is dividing the cards into more categories and assigning the values -2, -1, 0 1 and 2. You can immediately see that the higher your level, the more granularity you will achieve and so your number of cards will be more accurate. However, it is evident that a tier 2 strategy will require more focus and higher error rates, as now you have to keep track of more card categories. The more levels you use, the more you need to think – while disguising the fact that you’re counting cards.
Another strategy is to keep the sub-counting of a certain number of cards, in addition to the main count. This sub-count allows you to keep track of separate cards, usually aces, as they are very important cards in blackjack. Again, this gives you one more thing to focus on, and you need to decide what level of error risk you’re willing to accept.
Of course, with all these different strategies, it’s important that you practice them so that they become second nature before you try to implement them in live casino games. The best way to practice is to simulate real world conditions. Ask a friend to act as the dealer and the other friends take on the roles of other players. Ask them to talk to you to distract you while you practice, and to use loud music and other noises to increase your distraction.