BJ Counting Newbie
  • Hey all, I just started getting interested in counting/blackjack recently and was looking for a few pointers. When I'm reading the forum I see a lot of 'when your TC is +1', what does this mean... true count? Is this a ratio of a one/two deck game or something? If I'm playing 6 decks and my count is +5 (for example), should I be dividing that number or something to get the 'true count'?

    How the heck do you guys maintain the count # from hand to hand. I've had decent luck being able to quickly count a round, but from round to round I'm finding it really hard to keep the count in my head.

    Right now I'm using the 2-6 +1/7-9 neutral/A10 -1 system... any other really simple ones out there you guys could suggest?

    Playing is pretty fun so far, but I want to start getting the count down so I don't just lose money playing BJ for the rest of my life...

    Thanks!
  • Agamemnon said:
    What does this mean... true count? Is this a ratio of a one/two deck game or something? If I'm playing 6 decks and my count is +5 (for example), should I be dividing that number or something to get the 'true count'?

    I've had decent luck being able to quickly count a round, but from round to round I'm finding it really hard to keep the count in my head.

    Right now I'm using the 2-6 +1/7-9 neutral/A10 -1 system... any other really simple ones out there you guys could suggest?


    The "true count" is generally referred to as the raw number of excess or deficient remaining high cards per each deck that remains in the pack. More descriptively, it can be called the "count-per-deck". To get the count-per-deck for your 6 deck shoe, you would generally divide the number of remaining decks in the shoe into your current running count. That gives you the "proportional" hi/lo strength of the remaining supply of cards. If you prefer, you could also multiply your running count by an appropriate decimal amount, such as multiplying your running count by .33 when there are three decks left -- or by .5 when there are two decks left, etc. The reason I favor multiplying is because it's easier to "true up" fractional deck remainders; (i.e. multiply by .3 when there are 2.5 decks in the discard tray, or multiply by .4 when 3.5 decks are in the discard tray). If "truing up" the count remains a problem for you after trying different methods, you might want to switch to an "unbalanced" count system. Unbalanced counts automatically "approximate" the true count by linking the true count to the running count as a by-product of their unbalanced structure. Some solid performing unbalanced count systems are KO, RED 7 and KISS.

    As for remembering the running count from round-to-round, it's just a matter of practice, familiarity and habit. After more than 30 years of playing, I still rapidly repeat the last running count to myself before I speak in complete sentences at the table, or after each round.
  • To remember the count from round to round,I use sports figures. If the count is 2,I think of Derek Jeter(uniform #2),if its 4 I think of Babe Ruth.If the count is negative,I picture them in civilian clothes.
    Find yourself something you are familiar with that has all the numbers.I've friends that use NASCAR.others use the ten commandments,or the bill of rights. Eventually it comes naturaly and you won't even think of it.
  • Renzey said:
    As for remembering the running count from round-to-round, it's just a matter of practice, familiarity and habit. After more than 30 years of playing, I still rapidly repeat the last running count to myself before I speak in complete sentences at the table, or after each round.

    Have you had a lot of success counting over the time you've been playing? Do you often go through long hot/cold runs, or do you generally tend to win (by counting)?
  • NYB said:
    To remember the count from round to round,I use sports figures. If the count is 2,I think of Derek Jeter(uniform #2),if its 4 I think of Babe Ruth.If the count is negative,I picture them in civilian clothes.
    Find yourself something you are familiar with that has all the numbers.I've friends that use NASCAR.others use the ten commandments,or the bill of rights. Eventually it comes naturaly and you won't even think of it.


    So, in the end you still do it in your head? Your way sounds a bit tough... I guess I could try to figure out something to relate the #'s to...
  • Agamemnon - Fred Renzey is an established blackjack and poker player and author of gambling books.

    The best possible thing you could do at this point in your blackjack education is to purchase his book "Blackjack Bluebook II"........It is an excellent learning tool.

    Good Luck.....Grifter
  • Awsome... good to know there are quality posters here who can help me out... much appreciated guys, I'll try to give some updates on the conditions of the casino's in Southern Alberta... I'm sure you guys are always there ;)
  • Agamemnon said:
    So, in the end you still do it in your head? Your way sounds a bit tough... I guess I could try to figure out something to relate the #'s to...


    Remember the first time you tried to drive a car? I know I was in a cold sweat by the time I'd adjusted the seat,the mirrors,put on the turn signal,looked over my shoulder and pulled away from the curb. Now I can do it while fiddiling with the radio,drinking a beer,smoking a cig and talking on my cell phone. It just takes practice.

    You won'y spend a better $15 than the money spent on Mr Renzeys BJ Bluebook2

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