Hi Opt 1 / High Opt I Blackjack Card Counting System
This type of card counting system is known by a few names such as Hi Opt I or High Opt. Basically this is short for "Highly Optimum" and is a very advanced system of card counting. This is one reason why it is sometimes called the Einstein count method. It is not much different than the Hi-Lo system and it is another one of the balanced card counting systems. A balanced system means that when you start your count off at 0, you should be able to end your count at exactly 0 when all of the cards are used up.
Because of this system's highly optimal characteristics, it should be providing you with some of the highest odds that you can achieve through card counting. It is pulling out and maximizing blackjack efficiency in the game. We recommend learning Hi-Lo counting first before understanding this method because of the steeper learning curve. The advantage is only slightly greater with the first Hi-Opt 1 card counting method and is best for advanced blackjack players. There are some people who would disagree and swear by this system of card counting. I guess it just depends on what the type of player is and other elements in the game.
Hi-Opt I Card Counting Strategy Guide
The foundational aspect of all card counting strategies is to supplement them with the blackjack 21 basic strategy. The basic strategy is a list of what moves you should make to give you the the most optimum mathematical advantage. It tells you the "correct" move to make when given a combination of dealer and player hands. After you have this down, you will be playing the most efficient game and making all the perfect moves.
The next step is to implement the Hi-Opt I system to make the house edge flip over to your edge. Each card is assigned a count value. So when a card appears on the table, you add or subtract to your total count depending on what the card is. Keep in mind that you need to keep track of everyone's cards, including the dealer and all the other players. It is best to wait for the deck to be shuffled and then start your count at 0. When the deck is all used up, the count should again be 0 at the end. A list of count values per card in the Hi-Opt 1 method is shown below:
The only difference between the highly optimal system and the high-low system is the two and ace cards have 0 points and you don't count these. You are still counting low cards and high cards but not the middle cards. Most important, when you are using the High Opt I method, you should NOT be writing down your count. Counting should all be done in your head. Some players don't realize this but you can be kicked out of a casino if they find out you are counting cards. People get confused because you are gladly welcome to bring in a basic strategy blackjack chart with all the correct moves. They let you do this because the casino still has the mathematical edge so they don't care.
The other reason why Hi-Opt I card counting is an "advanced" system is because there are more things to keep track of and it's more challenging to do correctly. The best thing to do really is to buy some cards at home and practice. Keep practicing carefully and then eventually have someone deal out the cards as fast as possible and see if you can count them all. With the High-Opt 1 method, you should always have a count of 1 when the deck is completely dealt, so you have some reference for practice. Another thing to keep in mind is the aces in this system are not counted and there is a slight change to the basic strategy because of this.