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Can You Count Cards In Poker?

Can You Count Cards In Poker?

Card counting is a method where players track and remember which cards were dealt earlier in the game. It’s a strategy common among blackjack players. However, it’s not strange to find it used at some poker tables.  

The purpose of card counting is to retain the information about the cards you saw to determine which ones could appear. Some players assign points to each card based on the hand’s value before tracking the sum of the points.

Let’s see how it works in poker in our Wizard Slots article below.

Is It Possible To Count Cards In Poker?

Yes, you can count cards in poker, although most casinos do not allow this practice. Counting cards works with a few poker variants like Seven-Card Stud or Texas Hold’em.

However, it’s important to note that card counting in poker doesn’t work the same as in blackjack. Usually, fewer cards appear face-up in poker, so there’s not as much information as in blackjack. Also, the dealer shuffles the decks after each hand, so card counting in poker can be less effective.

People use different terms for counting cards in poker, e.g., using blockers, counting outs, or calculating equity.

Is Counting Cards In Poker Cheating?

Card counting, at its core, is a practice players use to gain an advantage over the casino or other players at the poker table. Therefore, some view it as cheating.

However, this doesn’t stop poker players from using the practice to track how many cards emerge from a deck in the casino game. It can be simple because there are community cards, i.e., those known among all players, while the cards players have in hand are the hole cards. The upside to hole cards is that you’re sure that no one else has the cards you have in hand.

How Do Poker Players Count Cards?

Earlier, we mentioned that players use different ways to count cards in poker, like using blockers, counting outs, or calculating equity. For example:

Using blockers

Players use blockers as a card counting strategy to get an idea of the cards other players could be holding or not holding. For example, in Texas Hold’em, if you have an Ace of hearts & K of spades, and the community cards are 3 of spades, 6 of hearts, 5 of clubs, 9 of hearts, and J of hearts, you can know the other players can’t manage an Ace-high flush since you have the A of hearts in hand. Using blockers lets you take in the information available to you on the board.

For example, you can use your Ace to bluff since you know the other players don’t have a flush in hand.

Counting outs

An out is a card that has the potential to change your hand for better or worse. If you use this strategy to count cards in poker, you’re likely to tell the chances of your hand or your opponent’s hand improving.

For example, say you have a flush with an Ace of clubs & 10 of clubs on a J of clubs, 4 of clubs, 7 of hearts, flop. A 52 deck has 4 suits & 13 cards each, so your outs would be the 9 remaining cards of the same suit.

Calculating the equity

The equity is the pot percentage players can win based on their hand at any given point during the game. Use the 2 & 4 rule to achieve the equity. For example, multiply your outs by 4 if you’re on the flop and multiply your outs by 2 if you’re on a turn. However, note that you might not get an exact number because of lacking all the information.

Calculating the odds

Divide the amount you want to call by the total pot amount to achieve your odds. For example, if the pot is worth £50 and another player puts in £50, the pot would reach £150 after you call. So, divide your 50 by 150, and you achieve 33% or 0.33.

Therefore, the least equity you’d need to break even is 33%.

Do Casinos Care About Card Counting?

Casinos frown upon card counting because it gives players an unfair advantage. Physical casinos can kick out players suspected of card counting or permanently ban them from the premises. The same also happens in online casinos, which use sophisticated algorithms to trace card counters. If they detect card counters, they can ban their accounts and close them indefinitely.

Card counting may not be illegal, but using the strategy isn’t fair to other players.


Yes, you can count cards in poker, but consider how it makes you look to other players. For example, counting cards gives you an unfair advantage over other players who want to stick to the rules. 

Additionally, a lot of casinos won’t allow you to count cards. So, although it’s possible to count cards in poker, the chances of it succeeding are slim due to the lack of information, and the consequences if caught, can be severe.

*All values (Bet Levels, Maximum Wins etc.) mentioned in relation to this game are subject to change at any time.