The Hi-Opt II method of card counting takes the Hi-Opt I as a foundation but introduces new point values in an effort to increase the accuracy and efficiency of the count. You should understand right from the beginning that the Hi-Opt II system is more complex than most counting methods. It is not suitable for the beginning card counter.
On the other hand, if you are a practiced counter and are ready to take your blackjack game to a new level then the Hi-Opt II is a good system. It is still used by many professional blackjack players today and can really cut the house edge when properly applied. All counting systems are designed to reduce the house’s edge and they will do that. What the Hi-Opt II does is refine and tweak the basic strategies of the Hi-Opt I to create a system that is powerfully accurate.
The Basics Of The Hi-Opt II
The foundation of the Hi-Opt II doesn’t differ from other methods of card counting. It revolves around a running count which is used at the table to determine the size of a player’s bet. The higher the count, the higher the bet becomes.
That’s where the Hi-Opt II and other card counting systems diverge, however. Hi-Opt II requires more work on the part of the player in order to maintain accuracy.
The Difference Between The Hi-Opt I and the Hi-Opt II
The big difference between the Hi-Opt I and Hi-Opt II counting methods is the point value assigned to the cards. Let’s take a look at the values assigned to the cards in the Hi-Opt II:
As you can see, there are more indexes in the Hi-Opt II card counting system. The Hi-Opt II introduces the values of +2 and -2 into the count.
Here’s the catch. Adding more card values to the counting method makes it more difficult to maintain that count in live play. Remember, in the Hi-Opt I there are multiple cards which cancel each other out. In the Hi-Opt II this is not the case. This means that you will spend more time computing the count as the cards fall. When you factor in a couple of other things that we will mention shortly, the Hi-Opt II becomes a system that requires a lot of work at the table.
Hi-Opt II And The True Count
There is one factor which makes the Hi-Opt II a more mentally intensive system than other methods. In order for the Hi-Opt II to function properly you will need to familiarize yourself with something known as the true count.
All card counting systems use a running count. This means that a running total is kept mentally by the player in order to determine if the deck is favorable to the house or to the player. At any point in the game a running count gives you a snapshot of how many tens and low-value cards remain in the deck. It doesn’t have to be precise because of the number of decks in play. A running count actually becomes more useful the more decks there are in the game. Keeping a running count becomes second nature after a little practice and can be accomplished by beginners.
The true count is another matter. A true count takes the information given by the running count and then reduces it to a more precise number which better reflects the true nature of the deck. Professionals favor the true count because it can reduce the house edge a few percentage points beyond what can be accomplished with a running count.
To determine the true count in Hi-Opt II you must first determine the running count. Once the running count is determined the next step is to determine how many decks remain in play. You will need to estimate this number by considering how many cards have been dealt and how many remain in the shoe. The last step is to divide the running count by the number of decks which remain in play. This will give you the true count required by the Hi-Opt II method.
Reckoning Aces In The Hi-Opt II
The way aces are handled in the Hi-Opt II system also adds an increased amount of difficulty to the Hi-Opt II method. As you can see in the point values above, aces are given a total of 0 in the running count. To get the most benefit from the Hi-Opt II you also need to keep a separate count of the aces remaining in play.
In an eight deck game there are 32 aces (8×4=32). In a six deck game there are 24 (6×4=24). The reason you need to keep a separate count for the aces in Hi-Opt II is because of the 3-2 payoff which is given on a blackjack. When you combine a strong true count with a deck that is rich in aces, the chances of getting a blackjack are much better. This is where the true value in using the Hi-Opt II card counting method emerges and it can really maximize your chances for a healthy profit when you play blackjack at the casinos..
Summing Up The Hi-Opt II
The Hi-Opt II card counting system is not a method for beginners. It requires far too many additional steps and should only be employed by those who have demonstrated a basic proficiency in counting. The increased difficulty of the Hi-Opt II is offset by the chance for bigger profits due to the inclusion of the true count and maintaining a separate count for the aces.
If you want to expand upon your basic knowledge of card counting in blackjack then give the Hi-Opt II a try.