Tricks for learning to count cards are varied by system and what a person feels comfortable with during the count. A great way to increase counting speed is count two or three cards at a time. If you are playing against a dealer by yourself, you can see three cards at once. The two cards you are dealt and the one the dealer shows. The pairs count or two-card count makes counting cards a great deal easier as well as faster. The other advantage is it is not as obvious that you are counting cards. Once a hand is exposed, all of the cards in that hand can be counted.
Practicing pair counting is easy to do by just exposing two cards at once and doing the counting. Once you can readily see the count this way, your speed will also increase. Practice the pairs count by turning two cards at a time and making sure your count is correct at the end of the deck.
The count at a real table starts with first base and the first round ends when the dealer turns the show card up. Each succeeding player deal allows more cards to be counted. At the end of the deal all of the cards for that deal are now part of the count when the dealer shows the hole card and any draws that are made.
Counting cards two or three at a time makes the looking at other hands seem more natural and is less likely to indicate that the cards are being counted. This is important as casinos are using every method possible to detect card counters and hustle them out of the game. This action by casinos is extreme to defend against counters, but seems to be an insult as well as the only players that do not get hassled are those that do not count cards. Those players need luck and very strong basic play to win with any consistency. The counting of cards is the only way to overcome the house edge in Blackjack. Percentage play only lowers the house edge, but does not eliminate the edge. If you can become a proficient card counter and stay relatively under the casino radar, the game of Blackjack can become a steady means of very nice dividends from playing a few times a month.