Hi Opt I

Hi-Opt 1 is a card counting system that players use to give themselves a bit of a boost when playing long games of Blackjack. The purpose of the Hi-Opt 1 system is to give players data about how many high value cards are still in play.

Why is this relevant? Well, if the deck contains a large number of high value cards (such as 10s and up), then there’s a strong possibility of being dealt either a hand worth 20, or Blackjack itself. Both are extremely strong positions likely to win money.

If you as a Blackjack player are able to track when the high cards are more likely to start appearing, you can adjust your betting strategy accordingly. For example, when the deck is light, you bet low. When you’re convinced the time is right, you bet the maximum. In this way, you take home the most money from a blackjack session.

Why a Points System?

Hi-Opt 1 (which, incidentally, stands for Highly Optimal) is a Blackjack card counting strategy that’s based on points. The reason for this is that it’s very difficult for most people to visualise all 52 cards in a deck, and from this subtract what they’ve already seen dealt in such a way that they know what’s still to come.

Some people can do this – mostly they’re Savants – but the rest of us need a system that’s simpler to manage yet still yields the same results. Also, what do you do about the fact that most casinos will use multiple decks in a shoe?

Hi-Opt 1 solves this problem by disregarding the specific cards and sorting them by 3 groups, each of which is worth a different amount of points. You don’t have to keep track of the specific cards you’ve seen – all you have to do is use basic grade 1 arithmetic to keep track of a running total.

The value of your running total gives you an indication of the state of the deck being dealt from. High positive values indicate that high cards are in the offing, while low to negative values indicate that most of the good stuff is already gone.

This information helps you with your betting decisions. For example, if many high cards are imminent, it’s time to crank your betting up to the allowed maximum. But if the best cards have come and gone, you can limit your losses by dropping to the minimum.

Specific Implementation

Hi-Opt 1 splits the deck into groups and assigns values to those groups. The 2, 7, 8, 9 and A have no points assigned to them, and can be ignored. The 3, 4, 5 and 6 have a value of +1, so you add 1 to your running total when you see one of these cards.

On the other side, whenever you see a 10, Jack, Queen or King, you drop a point from your running total.

By only ever using the digit 1 in any mathematical operation, Hi Opt remains one of the easiest level 1 systems to master.

After mastering the High Opt 1 count, check out the High Opt II Count.