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How to count cards in Blackjack at casinos in Canada

How to count cards in Blackjack at casinos in CanadaYou have probably heard that professional players use a counting card system to get an advantage over the casino. These players are called counters. Yes, this system works, but it doesn't work in land-based casinos because 99% of them use shuffle machines, so the dealer does not shuffle the cards.

It would be best to look for an online casino in Canada where the dealer shuffles the cards (we recommend Fastpay). Further in the article, we will teach you how to count cards. By the way, this is one of the most popular (perhaps even the most one) systems used by players; a lot of players call it “Plus-Minus.”

  • You can try the card counting system for free on our site; all you need to do is launch the demo mode of Blackjack.

You need to know that there are other games where the punter can get a positive mathematical expectation of winning. Follow the next link and find out how to earn money with the help of bonuses given by the Canadian online casinos. 

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So, the question do you count cards in Blackjack?

The strategy is to separate the cards into 3 types: all of the big cards (Jack, Queen, King, Ace and Ten), all of the small cards (2-6), and last but not least, the neutral ones (7-9). The point of Blackjack counting cards is to predict what the following card might be (big or small). When the player expects a big card, he/she can easily double the initial points or surrender; then, the chance to win in the end is much higher.

For example: If you know that many small cards were drawn before, you probably expect big ones, so you can decide to double against 5 or 6. By the way, when waiting for big cards, if your number is (12-16), you can surrender against the dealer’s 10.


The fundamental of this strategy is to find the amount that's still on the desk(those that give 10 points + Ace), so the player can raise the bets and win higher sums.

The Plus-Minus system

Plus-Minus SystemThe system was used for the first time in 1963. It is very simple for learning and can be used by non -experienced players as well. Nowadays, many players use the Plus-Minus system, but the problem is that a lot of casinos don't allow it.

  • There are three groups of cards: small (2-6) that are counted as +1; neutral (7-9) that are counted as 0; and big ones (10-Ace) that must be counted as -1. In each deck, there are 52 cards; the sum should be zero.
  • So, when the player sees a small card, he makes a total count of +1, then another small card makes the total +2, if we add another, it will be +3; if the next card is big, then we count +3 – 1 = +2 and so on. The point is to get a “warm” deck where the total sum is more than +10 (many small cards were drawn); the best situation is when the deck is +15. In this case, the punter can expect more big cards.

The mathematical expectation of the system

In the table below, you can find the percentages of winning expectations:

Live count Changing the winning expectation %
–10 –4,79%
–3 –1,71%
–2 –1,12%
–1 –0,53%
0 +0,09%
+1 +0,73%
+2 +1,36%
+3 +1,98%
+10 +7,39%


As you can see, when the total sum is less than 0, you should decrease your bet or skip the hand. In a controversial situation, when the deck is “warm” (+10), it's time to increase your initial stake.

Counting cards movie “21”

The movie Twenty oneMat and his group of students use the Plus-Minus counting system to win money at casinos. They use gestures to tell each other if the deck is warm or cold. When the deck is good for gambling on high bets, the high-rollers go to the table and start betting the maximum. It is a good movie; we recommend you watch it if you want to count cards.

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Written by Kamen Valev
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