Switch counting systems?
  • I've been playing blackjack now for a few years in Biloxi, LV and on cruises. Mostly the $5.00 and $10.00 minimum tables with an occasional trip to the $25.00 tables. I play using the multiple deck, dealer stands on soft 17 basic strategy and adjust my play according to some advanced play adjustments. My betting system is based on a combination of counting as long as possible and then (when I lose the count) change over to an adjusted style of progression betting. I watch for hi and lo card groups and count best I can (not so good yet). I use the Ace-Ten counting trainer. My accuracy is always 100% and speed is great. When I'm in the casinos, I have to sit at first base in order to keep an accurate count. I have to move and arrange chips to keep up with the running count from round to round. I always seem to lose track after about three, four or five rounds. The count after these early rounds does not affect the (early) shoe very much. The counts seem to affect the shoe most when you get to the end of the shoe when the cards are concentrated. By that time I have long lost count! My dilemma: I'm using the hi-opt I, because it appears to be the easiest counting system to learn. Later, I will have to graduate to a more advanced system. If I try to learn a more complicated system, I'm concerned that I will be disappointed or discouraged with my progress, or the lack there of, and just quit. Is it hard to switch from one counting system to another?
  • rdorange said:
    I've been playing blackjack now for a few years in Biloxi, LV and on cruises. Mostly the $5.00 and $10.00 minimum tables with an occasional trip to the $25.00 tables. I play using the multiple deck, dealer stands on soft 17 basic strategy and adjust my play according to some advanced play adjustments. My betting system is based on a combination of counting as long as possible and then (when I lose the count) change over to an adjusted style of progression betting. I watch for hi and lo card groups and count best I can (not so good yet). I use the Ace-Ten counting trainer. My accuracy is always 100% and speed is great. When I'm in the casinos, I have to sit at first base in order to keep an accurate count. I have to move and arrange chips to keep up with the running count from round to round. I always seem to lose track after about three, four or five rounds. The count after these early rounds does not affect the (early) shoe very much. The counts seem to affect the shoe most when you get to the end of the shoe when the cards are concentrated. By that time I have long lost count! My dilemma: I'm using the hi-opt I, because it appears to be the easiest counting system to learn. Later, I will have to graduate to a more advanced system. If I try to learn a more complicated system, I'm concerned that I will be disappointed or discouraged with my progress, or the lack there of, and just quit. Is it hard to switch from one counting system to another?
    Read your thread with interest rodorange. You say your ace-ten front count is fast and accurate but you lose count after 3to 5 rounds.It seems to me you either need to pratice more or maybe switch to an unbalenced count until you perfect your skill level. While the hi-opt I is a good system, if you can not follow it all the way through the shoe then it is no good, no system is.I know when I started learning to count I found it confusing having to convert from running count to true count. While you will lose some accuracy it should be made up somewhat by the fact you can keep count all the way through the shoe and help you avoid mistakes. It also should not matter where you sit at the table as far as counting goes although I also prefer to sit at the 1 or 7 spot.The main thing is dont give up.
  • I like KISS III... works very well with shoe games. I found it easier to learn this count compared with the front count or KISS I or II. The reason being that when you count and learn to count pairs and use cancellation... the more cards involved in the count the easier to use.

    I also recommend Casino Verite availablle at qfit.com. This is a excellent program for learning to count, etc.

    I would be carefull using some of the recommened spreads you may read about here and in many books. Depending on where you play a 1-10 spread even on shoe games will get you shutdown.

    Chuckn
  • I apologize. I was not too clear about the ace-ten count. When I said "ace-ten", I was talking about a counting trainer that is available on line (for practice.) Not the front counting system. Sorry.
    I don't front count. Instead, I watch a few rounds at a table before I sit seeing if there is a run of hi or lo cards. After a run of lo cards, I take my seat at the table. Also, I haven't learned to convert the running count to true count yet. I start all new shoes with a negative count.
  • Orange -- If you're playing the Hi Opt I, it's a very slight modification to switch to the KISS II. Simply add on the black deuces as a +1 card.

    Now you'll begin your count off the top of a six deck shoe at "9" and make all your bets and hand plays by the running count -- no true count conversion. Anytime your running count reaches "20". you'll have a true count somewhere between +1.3 and + 1.8, but usually around +1.5.

    KISS II yields about 95% of a perfectly true counted and perfectly played Hi Opt I system.
  • i agree with Chuckn-kiss III works like a charm!
  • Chuckn, I assume that your reply was based on my original post and does not take into consideration my second (corrected) post.

    Renzey, addressing your post, the only difference in Hi opt I and the Kiss II you say is to add the black deuces to the lo count (+1). Is there a (big) difference in adding just the black deuces vs. adding any/all the deuces? What is the reasoning or logic in only adding half the deuces to the count?

    I use a negative count at the start of a shoe to compensate for true count conversion, for my miss counts (errors), and to allow for the lack of penetration on each shoe. In Biloxi, the dealers normally cut off about two decks in a six-deck shoe (that can account for a lot of tens and aces).

    You mention beginning with a +9 count at the start of a shoe. With no conversion necessary, (I LOVE THAT) when the running count reaches +20, that would be the equivalent of a +1 or +2 true count. Do I understand this correctly? If so, then would it still not be okay to begin the shoe with a -10 count? Keep my betting units to a minimum during the negative count. When, and if, the count reaches +1, or more, the betting units would start to increase accordingly. Any time after the count has reached +1, the betting units increase with plus counts and decrease with minus counts.
  • Orange -- You add in only the black deuces (or it could be only the red ones for that matter) to to calibrate the unbalancedness of the system so that the true count will ALWAYS be +2.0 whenever the running count climbs 12 points. Understand that +2.0 T/C is a key range in the game where the player edge becomes pretty significant and lots of basic strategy hand departures are called for.

    If you added in ALL the deuces, your accurate reference point would be at +4.0 T/C (when the running count rises 24 points), ala the KO methodology. Understand however, that as the running count moves away from the reference point (whichever it may be), error creeps in with regard to the running count vs. true count. That error grows larger and larger the further away from your refererence point the running count gets. For that reason, things work somewhat better if you establish your reference point at +2.0 T/C rather than at +4.0 T/C.

    Unless I missed something in your post, I see no benefit in beginning your count at a negative number. It only complicates your counting process. There's no reason to attempt to allow for the cards behind the cutoff card, since they may be a flock of 10's and Aces -- or a flock of 2's thru 6's. In probability, you always assume that any unknown consists of normal stuff. That assumption will be correct more often than any other, and consequently will bring about the most favorable overall result. By beginning at "9" and using "20" as your raising cue, you'll be counting in positive number territory nearly all of the time. You should reach your maximum wager at a running count of "23" to "24". It's that simple.

    The entire family of KISS Counts (I, II and III) are thoroughly illustrated and explained in Blackjack Bluebook II. There, you'll find the recommended betting ramps along with a table of 21 index numbers for when to vary from basic strategy with certain hands.

    What I did with the KISS system is pick up the ball and run with it. Looking at KO and the Red 7 systems I said, "What can I do to simplify, streamline, optimize and more clearly define this surprisingly viable unbalanced concept?" From this came KISS I, II, III and further back in the book, some performance enhancing upgrades that I guess you could call KISS IV.
  • never in a million years did i ever see myself counting cards. then came blackjack bluebook II into my life and things have never been the same again! thank you Fred!
    Prog
  • "I see said the blind man!" Your explanation for adding the deuces makes perfectly good sense.
    Some things are just SO obvious. You just don't think of it yourself! Keeping the counting process and your mental math in the positive is a no-brainer! I'm almost embarrassed that I had to have you spell that out! DUUHHH!
    This new material will be very helpful.
    You mentioned your book, "Blackjack Bluebook II," explains these counts, and more . . .
    Renzey and Progressionist, I'll just have to get a copy.
    Thanks.

    Love this web site, keep up the good work!
  • I just made this month's reservations in Biloxi. I will be at the blackjack tables on March 23 and 24. I will try to apply all this new knowledge. I will be cramming for the next week or so. The Hit or Stand trainer seems to be the best on line practice available for basic strategy. I don't know if mentioning other web sites or addresses are accepted here or not, but here goes. I have been at a web site called Ace-Ten.com. On this web site they have a counting trainer that I use quite often. It has many counting systems including the hi-opt counting system. I did not see the Kiss systems. With such short notice until my next trip, do you guys recommend proceeding as usual and cram with my regular system for the time being?

    Anyone: I am still using chips in front of me to keep track of the running count. This is a little awkward sometimes, shuffling my chips all the time. It must be obvious to the dealer or pit crew. Any alternatives, or has anyone come up with any other creative ways to keep track. I hope to get a lot of feedback on this.

    Renzey: One thing I will change, regardless, is that I will start each new shoe count with +9. The count for each round, as you stated, can be added or subtracted (easily.)
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  • Hey people, come on! You mean no one else has the same problem keeping up with the running count. The round counts are no problem. But some of you out there have to have tricks you use to keep track of the running count from round to round!
    I only have about another week to practice! Need all the time I can get!
  • rdorange-

    From your last post it sounds like you're doing something like the following:

    First round of shoe: Count starts at 0, ends up at +5. Remember that somehow.

    Second round of shoe: Count starts at 0, ends up at +4. Count after 2 rounds = +5 plus +4 = +9.

    If that's what you're doing, try this:

    First round of shoe: Count starts at 0, ends up at +5.

    Second round of shoe: Count starts at +5, ends up at +9.
  • PROGRESSIONIST said:
    never in a million years did i ever see myself counting cards. then came blackjack bluebook II into my life and things have never been the same again! thank you Fred!
    Prog


    Yes this book is rock solid. The writing is easy to assimilate.
    Fred!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I sent you a private email about whether you`ll start writing tourney articles. PLEASE respond.

    jim
  • esarem51, Yup, that's what I was doing. I started with zero or -10 and counted each round then added or subtracted that round. Renzey converted me to starting each shoe with a +9 count. In practice this has proved to be much easier.

    Still I am having trouble remembering the final count from one round to the next. When the dealer gives all the players their first two cards, I do a quick count. Then I have to stop counting to play my hand. Then start counting again to account for all the other players hit cards and then, last but not least, the dealers hand! Add in cocktail waitresses, conversation, or players close by trying to share celebration (for the play they just made, that most of the time was not that great) and so on....

    I'm just looking for a mnemonic or something to make things easier or less obvious than using stacks of chips. I still hope to get a lot of input from some of you other counters. You all had to have been through this process also! I could not possibly be the only person to have this problem.
  • rdorange --- When I count I really don't do much math. I just cancel things out. You'll find a lot pairs cancel out or have 0 value so you don't have to count as much. Like say you have a King,2 a Jack,6 a 9,4 and a 7,10. Without really having to count a thing you can tell the count here is 0. The first and second pair cancel and the third pair cancels the fourth. Its not always that easy but thats the idea. Look at groups and whatever is left after canceling out is what you count. Remember if you need to go back and check yourself, start at third base and work your way over doing the dealer last, because thats the way they pick up the cards. So if you did it the other way and started looking at firstbase, and they start to pickup, you missed the cards at the other side. To remember the count from one round to the next I used to visualize that number on a playing card. If it was a negative number, than I would see it on a red card. If it was positive I would see it on a black. It sounds silly but it worked great for me. Visulation is a memory technique used for so many things. Just take a second to see that running count number in red or black on a card. I assure you you won't forget it.
  • Bojack1, found the card visualization interesting. Never thought of that. I will give it a try for a while and see how it does. Thanks.

    Here is another one that I picked up recently and thought I’d share. It is an alternative to using stacks of chips. I might try it some on my next trip. Use one chip or coin. The top position (12 o’clock) is zero. As the count increases, move the chip clockwise for positive count and counterclockwise for negative count. A positive three would be three o’clock and a negative three would be nine o’clock. Any count past 11 and you put an additional chip under the count chip to represent 12 and greater. It could get confusing when the count passes six o’clock. You just have to remember approximately where you were.
  • Well, I went to Biloxi this past week. The last three trips combined, I was ahead by $900. During this two-day trip, I lost $500. I am still ahead, but I could not win on this trip to save my life! I tried to count and still had problems. I never got a positive count the whole time I was there.
    I had several times at the tables when I would win and lose, but was losing more! Then eventually would lose four in a row and get up and leave. After this happened several times, I thought about a post I read recently. Is it more logical to lose four in a row and get up and change tables only to lose four in a row again, or is it more logical to stay at the same table and lose twelve in a row? That is not as likely to happen, Huh? Eventually I stayed and still was losing. The luck of the draw just wasn’t there.
    Getting a positive count does not guarantee you are going to win, just as a negative count does not mean you are going to lose. I had better luck on the craps table betting the dark side!
    I will practice a lot more and keep on trying.
    By the way, I can still use help with alternative methods for counting and tracking round to round! Thanks all!
  • rdorange said:
    Well, I went to Biloxi this past week. The last three trips combined, I was ahead by $900. During this two-day trip, I lost $500. I am still ahead, but I could not win on this trip to save my life! I tried to count and still had problems. I never got a positive count the whole time I was there.
    I had several times at the tables when I would win and lose, but was losing more! Then eventually would lose four in a row and get up and leave. After this happened several times, I thought about a post I read recently. Is it more logical to lose four in a row and get up and change tables only to lose four in a row again, or is it more logical to stay at the same table and lose twelve in a row? That is not as likely to happen, Huh? Eventually I stayed and still was losing. The luck of the draw just wasn’t there.
    Getting a positive count does not guarantee you are going to win, just as a negative count does not mean you are going to lose. I had better luck on the craps table betting the dark side!
    I will practice a lot more and keep on trying.
    By the way, I can still use help with alternative methods for counting and tracking round to round! Thanks all!

    sounds like you may have been sitting through to many negative tc count shoes. if it gets a negative counts it'll help to leave that table. you will tend to win more hands in positive counts over time than you will during negative counts.
    best regards,
    sagefr0g
  • Honestly it sounds like you need more practice, and maybe some more focus at the table.

    Stick
  • I use the Kiss III and i have only played at the casino 2 times i broke even one time and won the next but any way my point is i like the book 1. is you dont have to have a college educ. to understand it and 2. Unlike other books i have read it is more complete. Some of the other books tell you something and dont tell you how or anything. Example: you need to use a betting system. Nothing follows.

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