Hi-Opt I

The Origin

Hi-OPT 1 Count

Hi-Opt I is relatively simple 1st level balanced strategy developed by Lance Humble and Carl Cooper. This strategy was built on the Einstein count developed by Charles Einstein in the late 60's. It is a version of Hi-Opt (highly optimum) counting systems designed for use by more advanced blackjack players. The system is similiar to the the Hi-Lo card counting system but has some additional rules and card value changes which make the count more accurate. You can expect the Hi-Opt I system to increase your probability to make a long-term profit from blackjack and if you’re highly skilled and lucky, you could potentially make serious cash. This system is more mathematically advanced and can provide a slightly larger edge for the player compared to previous card counting systems. There are some blackjack players that say that this small extra percentage of advantage over the casino doesn’t justify the use of a more complicated system, but some players disagree and feel that the Hi-Opt I strategy is superior counting method.

Hi-Opt I used to be the most popular count for single deck games. But as there are fewer single deck games available, its popularity has decreased.

Card Value

Hi-OPT 1 Count

All you need to do to master this system is to learn the value assigned to each card in the deck so that you can keep your running count. Memorize the table below and make sure you have it fresh in your memory when play blackjack. Make sure you review this chart several times to avoid confusing the values with those of other counting systems.

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

As you can see, there are seperate groups of card values. All 2's in the deck have 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 neutral (or middle) cards (7-9) do not change the count as they are played. The 16 big cards (10-King), except Aces, are counted as minus 1.

Keep Track of Aces

The Hi-Opt I Card Counting System allows you to get an extra edge over the dealer by keeping a side-count of Aces – this smart feature can be seriously advantageous to your chances of beating the dealer. Despite the fact that this system doesn't keep track of Aces, there are still changes to basic strategy that need to be made depending on how many Aces were played. If you take a look at one deck of cards – statistically you’d expect one Ace to be played for each quarter of a deck, of course, in the course of the game the Aces won’t always be evenly distributed, so we can take advantage of this fact by determining whether the pack is Ace ‘rich or poor’. If a quarter-deck has been dealt with no Aces, add +1 to the count. On the other hand, if 2 Aces have been dealt, then you subtract 1 from the count.

The Hi-Opt system is relatively easy to master, however the most complex calculation you’ll need to make is to determining the true count. Be attentive and count the number of cards played, but the tricky part is the division required, because in single deck games you’ll always be dividing by a fraction. If one quarter of a single deck had been played, with a running count of 4, the true count would equal 4 divided by 0.75 = 4.

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