Blackjack is a simple game of chance, the object is to have a hand with a total value higher than the dealer without over going 21.
The Basics of Card Counting
Each card in the game has a value that is positive, negative or neutral. When a card is dealt, the card counter adjusts its calculation with this value.
An example of a very common card counting system in blackjack that uses positive, negative and neutral values is the so-called Hi Lo system. Every time an ace or a card worth ten points appears, it means minus 1, every time a card worth 2-6 points appears, it means plus 1, and every time a card worth 7-9 appears, you change nothing. The higher the number you reach, the higher the percentage of high cards left in the shoe.
The Hi Lo system counts as a single-level or level-one method of card counting because you only change the amount one step at a time. More advanced card counting methods can take advantage of many levels and larger fluctuations.
Card Counting Strategies with More than One Level
As explained above, more advanced card counting systems in Blackjack can consist of several levels. Examples of such advanced systems are Zen Count and Wong Halves. Instead of just using the values +1, 0, -1, these two systems use +5, +2, +1, 0, -1, and -2.
If you can keep a lot of balls in the air at the same time, you can also keep track of specific cards in addition to your regular card count so that you know, for example, exactly how many aces have been dealt.
A disadvantage of the more advanced systems is that they can be complicated to keep in mind and make you play slower. Sometimes it is more profitable to quickly work through many hands with a basic blackjack system than to carefully play a few hands with a more accurate, but also more time-consuming, card counting method.