Using the Hi-Lo Blackjack System to Win Big

Most card counting systems are based on a very simple principle of deck balance. This Hi-Lo System as developed by Stanford Wong can be fairly easily understood, but it may take years of practice for most people to get any use out of the system.

The Basics of the Hi-Lo System

When broken down, the idea suggests that when there are a large number of high value cards in a deck then the overall balance of the deck is high. When there are a large number of low value cards, the opposite is true. The purpose of card counting, then, is not to keep track of all of the cards that have gone by and all that remain to be played. Players instead are hoping to anticipate whether the deck has a low balance and it's safe to hit with high hands, or whether it's too risky a move.

Assigning Values

For all but those with photographic memories, it can be impossible to keep track of all the cards that have passed in a single game of blackjack. Add to that multiple decks and constantly shuffling, and card counting should make little to no sense. The Hi-Lo Blackjack system knows that most people can't keep track of the cards, but they can do simple math. By assigning low digit numbers to each card, players are expected to simply add and subtract small numbers in their heads. The value of that total will let them know whether the balance is high or low.

Almost all card counting systems use the Hi-Lo blackjack system as a starting point for their own unique techniques. Mastering any of these can take players a good deal of time, though, and may not always be worth it.