Canfield Expert Card Counting System

There are two Canfield card counting systems out there, the Canfield Expert and Canfield Master Count. The one described on this page is the expert system. The expert count is the easier of the two to learn. It is a level 1 (single-level or level-one) strategy used for counting cards. This one is also a fairly decent one to use while playing blackjack in terms of playing efficiency.

As a matter of fact, the Canfield Expert count was made popular in a book called "Blackjack Your Way to Riches", written by none other than Richard Canfield himself. The book itself was published in 1977 so it is one of the older strategies used by counters. If you are a beginner or if you are just looking for an easy system to learn, then this one is ideal. It is balanced, which means you can start your count at zero on a new deck and when the deck is completely dealt out, your count should also be zero. This is an excellent way to know how accurate your count is and if you have been doing it correctly.

For some comparison, the Hi-Opt 1 Count is just a little bit better in terms of strength and with the odds. The only drawback to the Canfield expert card count is the fact that it was designed to be used while playing single deck blackjack, which is a game that is hard to come by unless you get caught up in the 6:5 blackjack scam. Richard, the inventor of this system, was once a pit boss who worked at a casino and also worked on newsletters with Bob Gates. He is now retired.

The indexes for the Canfield Expert can be found below. The list on the left side of the chart is the card value and the other list on the table is what count value that is assigned to each card.

Card Value Points
2 0
3 +1
4 +1
5 +1
6 +1
7 +1
8 0
9 -1
10 -1
J -1
Q -1
K -1
A 0

Notice that the aces count as 0. This means that the Canfield expert is not Ace-reckoned, meaning you may need to count the aces on the side in order to improve the efficiency of your odds and strategy. On a good note, you do not need to be aware of the suits on each card, which can make the count more complicated.

Since this is a level I system, you only need to pay attention to just three numbers for the indices (-1,0,+1), making it an easy one to learn when you are just starting out. Now the goal is to watch the cards and keep track of the count. For example, when low cards are dealt, you start adding +1 to your running mental count and when the high cards are dealt, you subtract (-1) to your total count. The idea is to bet high when the count is high and positive and bet low when the count is low or negative. The high count corresponds to large card values such as 10s and 9s. These will benefit the player more than the dealer in terms of mathematical odds.