Blackjack Card Counting System-CANFIELD EXPERT

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The Canfield Expert card counting system is known for it’s simplicity.  It was first introduced by Richard Canfield in 1977, in his book titled Blackjack Your Way to Riches.

While being known for it’s simplicity, it is deceptively effective when used properly.

How it Works

It starts with the basic rule of card counting, assigning point values to each card in the deck.  A running count is kept as the cards are dealt.  The count does start at 0. When the count gets to +3 or more, you would increase your bet and when the counts falls to -1 or worse, you would bring your bet back to the table minimum.

The values you assign to cards are: -1, 0, and +1.  With this system, the cards are valued as:

0   +1   +1   +1   +1   +10-1-1-1-1-10

Because there are only 3 indexes (-1, 0, +1) to think about, it makes keeping the count easier.

When you first try it, it will probably seem difficult, but as you practice and are able to “cancel” cards out as they hit the table (like 4 and 10) you can simply count the cards left on the table.

What additionally keeps this simple is the fact that you don’t count aces.  In many card counting systems, keeping count of aces, known as Ace-Reckoning, is an important detail.  As you become an expert with the Canfield Expert system, try adding ace-reckoning to improve the effectiveness.

The one drawback of this system is that was designed to work for a single deck only, and unfortunately it can be hard to find a single deck game at a casino.

System Classification

This is considered a Level 1 Balanced Count System, which means it’s easy to learn and the count begins with 0 and ends with 0, with a newly shuffled deck.  A balanced count system is easy to practice as well, because once you’ve gone through the entire deck, your count should be 0. 


It’s a fact that if you can count cards, you’re going to be much more successful at the blackjack tables.  If you’re looking to become a regular blackjack player, learn a card counting system.  There aren’t many more tried and true systems than this one.  It’s still around because it works.

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