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Hi Opt I Blackjack Card Counting System

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The Hi-Opt I (Hi Opt 1) blackjack card counting system, a version of Hi-Opt (highly optimum) counting systems, is a card counting strategy that is designed for use by more advanced blackjack players. This system works similiar to the the Hi-Lo card counting system but has a few additional rules and card value changes which make the count more accurate. The Hi-Opt I system is also often referred to as the Einstein Count.

If you are wanting to become a serious blackjack player, you should definitely consider using the Hi-Opt I card counting system. This system is more mathematically advanced and can provide a slightly larger edge for the player, compared to previous card counting systems. There are blackjack players that claim this small extra percentage of player advantage isn't enough to justify using a more complicated system, but some players disagree and feel that the Hi-Opt I strategy is a far superior counting method.

Hi-Opt I Card Counting Strategy Explained

The Hi-Opt I count isn't overly complicated but it does take more focus at the table. This system is also based on adding and subtracting the number 1, so only simple math is used. To use this card counting system you'll need to learn the respective value for each card in a deck. Make sure you review this chart several times to avoid confusing the values with those of other counting systems.


As you can see, there are seperate groups of card values. All 2's in the deck carry a value of 0 in this system and don't change the count when they are played. The 16 other small cards (3-6) are counted as plus 1 as they are played. The 12 middle cards (7-9) are considered neutral cards and do not change the count as they are played. The 16 big cards (10-King), excluding Aces, are counted as minus 1 as they are played.

There are separate rule variations for tracking Aces in the Hi-Opt I counting system. This system doesn't keep track of Aces in the card count but there are still changes to basic strategy that need to be made depending on how many aces have been played. Many players use external things such as chips, fingers, or feet, to keep track of how many aces have been played. Ken Uston recommended using your feet in his book Million Dollar Blackjack. We will not cover ace variations in this section.

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