Hi-lo Blackjack Strategy

The Hi-Lo Blackjack strategy is regarded to be the most effective and easiest card counting strategy in blackjack.

The tactic is very popular and is used by many online casino players in Australia. Casino Aus recommends this strategy to players at beginner to intermediate levels. Read on for more.

What Is Hi-lo In Blackjack?

The Hi-Lo strategy is a card counting method used in Blackjack, as we’ve mentioned before. Created by retired engineer and mathematician, Harvey Dubner, Hi-Lo is used to determine if the next hand will likely give an advantage to the player or to the dealer.

The Hi-Lo Blackjack Strategy

The Hi-lo Blackjack Strategy In Three Steps


Assign value to cards

In Hi-Lo also known by others as HiLo or High-Low, a player assigns a certain value to each card they have open in their hand using this rating:

  • Ace, Ten, and face cards = -1
  • Seven, Eight, and Nine = 0
  • Deuce, Three, Four, Five, and Six = 1

"Running count"

The player needs to start and keep what’s called a “running count” of zero at the start of the shoe or deck. As the dealer reveals your cards, you need to constantly add or subtract from the “running count”, according to the rating we’ve provided on the first step.

  • E.g. If the cards that are dealt out are 10, J, 3, 5, Q then your math would be as follows: -1 – 1 + 1 + 1 – 1 which equals to a value of -1.

Divide the “running count”

Divide the “running count” by the number of decks remaining. This method is called a ‘true count’.

Say you have a running count of plus 7 and about four decks left, then the true count would be seven out of four, which equals to 1.75. All that’s left is that you round that number up to two. Our experts recommend you increase your bet should the true count be greater.

Moreover, players do not have to renew their calculations since the cards are not returned to the deck after each hand.

Hi-lo Blackjack Tips For Aussies

Although the High-Low Blackjack strategy is quite popular and considered very effective, it does have some disappointing disadvantages. The cons of the HiLo Strategy include:

  • The system requires a whole lot of attention. If you want to use this method you need to stay focused, otherwise all your counting goes down the drain should you blink once – literally.
  • You can’t use the Hi-Lo blackjack strategy at Land-based casinos since card counting is strictly forbidden – you can get kicked out for it.
  • It’s quite useless to use when playing at an online casino since online blackjack tables change their decks for every hand.

Overall, the HiLo strategy for blackjack is best to use when you play at places where card counting is permissible. We call it the winning strategy!

Card Counting: A Blackjack Strategy

Card counting is a popular and powerful strategy experienced blackjack players often use to gain an edge over the casino. By keeping track of the cards dealt, savvy players can adapt their betting and playing decisions to maximise their chances of winning. Read on to learn how to count cards in blackjack and discover the secrets behind this fascinating technique.

How to Count Cards in Blackjack

At its core, blackjack card counting is about understanding the changing balance of high and low-value cards in the deck. When there are more high-value cards remaining, the odds favour the player, while more low-value cards tip the scales in the casino’s favour. Here’s a simple step-by-step guide on how to count cards in blackjack:

1. Choose a Card Counting System

There are various card counting systems, such as the Hi-Lo, KO, and Hi-Opt II. The Hi-Lo system is the most beginner-friendly, assigning a value of +1 to cards 2-6, 0 to cards 7-9, and -1 to 10-Ace.

2. Keep a Running Count

As each card is dealt, update your running count by adding or subtracting the assigned value. A positive count indicates more high-value cards, while a negative count suggests more low-value cards.

3. Calculate the True Count

To account for the multiple decks used in most blackjack games, divide your running count by the estimated number of decks remaining. This gives you the true count, which more accurately reflects the balance of high and low-value cards.

4. Adjust Your Bets

Based on the true count, increase your bets when the odds are in your favour and decrease them when the odds favour the casino. This is the essence of the card counting strategy.

5. Adapt Your Play

In addition to adjusting your bets, use the true count to inform your playing decisions, such as whether to hit, stand, split, or double down.

Mastering Card Counting

Card counting is a skill that requires practice and dedication. Here are a few tips to help you master this strategy:

  • Practice at Home: Use a deck of cards or a blackjack app to practice counting cards in a low-pressure environment.
  • Develop Speed and Accuracy: The faster and more accurately you can count cards, the more effective your strategy will be in a real casino setting.
  • Manage Your Bankroll: Even with card counting, blackjack is still a game of chance. Set limits and manage your bankroll responsibly to protect your profits and minimise losses.
  • Stay Discreet: Casinos are aware of card counting techniques and may take measures to counteract them. Keep your counting subtle to avoid drawing attention.

By understanding the principles of card counting, practising your skills, and applying this strategy at the blackjack table, you can significantly improve your chances of winning and enjoy a more rewarding game of Blackjack!


As we wrap up this journey through the intriguing world of Hi-Lo Blackjack, we hope you now have a robust understanding of its unique features and strategies. Mastering the game not only requires a good grip on the rules, but also an appreciation of its nuances, like the Hi-Lo card counting system. Remember, card counting isn’t about knowing what card comes next, but about understanding the probabilities and using them to make informed decisions. Even though it’s a skill that requires practice and patience, it can significantly improve your game over time. Keep these insights in mind, and may your next blackjack adventure be filled with excitement, and hopefully, a few winning hands!

Hi-Lo Blackjack FAQs

Jamie Bungaree avatar
Jamie Bungaree
Head of Casino Games

Hi, I’m Jamie, the Head of Casino Games at CasinoAus. For over eight years, I’ve been exploring the exciting universe of iGaming, from pokies to table games. My experience isn’t just about playing; it’s about understanding the mechanics and delivering quality content. My background in journalism equips me to provide you with insights that go beyond the surface. I’m here to make sure you have an engaging and informative experience.

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