Hi Opt II

The Hi-Opt II card counting system is a strategy for overcoming the house edge in sustained games of Blackjack. It’s not a method (nor could any system be) for automatically winning every hand that you play – you can still expect to consistently lose a number of hands as you prospect the deck.

However, what Hi-Opt II will give you is a firm indicator of when high cards are likely to begin appearing from the dealer’s shoe. And if you’re a smart player, you can use this information to create an edge versus the house and maximise your profit.

How Does That Help?

High Cards are anything worth at least 10 points – the 10s, the royals, and the Ace. The good cards, in other words. Two of these in your hand puts you in a position where you’re highly likely to win – but it’s no good if you don’t see it coming.

If, however, you’ve got an indicator of when the winning is likely to kick – and, for that matter, when it’ll tail off – then you can adjust your betting strategy accordingly. For example, if you knew for a fact that winning was unlikely, you’d bet the minimum, just to stay in the game. But if you knew that the next hand had a high likelihood of delivering a hand worth at least 20, you’d bet the maximum.

Hi-Opt II is a system that helps you do this.

How It Works

The Hi-Opt II system is relatively easy to learn, but it’s not quite as simple as systems like Hi Lo Count, so you may want to start there and graduate to Hi-Opt II once you have your card counting chops down. Having said that, Hi-Opt II is a more refined system than Hi Lo Count, and tends to yield more accurate data.

The system works by splitting the deck into groups and assigning points to those groups. You don’t need to recognise a unique value associated with each card as much as you need to just remember which group it’s in.

Practically, the system works by having you maintain a running total in your head. As you see cards being dealt, you either add to or subtract from this running total. The value of the total is the indicator of whether it’s a good idea to bet low or high on the next hand.

Groupings

Under the Hi-Opt II system, cards get assigned values that are either positive or negative. Specifically, when a 2, 3, 6 or 7 appears, you add one (+1) to your running total. If you see a 4 or a 5, you add two (+2) to your total. If it’s an Ace, an 8 or a 9, do nothing. If it’s a 10 or any of the royals, you subtract two (-2).

The higher your running total is, the more statistically likely that high cards are about to appear, but you need to maintain this count in your head. Card counting isn’t illegal, but casino staff will attempt to distract you if they think you’re doing it.

If you want to learn a slightly less complex card counting system, we recommend the Red Seven Count.