Blackjack Strategies : the Hi-Lo System
There are many strategies for winning blackjack, both online and at the casino. Every gambler knows that the ability to count cards accurately will increase their odds of success, and the hi-lo strategy is one of the most popular, and most effective, strategies for winning at the game of blackjack.
The hi-lo system is also referred to as the point counting system at times. The system is easy to understand, and it works by assigning point values of either +1, 0 or –1 to each card as it is dealt. In this system, each card has a different value. For instance, Aces and other 10 point cards will have a value of –1. The cards 7, 8 and 9 will have a point value of zero, while the 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 card count as +1.
As each card is dealt to the players, the player using the hi-lo system will keep a running count of the values of the cards that are showing, and the betting decisions are made based on that running total.
The idea behind the hi-lo system is that the higher the plus count the greater the advantages to the player. A high plus count means that there are a great many high value cards remaining in the deck, and the presence of a high percentage of face cards always tips the odds in the player’s favor. A high plus count is an indication for the player to increase his or her bet.
When the running count remains near zero, the deck is considered neutral, meaning that neither the house nor the player holds a marked advantage. On the other hand, a high minus count means that the advantage is clearly with the house. A high minus count is an indication to bet only the minimum for the table, or to take a break altogether.
The accuracy of this system will vary, but the accuracy will definitely increase as more and more cards are dealt. As the accuracy increases, the players can increase or decrease their bets using the hi-lo system with a greater level of confidence.
It is important for all blackjack players to understand that all the hi-lo system can do is tip the odds of getting high value cards to the player’s favor. The decision of whether to hit or stand still must be based on proper betting strategy. Card counting definitely conveys an advantage when playing blackjack, but it does not automatically guarantee a winning hand. Combining the hi-lo card counting strategy with a sound betting strategy is the best way to enjoy success at the online or real world casino.