The Wizards Ace/Five count
  • If you do a Google search on blackjack A,5 count, it will take you to a link for the Wizards A/5 count. This is ground zero for counting, but offers a good starting point for any new player who is just testing the water.

    Suppose you don't know if you have what it takes to be a counter (time, interest, BR, etc). Or, you are looking for a way to evolve at your own speed.

    One draw-back is the 1-38 bet spread, but that's ok because you need to start out at low limit tables and we can reduce that to a more manageable spread as we evolve.

    You can evolve by phases and stop where you like. Some examples with ideal rules in a 6 deck game:

    Phase I

    A........5
    -1......1
    Wizard bet method (1-38)
    Indices- 16 vs 10 and 12 vs 4
    B/S-surrender

    Phase II

    A,K.......5,4
    -1,-1.....1 1
    Wizard bet method (1-38).
    Indices-16 v 10, 12 v 4, 13 v 2, 9 v 2, 11 v A, A7 v 2, A8 v 6(at some R-count)
    B/S-surrender

    Phase III

    A,K,Q.....5,4,3
    Wizard bet method (1-20)..reduce the Wizards multiplier/ or consider true conversion, but maintain 1-20.
    Indices- same as above
    B/S-surrender
    Insurance (at some TC or RC)

    Phase IV

    A,K,Q,J.....6,5,4,3
    True Con.
    Indices- I18
    surrender
    Insurance

    The performance numbers are not great with the simple A/5 count, but with good rules and a large bet spread it gives a small edge. As you add more cards to the count the performance level improves 7-12 points (best guess).
    At some point the performance increase will justify a lower bet spread (1-20),etc.
  • Why not just start with OPP? Seems much easier.
  • OPP is a dead-end system and I think the A/5 is much easier and can evolve toward H/L over time. But, opinions will differ.
  • I've introduced a number of players to counting via OPP or speed count(to me,they are interchangable).
    Far from being a dead-end,I think its a perfect launching pad as it shows the person that the game can be beat and you don't need to be rainman to do it.
    After a few days of OPP,I give them Renzis book and tell them to be ready for KISS basic the next time we play.
    Later this week,we'll be in AC where I'll be playing K0,my friend playing KISS and my sister will be using OPP for the first time.Hopefully we'll all get to play at the same table.
  • Based on the numbers I've seen I don't think A-5 gives you anything better than OPP. And OPP is so easy to use. Its much easier just to look for cards to make the count go up than to constantly be looking for negative and positive cards (although obviously then you can start cancelling pairs out and the likes).
  • God Bless the Speed Count..."Better then nothing"

    AC hear I come...lol
  • Notice the parallel between the Wizard's stage III and stage IV counts vs. KISS I (4, 5, 6 & blk 2 w/ J, Q, K) and KISS II (3, 4, 5, 6 & blk 2 w/ 10, J, Q, K). The next natural progression is KISS III (3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & blk 2 w/ 10, J, Q, K, A). The latter is a solid performing all around system with it's 21 discrete running count indices. A number of people I know have reached full scale counting by climbing up that ladder one rung at a time.
  • If you can manage KISS I and progress thu KISS II or III, that is a winner from the start. OPP or SC is a winner as well, but the thing is, where do you go from there? I think you would need to switch systems.

    The A/5 manages to get you at or close to an even game, depending on rules.
    But, like KISS, you can grow to something much better at your own speed.

    Most anyone can count two cards and if you don't like the plus/minus business, use the method suggested by Renzey and start the count at 100.
  • [QUOTE=Ray]If you can manage KISS I and progress thu KISS II or III, that is a winner from the start. OPP or SC is a winner as well, but the thing is, where do you go from there? I think you would need to switch systems

    And what is wrong with switching systems? How would one know which system works best for them if they don't switch at least a few times.I've experimented with several and am comfortable with them.

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