Understanding the High-Low Blackjack System

The high-low blackjack system is a technique that can be used by intermediate level poker players to improve their game, allowing them to start using blackjack as a way to make money. The High-Low, also spelled Hi-Lo, version of blackjack is a way to approach blackjack in a professional manner.

The High-Low System

The High-Low blackjack system was developed by John Ferguson, also known as Stanford Wong, in his 1975 book called "Professional Blackjack". With the Hi-Lo system, you "count" the cards as follows: 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are valued at +1; 7, 8, and 9 have no value; and 10, J, Q, K, and A are valued at -1. You keep a running count, called "count per deck". A player would take insurance at 1.4 for a one-deck game, +2.3 for a two-deck game, and+2.8 for a 4-deck game. Aside from these rules, there are also some complicated rules regarding strategy indices that cover specific casinos and the number of decks they usually play. The book outlines comprehensive strategies and gives detailed examples.

High-Low Compared to Other Blackjack

High-Low is a professional-level introductory count system that is comparable to the High-Opt I system. With its .97 betting efficiency and relative simplicity of card values, it is one of the most preferred blackjack systems currently utilized. Wong suggests that a ten-count for insurance purposes can be used with an Ace, improving the win rate. Given that this is likely to add up to 1.5 winning bets per hour, this sort of system may give you an edge in your blackjack betting and ensure that you increase your blackjack payouts.

Like all strategies, it is important to do some research to ensure that you fully understand how to move through a system and that you are using it correctly. You can find many sites that give highlights to the High-Low system; however, your best source is the original 1975 book, so pick it up if you can and watch your blackjack strategy earn money!