How To Count Cards And Earn Thousands


You walk out of the casino richer than you were before, pockets filled with fresh cash.

You beat the house.

This might seem impossible, as crippling anxiety and pockets ‘light as feathers’ is much more common for gamblers. However, by learning the simple steps of card counting and a fair amount of practice, you too can experience this.

If gambling is already one of your guilty pleasures, this is a great way to remove the guilt. However, if you have never stepped foot inside a casino before, this is still an excellent way for you to pick up a fun side hustle and maybe even a full-time job if you have a knack for it. Don’t worry. You won’t be a gambler as counting cards gives you the advantage, making the casino the gambling fool and you the wealthy strategist.

Foremost, I want to clear the air about many misconceptions I often hear circling the internet. One being that to count cards, you need to be some Rayman-type super genius. This could not be farther from the truth, as counting cards merely requires you to know simple math skills.

By math, I mean the ability to subtract/add by 1 and 0. Yes, that’s it. No superhuman memory is required. Therefore, if you pay attention in your first-grade math class, you’re all set.

The second misconception is that counting cards is illegal. In no way, shape or form is it illegal for you to play cards. All you are doing is using your brain, which has thankfully not been made a crime yet.

However, it is essential to note that casinos do not like people using their brains in their establishment, and they will try to kick people out whom they suspect of playing blackjack the smart way. They are also fully entitled to do so since they are a private business and can decide who can enter their establishment.

It is good to keep this in mind when playing and try not to be too obvious and get too greedy with winning; however, it is inevitable in a card counter’s career to get kicked out of casinos. They will make you sign a trespassing warrant that bans you from ever coming onto their campus again, or they will be able to take legal action against you. If this happens, take it with a grain of salt, cash in your chips, and go to the casino across the street.

Lastly, I would like to note that if you have no clue how to play blackjack and how the basic strategy works, I would recommend you to watch a ten-minute YouTube video on the game. Then come back and finish this article, where you will learn how to play ;) properly. If you already know the basics of blackjack, you’re all set.

First things first… the running count.

The Running Count

The first step is to assign a value to each of the cards using a high low system.

  • All cards numbered 2–6 are assigned a value of +1.
  • Numbers 7–9 are neutral and assigned a value of 0.
  • The leftover numbers, 10-Ace, are assigned -1.

Now is where the math part comes in, as you need to count every single card on the board (using the assigned values), keeping the so-called running count. You need to keep the same count throughout all rounds and be sure not to miss a card.

This means if the dealer uncovers a King (-1) and an 8 (0), the running count is -1.

If proceeding a 6 (+1), a 4 (+1) and a 7 (0) are laid out on the table, the running count is +1. Since -1 (from the previous round) +1+1+0 = +1.

The running count is carried over from round to round, and until the entire game ends and all the cards are shuffled, the running count is not restarted.

The count is in your favor when it is higher since this means that many low cards have been played, and the majority of high cards are still in the deck, ready to be dealt with you.

A low count means that many of the high cards have been dealt, and it is more likely for you to get low cards.

True Count

The running count is important, but it is not the ultimate secret to earning thousands of dollars playing a game. To determine what to do and how much to bet, you will be using the true count.

The true count is the count per deck, as blackjack is played with more than one deck. Six decks are the most popular amount used; however, sometimes, it may be different. One thing you need to internalize is how much one deck looks like and two, three, four, five, and six.

You will have to look at the card discard pile and accurately guesstimate how many decks are in there so that you know how many are remaining.

If there is about one deck in the discard pile, that means there are five decks left.s

running count ÷ number of decks left = true count

This means that if you have a running count of 15 and 5 decks left to be played, your true count would be 3.

If your running count is 9, and you have two decks left to be played, your true count would be 4. Since nine is not divisible by two, round down to the nearest divisible number, 8.

How To Bet

In 6 deck blackjack game, the house only has a .5% advantage over the player, and every true count moves the edge .5% towards the player. If there is a true count of 1, the game is even, and any true count above that, the player has the advantage.

So you will want to bet more whenever the true count is higher and less when it is lower. So one good rule of thumb to go by for betting is: the true count-1 is the number of betting units you should bet.

So if the betting unit is $10 and the true count is 4, you should bet $30.

If the true count is one, you should not bet at all.

There you go. Those are the big, long-sought-after secrets of card counting. It is not that complicated and is all just about practice. I highly recommend taking a deck of cards and slowly throwing the cards down on a table. One by one. All the while trying to keep the running count.

At first, it will be pretty tricky, but before you know it, it will happen completely automatically. Your brain will start to see those cards as those values, and counting cards will become as easy as any other mundane task in your life. You may even find yourself accidentally keeping a running count while playing cards with your grandparents.

Then, once you have gotten good at this skill, it is time for you to head out to the casino and put money on the line. Remember to always play with money you can afford to lose. Don’t put your next month’s rent money on the line, no matter how good you are at card counting.

Also, keep in mind that counting cards don’t mean you win every round. The real magic about counting cards is that you’re turning all the odds in your favor, meaning even though you may lose some rounds, the majority of your rounds will win.

For many, this is a full-time job, one that earns them six figures a year. However, this does not need to become your profession, as I have found it an enjoyable hobby/side hustle and view it solely as such. Thus, I can have some fun but still be assured that I will make money, sometimes even coming back home with a couple extra thousand dollars.

After closing this article, I don’t want you to return to your regular, mundane job and life. Bring something new, exciting, and fun into your life. Now that you know these key secrets to make fortunes, I want you to learn the game, play the game, and beat the game.

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