Advanced Card Counting

Before you read this article, you should have already read What is Card Counting? and The High-Low Count. Those two articles will give you the necessary background to understand and use these advanced blackjack counts. Once you’ve absorbed the basic card counting foundation, you can scroll down this page and browse through the best advanced blackjack counts. No long explanations, no examples, just the counts that you need. These are organized, roughly, from the simplest to the most complicated.

The Knockout Count (KO)

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
+1 +1 +1 +1 +1 +1 0 0 -1 -1

The knockout count is only a simple variation on the basic high/low count. Instead of labeling seven as a neutral card, the knockout system makes it one of the low (+1 cards). We first saw this system in Knockout Blackjack, a book written by Ken Fuchs and Olaf Vancura.

Thorp’s Ten Count

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
+4 +4 +4 +4 +4 +4 +4 +4 -9 +4

Thorp’s ten count system was first published in Dr. Thorp’s groundbreaking book Beat The Dealer and became the original blackjack count. As you can see, he is distinguishing between face cards (excluding aces), and everything else. While this ten count system works, there are new and improved systems that work better.

The Hi-Opt I Count

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
0 +1 +4 +1 +1 0 0 0 -1 0

The High-Opt I count is often called the Einstein Count. It was popularized in The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book but was invented originally in 1968 by Charles Einstein. It’s like the standard High/Low count, but the aces are recorded in a side-count. Basic strategy is not strictly followed with this system, but that depends entirely upon the aces side count.

The High-Opt II Count

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
+1 +1 +2 +2 +1 +1 0 0 -2 0

The High-Opt II count was created in 1796 by Lance Humble. Released in his book, The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book, this system was the Cadillac of all card counting strategies. It consists of two levels (+/-1 and +/- 2), and it calls for a side count of 8’s, 9’s and aces. It is a difficult count to use, but if you can master the High-Opt II count, you’re likely to see a lot of success.

The Red Seven Count

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
+1 +1 +1 +1 +1 0 0 -1 -1

* Seven’s are dependant upon color. Red Seven’s are +1, but black seven’s are neutral (+0). Hence the name, the red seven count.

The Red Seven was released in Arnold Snyder’s book, Blackbelt in Blackjack. As an unbalanced card counting strategy, ideally you shouldn’t have to calculate the true count to bet using basic strategy.

The Zen Count

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
+1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +1 0 0 -2 -1

Like the Red Seven Count (above), the Zen Count was released in Blackbelt in Blackjack. It is a two-level count, so it’s probably not appropriate for amateur players, but with a little practice, it can be extremely effective.

Omega II Count

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
+1 +1 +2 +2 +2 +1 0 -1 -2 0

The Omega II Count has a very complicated two-leveled count distribution. In Blackjack for Blood, author Bryce Carlson effortlessly lays out this system, but makes it clear that beginners should look elsewhere.

The Revere Advanced Point Count

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
+1 +2 +2 +2 +2 +1 0 0 -2 -2

Lawrence Revere’s Advanced Point Count system was unveiled in Playing Blackjack as a Business. It has two levels, and is unbalanced. In short, it is a difficult counting system to really master, but a powerful one when used properly.

The Uston Advanced Point Count

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
+1 +2 +2 +3 +2 +2 +1 -1 -3 0

The Uston Advanced Point Count (UAPC) is often considered one of the most challenging systems ever created. If you are willing to put some practice into honing your counting skills, the UAPC is the most powerful option you can pursue. It has three levels, and is also unbalanced.

And there you have it; the best card counting techniques for players of any level. Even though you’ve already seen this mentioned in the paragraphs above, practice is absolutely essential for even the most basic count. If you make even a single mistake every hour, your count could end up misleading you. To practice these new skills, give them a shot with the free sample game below:

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