What is Hi-Opt?
Hi-Opt is a card counting system which is used in Blackjack. It requires players to keep a running count of all cards used at the table, while estimating the true count against the number of decks left to play from the shoe. It is similar in nature to the Hi-Lo counting system, using +1, 0 and -1 to assign count value to the cards. Players can use a Hi-Opt system to create a slight advantage for themselves against the house, by working out when to bet high and when to stay low.
Card counting is a mathematical way of tracking card values already played during a game, in order to work out the chances of a good hand appearing later in the game. Players may use card counting to give themselves an advantage at the table and improve their chances of winning. While card counting, players can work out when they have a higher chance of receiving a good hand, and they can bet higher when that advantage appears.
Hi-Opt is one of these counting methods. There are actually two distinct Hi-Opt systems, I and II, invented by Charles Einstein and Lance Humble respectively. Humble’s Hi-Opt II process improves on the system Einstein created and makes it more accurate, but it is a more complicated system that is hard to master. Hi-Opt I is best for beginners to card counting, and easier to pick up if you already know the Hi-Lo counting system,
In Hi-Opt, players give each card a value of either -1, 0 or +1. As those cards appear in the game, the counter adds or subtracts from their total. ‘Poor’ cards are given a +1 score. As twos and threes etc appear in the game, the count will become positive. Players then estimate the true count by dividing their Hi-Opt number by the amount of decks still left in the game shoe. If they still have a positive number, this is a good time for counters to bet, as they know the low value cards have appeared and there is likely to be a bunch of high cards waiting to be dealt next.
The system is not entirely accurate, and it cannot predict exactly what the next card will be. However, Hi-Opt can create an advantage for the counter over time, especially if the player is skilled in tracking other elements like cards remaining and aces played.