Poker Card Counting - How to Count Cards in Poker

Card counting is a tool for improving your poker with. To be a good card counter you need to understand both the poker game and the counting method well.

How to Card Count in Poker

There are several well known card counting systems but most associate this way of improving the game results with blackjack. Card counting is applicable on any poker game but even the simplest system takes a lot of practise and good concentration. You will never be able to know exactly what cards will come up but with a card counting system you’ll be able to make a better guess. The best card counters are even so successful that casinos employ methods to keep them off the tables.

The most basic card count is what is often referred to as a high low system. This means that you assign the low and the high cards different values. The values are -1, 0 and 1 and by keeping the count you can determine what types of cards are left in the deck. You want to figure out if the deck has a shortage of Aces, Nines and Tens. If it does it is to your disadvantage. This card count works the best when you are playing with only one deck of 52 cards as it get more complicated to keep track of the count with more decks.

Is it Legal?

It is legal to card count as long as you do so by yourself and without any tools. If a casino recognizes that a player is card counting they might take actions against him. The most common is that the casino staff will distract the player from counting but a very good counter could get expelled from the casino. In online poker rooms it might be more difficult both to card count and to spot a counter. Most online poker rooms use several decks in each game so card counting is tricky to begin with. Using any kind of software for card counting is not recommended. If the poker room allows it, it probably doesn’t work very well. If it works by letting players get together and collude it is illegal.

Does it Work?

Card counting does work and that is a fact that both players and casino operators are well aware of. This is the reason that it is hard to find a poker game without several card decks. Still, most players will not try to become card counters. It is simply too much work to truly master this art. The professional poker players many times develop a natural sense for what cards are left to be dealt.

It is true that a lot of experience will help a player win more games and card counting takes a lot of practise. If you want to try card counting you should pick an easy system and try it in slower games where you can keep track of both the count and what goes on, on the table. With time you should be able to integrate the count into your thinking without having to make notes to remind you.