Introduction: How to Count Cards

Picture of How to Count Cards

In this instructable I'm going to teach you how to count cards to win at blackjack. Counting cards is a quick easy way to beat the dealer! This especially comes in handy on a trip to vegas, or anywhere else that they have casinos. Keep on reading to learn the tips and tricks for counting your cards when gambling.

Step 1: Card Values

Picture of Card Values

in counting cards, you add up card values to see what your odds are of getting a good hand. cards 2-6 have a value of +1, cards 7-9 have a value of 0, and 10-ace have a value of -1

Step 2: Adding the Numbers

Picture of Adding the Numbers

every time a card is layed down on the table, you add the number (either =1, 0, or -1) to all of the other numbers. try to bet when the card count is at higher than +3.

Step 3: Multiple Decks

Picture of Multiple Decks

some dealers play with multiple decks in order to discourage card counters. however, if you know the number of decks, you divide the card count by the number, and that is the "true count"

Step 4: Make Loads of Money!

Picture of Make Loads of Money!

now you can make loads of money! but remember, card counting isn't illegal, but casinos can still throw you off of their property if they suspect you.


PeterFish1982 (author)2017-05-16

Great post thank you very much!

sweetapricot (author)2017-01-11

it is the useful information!

JaguarS2 (author)2016-06-21

I still don't understand, sometimes 8 decks and 4 person how to remember the cards?

lewishill63m (author)2016-01-16

So i'm quite new to counting cards, and i understand the counting of values of cards, but when these numbers add up what do they tell you?

JadwinM (author)lewishill63m2016-03-27

Since the dealer has to draw up to 17, he is more likely to bust if there is a higher percentage of face cards (10, J, Q, K, A) to low cards (2-6).

Lets say your card count is 5 and you raise your bet proportional to your count.

The dealer shows a 16 (assuming the hidden card is 10) and you have a 12. Since it is more likely that the next card will be 10 (hence your card count), you would stand because the dealer's percentage to bust is higher.

Card counting basically uses probability as opposed to the traditional way of playing (assuming the hidden card is ten and hitting if you are below the dealers predicted total) to gain an advantage from a statistics standpoint.

greenwood99 (author)2015-06-29

Card counting is, under any circumstances, not cheating or illegal! All it card counting is about is understanding the possibilities of what cards may go down... It is not "allowed" in casinos as professional card counters can take high amounts away from casinos, causing them to lose money. But I guarantee the dealers count, hence how they make profit...

nukez28 (author)2011-07-21

oh gosh. most of you commenters have no knowledge at all in card counting. it is not illegal AT ALL! most casinos actually sell card counting charts in their GIFT SHOPS! the count VERY rarely gets higher than +10 and i mean very RARE. the movie 21 is a horrible interpretation of real card counting.

Burge (author)nukez282013-04-02

21 is a good representation due to the people looking for the rare rise that helps to find the table and there multiple decks at one table such as six can make the count go from 20 to a possibility of 120 also -120 but that is so in a casino it is possible to get that lucky number everyone is looking for

Burge (author)2013-04-02

21 is a good representation due to the people looking for the rare rise that helps to find the table and there multiple decks at one table such as six can make the count go from 20 to a possibility of 120 also -120 but that is so in a casino it is possible to get that lucky number everyone is looking for.

coolz (author)2008-06-24

thats actually cheating and casinos can kick you out...

the4est (author)coolz2008-06-25

but it isn't illegal... they can kick you out (casinos are private property), but they can't have you arrested.

jmacfarland (author)the4est2012-07-01

Casinos can only kick you out in states that have voted to make casinos private property (e.g. Arizona). In most other places like Atlantic City they can only change dealers more often, add decks to the shoe, etc. also, they can ask you to stop playing. That is all.

mg0930mg (author)the4est2008-09-06

Or beat you o a bloody pulp... Watch 21 or read raising the house( i think) It is a true story about a few mit students who cheated at 21 in vegas.

meeeeeeewith7es (author)coolz2008-08-15

it is not cheating, you would have to alter the outcome of the game using sleight of hand or a machine of some sort

yeah I agree it isn't cheating its strategy

mg0930mg (author)AngusNotSoYoung2009-05-08

Casinos consider it cheating. :P

awsome (author)mg0930mg2009-05-22

yep it is cheating and also illegal to do so in a game in which you are making technically could be arrested but...not on the casino grounds anyways

Foaly7 (author)awsome2009-06-01

It is not illegal at all. Casinos will only kick the crap out of you with their bouncers and then kick you off of the property and red-flag you to every other casino in Vegas. So it's not illegal, just a bad idea to not keep it a secret. Also, it is not cheating. View AngusNotSoYoung's comment above.

grimfig (author)2008-08-23

What's the point?

Foaly7 (author)grimfig2011-05-19

Winning is the point. Or at least not losing to bad.

M4industries (author)2010-05-01

  I understand true count, but once you have the true count, what happens. In other words, what do you do with the number? Just bet big or what?

the4est (author)M4industries2010-05-01

once you have the true count, if it is a high enough number, then you bet big. be careful, though, because the more decks there are, the less accurate it will be.

M4industries (author)the4est2010-05-01

 How high is high enough? I mean, in the movie 21, the count gets up to 16, 17, and 18. (Sorry for all the questions)

the4est (author)M4industries2010-05-01

true, the count does get that high, but keep in mind, they are playing with multiple decks, and (i haven't seen that in a while) if my memory is correct, that is not the true count. as far as how high is high enough, that depends on the risks you are willing to take. the higher the count, though, the better odds you have of winning

suzukisuv (author)2009-08-06

why is counting cheating. Thats weird. I would like to play this.

danlab (author)suzukisuv2010-02-07

It isn't cheating, but the casinos want to make as much money as possible so they will throw you out if they catch you since it gives you a better chance of making money off them.

fauge7 (author)2009-11-11

i want that

john henry (author)2009-05-22

I meant casinsos not casing and did A make a trip to the bank for the money shot lol

john henry (author)2009-05-22

I bet A a hundred bucks the dealers do it at the casing and this is our best chance of beating them at there own game muhahahha

ikoda (author)2008-09-27

Can you count cards playing with just you and another person?

the4est (author)ikoda2008-09-29

yes, you need at least 2 people to play blackjack, and you can practice counting cards by yourself

maharg20 (author)2008-09-26

I am sorry but I don't think that this tutorial is specific enough

mbudde (author)2008-09-08

It's not cheating. If you have the mental capacity to do this with all of the distractions around, then go for it. Just don't get caught. And remember, don't be like the king of hearts! (suicidal king)

junits15 (author)2008-09-04

Thats also illigal

KLUTZYengineer (author)2008-07-16

Yes they are eligible of kicking you out, but there is no fine/penalty, and the dreaded "Back-Room", Kafkaesque bureaucracies...

JSeb (author)2008-06-18

Would have appreciated if you took us through a sample game.

Sergeant Crayon (author)2008-06-13

"but casinos can still throw you off of their property if they suspect you." I used to count cards when I played with my friends in high school. When they finally caught me one of my friends told me a story about how his uncle was caught in Atlantic City. (This was before they used all the preventative measures: multiple decks, etc.) The casino he was staying at basically beat him up (breaking two of his fingers and his nose) then kicked him out of his room with no compensation for the cost. I didn't believe him at all until I met his uncle, whose fingers were, in fact, mangled. Bad. Long story short: don't get caught, casinos are way more powerful than we give them credit for.

the4est (author)Sergeant Crayon2008-06-13

your right, and they can do that (even though it's illegal)...... so i wouldn't advise using this in casinos until you are really good.

Sergeant Crayon (author)the4est2008-06-14

Although I think he got caught because he was doing by himself. Casinos monitor people who bet small for a while then suddenly bet big and win. It looks kind of suspicious unless you have a team.

fathomreach (author)2008-06-13

This is a wonderful technique for multiple decks. Keep in mind some casinos are now switching to single deck shuffling machines. While you play one hand, the shuffler works on another deck. After the round is finished, the dealer grabs the newly shuffled deck and puts into the shuffler the recently used one. This method has made card counting irrelevant. The best thing in this situation is to memorize and stick with rules of when to stand, hit, split, double based on the dealer up-card and hope like crazy you come out on top.

mattgibby (author)2008-06-11

u should add some pics

mattgibby (author)2008-06-11


benthekahn (author)2008-06-11

Thanks Aidan, this is cool.

About This Instructable




More by the4est:how to make an awesome night light (but it doesn't last too long)How to Count Cardsa good way to get directions
Add instructable to: