Ace-to-Five Count

by James Carter on February 19th, 2015.

Ace-to-Five Count is the simplest card counting method available as you'll only have to track aces and fives. Needless to say it's also the least profitable when perfectly executed, although also the easiest to execute perfectly. (Credit for the A-to-5 Count goes to Michael Shackleford.)

Here's the A-5 card counting strategy:

  • Start the count from zero.
  • For every five dealt, add 1 to the count.
  • For every ace dealt, subtract 1 from the count.
  • When the count hits +2 or more, bet the maximum.
  • When the count is anything else but +2 or more, bet the minimum.

What is the idea of only tracking fives and aces? Well, obviously the amount of aces is going to dictate the amount of blackjacks you and the dealer are going to make. And once it's more likely for a blackjack to come, the player benefits because blackjack pays 3:2 (read why you should never play 6:5 blackjack games). On the other hand, fives are good for the dealer because they help to make dealer's otherwise weak hands strong.

It has been argued whether it's worth it at all to use Ace-to-Five Count as you'll only lower the house edge to a break-even point. In my opinion, most blackjack players should be happy to not lose any money. In fact, suggesting you play a considerable amount of blackjack on monthly basis, you'll get free hotel nights, meals and other comps and therefore end-up a winner by playing according to Ace-to-Five count.

That being said, I recommend either the Hi-Lo Count or the Knockout Count for beginners in case you're even a bit interested making profit from counting cards at blackjack.