The Omega II Blackjack Card Counting System

The Omega II Count is the Blackjack card counting system outlined in the book Blackjack For Blood, by Bryce Carlson. This card counting system has a moderate difficulty level, but it offers a high level of accuracy. The purpose behind Blackjack card counting systems like the Omega II Count is being able to determine when the remaining cards in the shoe provide better odds than a fresh shoe. There are many different card counting systems in Blackjack. Some are less complex than the Omega II Count system and others are more complicated. This system was first introduced to Blackjack players in 2001 so it is relatively young. Some of the older counting systems predate modern computers, but are still quite reliable in some cases. I personally prefer some of the newer systems like the Omega II Count because super-computers are regularly used to test the numbers. Card counting systems come in three main difficulty levels: easy, moderate and hard. The difference in accuracy between easy and moderate systems can be significant, but the difference between moderate and hard systems tends to be negligible.

The Omega II Count will challenge novice card counters so I usually recommend learning the ropes with one of the easier systems. If you feel up to the challenge you can save a lot of time and possibly even money by skipping the easier systems and mastering the Omega II Count. This would be like skipping a level in school. If you can swing it you will save a year of your life and time is definitely money when it comes to casino gambling.

How the Omega II Count Blackjack System Works

Blackjack card counting using the Omega II Count involves a two step process unless you are playing single deck Blackjack. Casinos usually use 4-6 decks at the Blackjack tables so you will likely need to follow both steps. The first step is basically the core of the Omega II Count system: the running count. Every used card at the Blackjack table will factor in to the running count. The Omega II system assigns one of four different values to each card, as shown in the image below.

Omega II

You will add or deduct one or two points for each played card. The actual math involved in the Omega II Count is fairly simple. Some Blackjack card counting systems require users to add or subtract larger numbers like 7. The ones and twos use in the Omega II Count cut down on the required concentration. In a single deck game this is all that you would need to do, but for multiple deck shoes a true count is necessary. To determine the true count you will need divide the current running count by the number of decks remaining in the shoe. This can complicate matters because you will have to keep track of the number of played cards. Here are some examples on how to calculate the running count and the true count using the Omega II formula.

Example 1:

  • Total decks in shoe: 6
  • Cards used: 165
  • Running count: +12

To determine how many decks there are remaining you simply divide the number of cards used by 52. The half-way point in a 6 deck shoe is 156 cards so in the example above a little under 3 decks remain. So the true count would be +4 which would indicate that a slightly disproportionate number of low cards have been used. The concept behind Blackjack card counting systems like the Omega II Count is simply to determine if there are more high cards remaining in the shoe than average.

  • A true count greater than 0 – The remaining cards in the shoe favor the player.
  • A true count lower than 0 – The remaining cards favor the dealer.

When the remaining cards favor you it is a good idea to raise your bet or vice versa if they favor the dealer. Ace counting is optional in the Omega II Count but I do encourage it. Being aware of the number of Aces left will help you determine how much you should increase you bet. The Omega II Count is good for telling you when you should increase or decrease your wager, but it does not tell you how much your wager should be changed. Obviously a true count that is between +1 and +5 means the edge is fairly small so you shouldn’t jump from betting $10 a hand to $100 a hand.

Counting Aces will give you a better picture of how much your wager should change when combined with the Omega II Count. If 3 out of 6 decks have been used there should be 12 Aces remaining. If you have only counted 8 Aces that means that the Ace to card ratio is 50% higher than it was at the start of the shoe. This is a very favorable situation for you. That wraps up the Omega II Blackjack card counting system. I highly recommend practicing before you attempt to use this system at the real money Blackjack tables.