What is the ideal number of decks for blackjack card counting?

JQKBy Ben Walker.

Blackjack card counting is an exciting method players can use to enhance their winning odds beyond the basic strategy of the game. This strategy can help players guess the cards (or at least the type of cards) that will emerge in a game.

In this article, we will discuss how many decks of cards are critical to correctly tracking the accurate count during card counting at blackjack.

If you are playing online blackjack at the sites listed at casino guide, card counting may be a strategy you should employ to minimize the casino’s edge. Blackjack is regarded as a casino game that welcomes newbies. This fundamental blackjack strategy can significantly increase a player’s chances of success. If the conditions are good and you have the skills, you can dramatically increase your blackjack winning odds against the casino by card counting.

How does card counting work?

The fundamentals of card counting are incredibly straightforward. Still, most players require a long time to learn the method.  There are many different card counting strategies but the most common is known as the Hi-Lo count.

The cards are first divided into three categories: tiny cards (2–6), medium cards (7–9), and big cards (J, K, Q, 10, and Ace). Each card is given a specific value, such as +1 for cards 2 to 6, 0 for cards 7 to 9, and -1 for big cards. The player’s count now depends on the card in hand and changes by +1, -1, or stays the same as the game advances and these cards are dealt. After keeping a running count, players must divide it by the number of decks still in play to get a genuine count, or as many players refer, the true count.

Players can practice card counting in a variety of ways to gain experience. One of these approaches uses a desktop program or a mobile app. Another approach to practicing this method is to play blackjack games against yourself.

The count fluctuates with time as you play.  Generally speaking, the higher the count the more advantageous it is for the player.  If the count is negative, the house has an advantage.  There is some point, depending on the game, that the advantage switches to the player.  Usually, this number is around a true count of +1 or higher.

The higher the count the greater the advantage for the player.  With this knowledge, the player can modify their bet. Players can have a better possibility of generating significant profits and limiting their losses thanks to this understanding.

Ideal Number of Decks for Card Counting

For many people, it is difficult to remember the cards as the total number of cards goes up. So, the ideal number of decks in blackjack card counting is one (1). Players will find it easier to maintain a track of the running count and eventually reach the true count if there are fewer decks.

However, many single deck games today only pay 6 to 5 on a blackjack.  This makes single deck a poor choice for the card counter.  The real answer to this question should also include the deck penetration.  The deeper the dealer deals into a deck or shoe will answer your question of which is best.  For example, a shoe game with deep penetration (a deck or less) is often considerably better than a two deck game with only 50% penetration.

How to Count Cards in Online Casinos?

There are no actual physical decks at online casinos. Digital blackjack games use a sophisticated RNG algorithm to pick players’ and dealers’ cards. Card counting is impossible when playing standard online blackjack on US gambling sites since there are no digital cards in a digital shoe for you to keep track of.

Fortunately, live dealer blackjack games at some casinos still allow card counting. You can keep track of the cards since live casino games use real croupiers who deal from an actual shoe of cards.  What makes a good game, however, is how far they deal in the shoe.   For example, a good game is when they only cut one deck out of a six deck shoe.  But even if the online casino has poor penetration, card counting can still give you insight into the game.


In conclusion, the quantity of decks of cards used in the game determines how effective card counting is. Most players can easily keep track of the cards when there are only a few decks in use, but when there are six to eight decks, it can get complicated. However, with lots of practice, most players can also count down any shoe size.


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