Counting and BS at the same time...
  • Hello I was wondering if anyone had any helpful tips or pointers they could offer..... I am a beginner at counting cards and have just learned the KO method. I do card counting drills often to see how fast I can count down 2 decks (can do it in about a minute, and I am in about the 90% for accuracy... if I'm off its not often and its usually by only 1). My basic strategy is very good also. Putting all the skills to the test I have downloaded the Casino Verite software to simulate a real game. I practice 2 deck (for when I head to Vegas) and 8 deck for when I go to Atlantic City (which I go often since I live in NJ).

    This leads up to my question:

    For the most part I got the hang of the flow of the game and how to count the cards as they come out. Thats no problem. I'm pretty accurate when I do keep up with everything. The only problem I am having is when its time to add up my cards in my own hand with BS and keep a running count at the same time. The thing that sometimes throws me off is if I have to hit up to say 3 or 4 times or more on my hand think of what my cards are adding up to on a big draw and keep the running count going. Soft totals that get hit 3 or 4 times slow me down as well because im trying to figure out what my cards add up to plus keep the running count. This is the only part of the game that sometimes slows me down. Any methods that would help one improve on doing BS/adding your own hand up and keeping the count at the same time easier?

    I tried just concentrating on my bs/adding my hand up first, then after Im done hitting, group the cards together to pick up with my count but sometimes I fall behind if I do it that way. Adding my hand up at the same time (after hitting 3-4 times) along with counting works but sometimes can be very slow.
  • It's a known problem when you begin counting.

    I have pretty severe ADD, so trying to remember my decision while remember the count and following the actions of the players before me is pretty difficult.

    My remedy was to always sit in first base: I remember the count from last time (or can, if I really need mark it with chips or whatever), I see my cards, make my decisions, and then add my hand to the count and whatever anyone else does.

    I may lose some BS variations this way, but I'm not big on remembering them anyway.
  • Welcome to the forum Jaynie. I'm from Cherry Hill.
  • practice, practice and practice.

    And I forgot to mention that you should practice. :)

    If you play enough, you won't be "counting your hand". You will just "know" the total of your hand without any thought. Remember that there are only 21 different hand totals, from 2-21 for valid hands, plus "busted". It won't be long before this becomes natural.

    In the meantime, you might try holding chips in your hand and when play gets to you, you should be holding the number of chips that represents the current running count. Now you don't have to count while playing, and after you complete your hand, you can catch up starting at the count indicated by the chips...
  • If you play enough, you won't be "counting your hand". You will just "know" the total of your hand without any thought. Remember that there are only 21 different hand totals, from 2-21 for valid hands, plus "busted". It won't be long before this becomes natural.


    Wow, ok, I didn't know that there were only 21 valid hands including bust hands. So I should keep playing hit or stand or pitching my self cards till I recognize them all without having to think.

    In the meantime, you might try holding chips in your hand and when play gets to you, you should be holding the number of chips that represents the current running count.


    Ok sound like a good idea. I will try that out. My friend also recommended that too. My question in regards to that is what happens if the count is like -12 or higher wouldnt that make that more difficult? Either way i'll try that technique out.

    Welcome to the forum Jaynie. I'm from Cherry Hill.


    Hi, neighbor. Im from Voorhees. I go to Atlantic $hitty every once in a while. Can anyone tell me if the fairly new single deck games are worth playing in A.C.? I would imagine not just because of the 6:5 odds alone but how bout with counting? Worth it or not? 8 deck is murder. I went last week just to play and get the feel of actual casino atmosphere/distractions while counting. On 8 deck I got some crazy counts at time (-45's, -65 haha) using KO. I just flat bet because I was loosing count after hitting some of my hands. Luckily I came out ahead as far as my winnings. One shoe with lots of winning double down hands were the only reason for that.

    My remedy was to always sit in first base: I remember the count from last time (or can, if I really need mark it with chips or whatever), I see my cards, make my decisions, and then add my hand to the count and whatever anyone else does.


    Ok that sounds like a great tip also. I'll try that next time too.

    Im just trying to do as much pracitce each day between now and mid July. I am going to Vegas mid July and want to really be up to par on all this. Me and a pal or 2 will be working as a team when we go.

    Thanks for all the pointers! If anyone has anymore in regards to this topic on BS and counting at the same time please keep the posts coming!
  • Keeping the count and playing your hand at the same time: As you may have heard, it takes practice, practice, practice, and experience.

    Here are a couple things I do:

    I imagine that the dealer has a 10 up, although you could imagine any upcard. Then I deal myself a hand, and play it as I would against a 10, keeping track of the count at the same time. Go through the entire deck this way, and at the end you should be able to tell if you were counting correctly.

    This next one is for if you count cards in groups instead of one at a time:

    While playing, if my hand has taken several hits, I sometimes pause. People think I'm either re-adding my hand, or agonizing over whether to risk another hit, but what I'm really doing is updating the count in my head.
  • I imagine that the dealer has a 10 up, although you could imagine any upcard. Then I deal myself a hand, and play it as I would against a 10, keeping track of the count at the same time. Go through the entire deck this way, and at the end you should be able to tell if you were counting correctly.


    I like this drill alot. I am practicing it now. I think I can get the hang of it by practicing it that way. Your right the hands do come naturally after a while that you dont even have to add them after a while.. you just know. So thanx for the tip!
  • just remember that even though you don't need to "add up your hand total" you do need to count the cards as you take hits, because of BS departure indices...
  • just remember that even though you don't need to "add up your hand total" you do need to count the cards as you take hits, because of BS departure indices...


    Hmmm... you'll have to explain that one to me please. Define "BS departure indicies". You threw me off there and I don't have a clue. Yes I am keeping the running count thru all of this as I go. I am guessing by "BS departure indicies" that that might mean when to take insurance... when not to take insurance... or when to surrender (if your playing in a game that allows you to) and even sticking with the "perferred strategy" depending on what counting method you are using? Correct me if im wrong please. Thanx!
  • An example is the 16 vs 10 play. BS says to hit or stand depending on which BS chart you use.

    To a card counter that uses Hi-Lo, the correct play is to stand if the TC is 0 or higher, hit if the TC is -1 or less.

    OK, you get dealt a 2 2 vs dealer 10, the TC is -3. You hit and get a 4. You hit and get a 3, and you hit again and get a 5. You are now at 16 vs 10. If the current TC is now up to 0 or higher (it could be higher if less than a full deck is left to deal, it could be lower if more than a full deck is left to deal, or it could be exactly 0 if there is exactly one deck left, all based on TC conversion) you should now stand if the TC is 0 or higher, hit if it is < 0.

    That is a "BS departure index play". You do something other than what normal BS says do, when the count indicates that there is a better play. Ditto for other plays like 12 vs 2, normally you hit, but at a TC of +3, you stand (depart from basic strategy).

    That clear it up???
  • Yes, that clears things up. Thats exactly what I thought you ment... it's "prefered" strategy of the system you are using. I am using KO. So I should look in my book for the indicies and learn them next. I guess the indicies and the betting strategies/betting ramp (whatever you call it) are the last things I must eventually study?
  • If you play shoes, you can actually play pure BS, and use your KO count to get your bet sized correctly. In shoe games, proper betting is way more important than BS departures, because there are so many cards in the shoe, the BS departure plays are simply not as accurate.

    So get your betting down first. you can add the BS departures later on, although KO doesn't have many different "departure points" since it isn't true-counted...

    To get this down cold, you should visit www.qfit.com and look at CVBJ. Buy the thing, set it up to use KO (I think they have a "OK" strategy built in which is about the same thing) and use it to check your betting ramp as you play... That's the best way to get your speed and accuracy up. No way to avoid real casino play at some point, but this is a good way to drill yourself to get your speed up.
  • Yep, thats exactly what I am doing now. I practice with CVBJ and am using the "OK" strategy which is the same as KO. I practice 2 decks for when I go to Vegas once a year, and 8 decks since I live close to Atlantic City.

    Ok now you say "if you play shoes". Can you explain what that means please? Let me take another guess first... are shoe games considered anything more than 2 decks/ non-pitch games?
  • Correct. SD/DD games are usually hand-held and dealt. I have seen DD games dealt from a shoe however. But in casual writing here, I generally think Shoe = 6D/8D games. There are 4D shoes around, I just have not seen one myself...

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