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Let's get one thing straight: you don't have to be some sort of mathematical genius to count cards.
Now lets discuss the plus/minus point count. As you can see from the small chart to the right, a plus value is given to low cards, and a minus value is given to high cards. Notice that seven, eight and nine have a value of zero. This is because their overall effect is negligible, as compared to the others.
There are 20 cards in a deck that are valued +1: two through six. There are 16 ten value cards and four Aces in a deck (20 total) that are valued -1. The remaining 12 cards (seven, eight and nine) have a value of zero. At the end of a deck the count should be zero. (If you enter a game mid-way between the deck or shoe, flat bet until the cards are shuffled. Once the cards are shuffled commence counting from zero.)
What if there are four, six, or more decks instead of just one? I recommend that you perform a true count, rather than trying to remember different betting strategies for different number of deck games.
In blackjack card counting, the true count is found with the following equation:
Divide the running count by the number of decks remaining.
It doesn't matter how many decks are used, you just have to have a good eye at estimating the number of decks that are left in the shoe. The thickness of a deck of cards is roughly five-eighths of an inch.
If you have trouble keeping the count straight in your head, try using your chips to jog your memory. After every hand tally up the net count and update the running or true count by rearranging your chips.