Mentor System for Blackjack Card Counting

For those of you seeking to learn all about the Mentor system of blackjack card counting, you’ve come to the right page. We’ve built this page to help equip you with all of the details you need to know to learn about and begin to use this method. Below, we’ll provide you with the fundamentals, bet sizing guidance, tips on how to avoid getting caught, an FAQ section, and more.

If you’re in a rush, you may want to take advantage of the jump links below. Thanks to these, you can skip ahead to the different sections of this page you’re interested in viewing. However, if you’re looking to soak up as much detail as possible about the Mentor system, be sure to hang around and read this full page so you get all of the vital information.

Learn the Basics of the Mentor System

To jump-start things, we wanted first to get you acquainted with the fundamental parts which make up the Mentor system of blackjack card counting. Below, we’ll get you filled in on the critical components you’ll want to understand, so you’ll be able to begin practicing more easily and accurately using this method of counting cards.

Running Count

At the core of the Mentor system is the running count. As you see every card dealt, you’ll assign it a value and keep track of a running total of values. It’s this running total that’s referred to as the running count.

We’ll give you more color in the next section into the card you’ll need to track and how to go about executing a running count with the Mentor system.

Starting Value

When you’re ready to kick off card counting using the Mentor system, you’ll always begin your running count with a value of zero. This is pretty standard with most other card counting methods out there. You’ll want to reset your running count to zero whenever the dealer shuffles the cards. We’ll cover this in more detail later on.

True Count

Unfortunately, the Mentor system of card counting requires users to do another calculation called a true count. The purpose of the true count conversion is to assist with offsetting the number of decks in play. Without this step, the Mentor system would give misleading results if it just relied on the running count.

When playing real money blackjack, you’ll always want to calculate your true count when it’s your turn to bet on the next hand.

Luckily, it’s not too tricky to do a true count calculation. It’s a simple division formula which takes your current running count and divides it by the number of double decks left in the shoe. It’s worth noting that it’s based on double decks, which differs from many other methods which divide by single decks. This is one way that the Mentor system varies a bit from similar card counting systems.

For Example:

If it’s your turn to bet, you’ll need to estimate how many double decks are left in the shoe. If you think there are a total of four standard decks in the shoe, that represents two double decks. If your existing running count was a total of 20, you’d divide that by the two double decks left. In turn, this would provide you with a true count of 10.


With the Mentor system, the primary goal is to assist you in knowing when you should wager more or less. Depending on the likelihood of you getting blackjack, the system is built to help signal to you if you should bet a little or a lot.

If your count is negative or very low, the Mentor card counting system is telling you not to bet much since it’s unlikely you’ll get blackjack. On the flip side, if the system provides you with a high count, it means you should wager more as you’re more likely to get a blackjack on the next hand.

Using the Mentor System to Count Cards

With a good understanding of the fundamentals of the Mentor system now under your belt, let’s move on to how you’ll use the system to help you count cards when playing blackjack. To get started, check out the chart below which showcases the card values you’ll need to memorize to implement the Mentor system of blackjack card counting.

Start with a running count of 0. When you see a:

  • K, Q, J, or 10: Subtract 2 from your running count
  • A or 9: Subtract 1 from your running count
  • 8: Do nothing (Worth 0)
  • 2 or 7: Add 1 to your running count
  • 3, 4, 5, or 6: Add 2 to your running count

If you’ve studied other card counting systems, you’re probably surprised by how many different values there are shown above you have to keep track of. Compared to many other methods, the Mentor system is one of the more complicated ones out there. This means it will be more difficult to learn this method compared to many others in existence. Be sure to keep this in mind as you work to choose which system is best for your unique needs.

Here’s an example for you: If the first card dealt is a three, you’d assign it a value of +2 per the chart above and add it to your starting count of 0. Next, if an ace is dealt, you’ll subtract 1 from your running count bringing your new total to +1 (2 minus 1). After that, if a ten is dealt, you’d subtract another 2 from your running count. This would then bring your running count to -1 (1 minus 2).

You’ll repeat this same process as long as you’re counting cards using the Mentor System.

When it’s time for you to bet, don’t forget to calculate your true count. Simply run the division as discussed in the section above to help you determine how much you should wager. Then, continue keeping up with your running count.

Before we move along, there’s one last tidbit you should know. While you start your running count at zero, you’ll also need to reset it to zero each time the cards are shuffled. The reason behind this is shuffling sets up a new pattern in the cards, and you’ll have to start your tracking all over again.

Sizing Your Bets Using the Mentor System

Poker ChipsNow that you understand how to count cards with the Mentor system, let’s focus on how you’ll use the method to size your wagers. The nice thing about this method is you have many different ways you can go about doing it. Below, we’ll highlight two options to give you some ideas on how you may size your bets when playing blackjack using this card counting system.

The way many folks size their bets with the Mentor system is through a multiplier construct. Here, you simply use your true count as a multiple of the table minimum wager. For example, if the table minimum is $25, and your true count is +3, you’d wager $75 (3 multiplied by 25). Alternatively, if your count were +1 or less, you’d just bet the table minimum of $25.

Another way you might consider sizing your wagers when using the Mentor system is to create buckets. Instead of using your true count as a multiplier like the sample above, you’ll instead bucket values together.

For example, if your true count is +2 or +3, you could say you’ll bet 2x the table minimum wager. Similarly, if your true count were at a +4 or +5, you would bet 3x the table minimum. The nice thing about a bucketed approach is it can be less aggressive than the multiplier route discussed above.

Just keep in mind the choice is yours in terms of how you’ll size your bets when using the Mentor system. As long as you’re betting the minimum amount for the table when your count is low and increasing your stakes when the count is high, you’ll have the best chances of coming out ahead when playing blackjack.

How to Practice the Mentor System

Up next, we wanted to give you some practical tips you can use to help familiarize yourself with the Mentor system. By following the suggested steps below, you’ll be able to begin counting cards using the method in no time.

Count a Full Deck

Up first, you’ll want to begin by counting a deck of cards. Above, we showcased you a chart with all of the card values you’ll need to memorize. Your goal here is to go through a full deck counting each card.

To get started, deal yourself a single card. Then, take the value of the card and add it to your running count. You’ll repeat this process over and over until you’ve counted all 52 cards in the deck.

Time Your Counts

A great way to help you measure your progress of counting a deck is to time yourself. Using a stopwatch on your phone, see how long it takes you to count a full deck. Then, record the time, and continuously work to improve it as you get more efficient with counting cards using the Mentor system.

Count in Pairs

After you’ve run through counting a deck using the Mentor system several times, it’s time to move on to the next step of practice. For this round, you’ll actually work to count cards two at a time as opposed to just single ones. By mastering this step, you’ll increase your speed of card counting.

To do this, deal yourself two cards at a time as opposed to one. Add up the values for those two cards as a combination and then add that value to your running count. Then, repeat this process until you’ve run through the full deck of cards.

Practice Division

Since the Mentor System requires a true count conversion, you’ll probably need to practice dividing in your head. Most likely, it’s been a long time since you’ve done this regularly thanks to our phones providing us all with easy access to calculators. Be sure to practice division until you’re comfortable that you can do the required calculations as needed when using the Mentor System.

Insert Distractions

Once you feel like you need a new challenge, try inserting distractions while you count. Up until now, you’ve probably completed your practice in a quiet setting like your home. However, in real life, you’ll be counting cards in a much different environment.

To better prepare yourself for counting cards in a casino, you can start by turning on the radio. Have it playing in the background while you count decks using the Mentor system. Then, when you’re ready for added complications, turn on the television at the same time. Your goal should be to ignore the distractions and only focus on keeping up with your counts.

Grab a Buddy

Up next, you’ll want to recruit a friend to assist you. Be sure the buddy you grab is one you trust to be honest with you. The point of having a friend join you is so they can observe you while you practice your Mentor system counts.

As you count, have your friend pay close attention to your face, hands, and body. You’ll want them to tell you if they notice anything strange you are doing as you count. Have them keep an eye out for mouthing of words, furrowed brows, or anything else which jumps out at them.

If your friend notices any body tells, you’ll want to work on eliminating them so the casino staff won’t have the chance to catch on to them.

Observe at a Casino

For this next round of practicing the Mentor system of blackjack card counting, you’ll need to head to a local casino. For this step, you’ll be counting cards as other players actually play blackjack. To accomplish this, simply stand just behind one of the players and count as if you were sitting in the chair. The goal with this round is to help you ensure you can still efficiently count with all of the real-life noises and distractions associated with a casino.

Find a Low Stakes Table

Once you’ve worked through all of our suggested practice steps outlined above, you’ll want to get to one of your local casinos to try things out when betting real money. However, just be sure you begin at low stakes tables until you’re sure you’ve got all of the kinks worked out.

This will keep you from potentially losing lots of cash if something isn’t right. As you gain confidence in your ability to execute the Mentor System, you can work up to higher stakes as your bankroll management plan allows.

Tips to Avoid Getting Caught

Up next, we wanted to equip you with a good set of our top tips you can use to help avoid getting caught when counting cards using the Mentor system. Be sure to take the time to review this section so you can significantly reduce your chances of getting caught.

For those of you not aware, it’s not illegal for you to count cards. That said, just because it’s not illegal doesn’t mean casinos have to allow it. If you’re suspected of counting cards, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to leave the property.

Keep reading below to make sure you never run into this situation.

  • Tip your dealers: Unfortunately, most card counters are known for their lack of tipping. This is especially true for professional card counters watching every penny to help maximize their profits. Because of this precedent set by others, there’s a chance you’ll be flagged as a potential card counter if you don’t tip your dealers. Just remember to tip a couple of times an hour to avoid this situation.
  • Play at different casinos: If you’ve got the luxury of having multiple casinos within a short drive of your home, be sure to use all of them. By playing at various locations, you’ll lessen the chances that casino staff can catch on to your card counting ways.
  • Visit at different times: If you don’t have many casinos near your home, you’ll want to ensure you play at different times of the day. By following this guidance, you’ll end up exposing yourself to a broader assortment of the casino staff. In turn, this makes it harder for them to catch on to your blackjack card counting.
  • Move tables occasionally: Instead of parking it at one table all night, make sure you change tables every once in a while. The goal here is to reduce the staff’s chance of noticing your card counting.
  • Don’t think too hard: If you end up thinking too hard, there’s a higher likelihood your body may give off tells without you realizing it. This is why it’s essential you practice card counting with the Mentor system while a friend observes you. If a dealer catches a visible body tell, there’s a good chance you’ll be asked to leave.
  • Don’t bet too much: As we’ve discussed above, betting more at the right times is a crucial part of the Mentor system. However, there is a thing as betting too much. If you bet too much at random times, the dealer might flag you as a potential card counter. To battle this, try never to bet more than 5x the table minimum. Even if your true count is signaling you to bet more, we’d keep it under this mark to reduce your chances of getting caught.
  • Don’t be drunk: Counting cards using the Mentor system is hard enough when you’re completely sober. Adding intoxication from alcohol will only complicate things. To help increase your chances of successfully counting cards, we’d suggest you keep your drinking to a minimum.
  • Don’t give tips to others: Another quick way to have yourself flagged as a potential card counter is to provide advice to your fellow table mates. Instead of doing this, focus all of your efforts of making sure you’re executing the Mentor system flawlessly.
  • See if you’re being watched more than normal: If you all of the sudden feel like more eyes are on you than is typical, the casino staff is probably on to you. Should you end up in this scenario, you’ll want to wrap things up and head home to prevent them from asking you to leave. You can try another time after trying to sort out what it is that may have tipped them off to your card counting.
  • Change dealers occasionally: If you’re playing at a casino that doesn’t rotate their dealers frequently enough, be sure to do it yourself. The goal here is to help reduce the chances one dealer has long enough to study you and catch on to your tells.

More Blackjack Resources

Luckily for you, we’ve got much more we can provide you when it comes to blackjack related resources. Below, we’ve added in some links to some of our most popular content. Using these links, you can gain even more knowledge and skills to help you take your blackjack game to all new levels.

Blackjack Card Counting Guide

If you’re just beginning your research on blackjack card counting, then you should be sure to see what we have to offer in our blackjack card counting guide. This link will take you to our dedicated page related to all things about blackjack card counting. On this page, we’ll give you a deeper understanding of counting cards and provide you access to other systems you might want to consider using instead of the Mentor system.

Best Online Casinos for Blackjack

Are you thinking about playing blackjack online? If so, then you won’t want to miss out on our list of online casinos offering blackjack. Here, we’ll show you our recommendations for the best places to play real money blackjack online. We’ve spent countless hours researching to compile this list of trusted and safe sites for you to gamble online.

Blackjack Strategy for Beginners

For those of you that are newer to playing blackjack, you’ll want to check out our blackjack guide for beginners. This link will take you to our strategy guide that’s built just for beginners. While counting cards is an excellent strategy to use when playing the game, it’s a more advanced method. Before you dive into blackjack card counting, use this page to make sure you’re up to speed on everything else you need to know.

Mentor System FAQ

We didn’t want to close things out without providing you with an FAQ section relating to the Mentor system of blackjack card counting. If you’re still looking for some answers, we hope the questions below will be able to assist you.

Can I Get in Trouble for Using the Mentor System?

First things first, it’s not illegal for you to use the Mentor system to count cards. This statement is true no matter where you call home. Since counting cards employs you using your brain to keep track of what cards have come versus which ones haven’t, you’re not breaking any laws. However, it’s worth noting that if you choose to use something other than your mind to help you count cards, you may be breaking the law. To avoid trouble with the law, make sure you always just count cards with your brain only.

If the casino staff does suspect you of counting cards, you might find yourself in some trouble since casinos don’t like it when folks count cards. Most likely, you’ll just be asked to leave the casino if they have their suspicions about you. To avoid running into this scenario, make sure to study the section above that’s filled with our top tips on how you can keep from getting caught when counting cards using the Mentor system.

Do I Have to Learn How to Count Cards?

No. Counting cards is not a requirement when it comes to playing blackjack. It’s an optional strategy many players choose to use. If you’re new to playing blackjack, you should focus on learning the fundamentals of the game before diving into this more advanced strategy. Those of you that decide to learn how to count cards should be able to get a small advantage on the house if you can execute the Mentor system properly.

How Quickly Can I Get Started Using the Mentor System?

Depending on how quickly you pick things up, you might be able to begin using the Mentor system to count cards in a relatively short amount of time. So you can get things rolling as fast as possible, be sure to check out our tips above on how to practice the system. Using our guidance there, you should be able to get efficient very quickly. Just make sure you don’t try using the Mentor system for real money until you’re confident you have a good grasp of everything it entails.

Is This the Card Counting System That I Should Use?

The answer to this question depends on if this system works well for you or not. If you’re struggling to pick up on using it quickly, you may want to use a less advanced system like the KISS system.

However, if you can keep up with the requirements of the Mentor system, you’ll benefit from a slightly more accurate method than some other forms of blackjack card counting systems. Ultimately, your goal should be to locate a system you can easily understand and put into practice after some studying and rehearsal.

Does the Use of the Mentor System Make Me a Guaranteed Winner?

Unfortunately, it does not. Using the Mentor system does, however, make it more likely you’ll make a bit of money when playing blackjack. This is possible thanks to the small advantage you’ll gain over the casino if you can properly execute the system.

You’re definitely better off using a system like the Mentor one or another versus just playing blackjack without a card counting method.

Conclusion on the Mentor System

Overall, the Mentor system of blackjack card counting is one of the more complicated methods available. However, despite the complication, the Mentor system doesn’t offer much more accuracy as a trade-off compared to other less complicated options. Because of this, you might consider using another method like the KISS system, so you have less you need to remember to count cards correctly.

We’re thankful you stopped by to check out our page focused on the Mentor system of card counting. For those of you that are new here, we’d suggest you take a few moments to look around at some of the other options for ways we can assist you. Our website is packed with tons of free gambling related material across a wide span of topics. You can use the main menu to get a good feel for all of the different topics we cover. Thanks for reading, and good luck with your future attempts at blackjack card counting!