Blackjack is one of the easiest casino games to play both online and offline. What makes it even more popular is a special Hi-Lo counting strategy that helps to beat the dealer. So, learn how to play Hi-Lo Blackjack if you want to win.
Regardless of your gambling experience, you should have heard about blackjack. As one of the most popular casino card games, it is extremely popular at online gambling sites in the US and all over the world. Playing blackjack is easy: in fact, all you have to do is collect a hand of a total value of 21 or close to it and beat the dealer’s hand. Although it sounds easy, winning at a blackjack game partly depends on your luck. What makes your winning chances depend only on yourself is Hi-Lo Blackjack.
What is Hi-Lo Blackjack?
Basically, Hi-Lo Blackjack isn’t even a variation of the common card game – it is blackjack itself where players apply a special Hi-Lo counting system during the game. So, to win the game, you need to learn both blackjack rules and Hi-Lo tips.
If you have played classic blackjack at least once, learning Hi-Lo rules will not be difficult. If you haven’t, here is a brief introduction to blackjack, also known as twenty-one.
- Blackjack is played with a 52-card deck both at online and offline casinos. The real-life game involves 2-8 players, while online blackjack is usually played between two: a player and a dealer.
- The object of the game is to beat the dealer’s hand with your hand. It can be done by collecting a hand as close to 21 as possible, without going over 21.
- Usually, the player plays with one hand against the dealer’s one hand, but some blackjack variations may involve 3-5 hands.
- Cards’ value in blackjack is the following: face cards (J, Q, K) are equal to 10, numeric cards’ value is equivalent to their numbers. Ace is worth 1 or 11 depending on the game.
- Before the game starts, the player has to bet on his hand to beat the dealer. At most online casinos in the US, the minimum you can bet is $2.
- The game starts with the dealer giving two cards one by one either face up or face down. Then, the player (who is able or not able to see the dealer’s cards) decides whether he should add an extra card to his hand or not. If yes, he is given a minimum of one extra card. If not, all cards are revealed and the biggest hand wins.
Hi-Lo counting strategy explained
So, let’s now see how to play Hi-Lo Blackjack at online casinos. The Hi-Lo System is a very common blackjack card counting system used by professional players. Also known as Plus/Minus, it is believed to be the most popular counting strategy among gamblers.
How does it work? Using Hi-Lo, you give each card a value of -1, +1, or 0. The total value of a 52 card deck is zero. The smallest cards in the deck are given a value of +1. Cards of middle (or neutral) value are equal to 0 value. Finally, big (face) cards receive a -1 value.
To understand the system better, look at the following table:
|Card rank||Hi-Lo Value|
|Small – 2, 3, 4, 5, 6||+1|
|Medium – 7, 8, 9, 10||0|
|Big – J, Q, K, A||-1|
Now, let’s see how to play Hi-Lo Blackjack keeping these numbers in mind.
How to play Hi-Lo Blackjack?
Playing blackjack using Hi-Lo helps to track high cards that are left in the deck. Although it doesn’t guarantee you a victory, it significantly helps to make the right choice if you hesitate about adding extra cards to your hand. So, how to apply this counting strategy?
You have to start counting at every new shuffle. Depending on the cards you receive, add +1, -1, or 0 to each card of a particular value. To practice memorizing the Hi-Lo value of each card, we recommend playing it with friends first or playing a free demo version of blackjack at Intertops Casino.
So, you have started your counting. If it is positive after the round, it means that undealt cards are richer in large cards. Therefore, you should increase your bet.
If the count is negative though, it means that cards in the deck are richer in small cards and you need to decrease your bet. Bet more on positive counts and less on negative ones. Keeping in mind the Hi-Lo strategy, you will increase your winning chances in blackjack.