The Hi Lo system
The Hi Lo system was created in 1963 by Harvey Dubner. Is was developed afterward by Stanford Wong and Julian Braun.
This system is indeed the simplest method to count cards in Blackjack, and therefore then most common.
A basic principle on card counting
The system is based on a balanced method to count. It bases on giving nominal values to each cards the different players have. These values can be 1, 0, or -1. It is appropriate to know that there are the same numbers of +1 and -1 in a deck of 52 cards.
Counting 52 cards you thus obtain 0 as a result.
Which values do the cards have without the Hi Lo system?
We have seen together what are the possible values given to the cards:
- So, the cards 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are counted as 1.
- By contrary, the Aces and the “buches” are counted as -1 in the Hi Lo system.
- Last, the cards 7, 8 and 9 are counted as 0.
We remind you that the buches in Blackjack are the cards giving 10 points: 10, valet, queen and king.
Once the count has done, what to do?
What is the count obtained during the game used for, this is the question.
That is true, that the cards that remain in the sabot are mainly small cards (those from 2 to 6 which are counted as 1 point) and that, being those the cards the will be picked in the rest of the match, create an advantage for the croupier.
By contrast, if there are still big cards to play (those which are counted as -1, the Ace and the buches) the advantage is for those players who want to increase their bet. If your count is high, that means that there are mainly low cards left, thus the player who follow the count can bet more rationally.
- If the count is close to 0, the sabot gives no advantage to the players nor the croupier.
- If the count is high, then the sabot is quite interesting for the players who can place more considerable bets.
- On the other hand, if the count is lower then 0, that means that the sabot contains only small cards and the player should better not bet too much.
In order to manage with this Hi Lo counting system, it is better to practise it often and to train yourself regularly. At the beginning you could start counting a deck of cards and trying to remember their values (this, in the attempt to verify your ability to arrive to the number 0 at the end of the count), and then proceeding by increasing step by step the number of cards.