Fred Renzeys KISS COUNT
  • Any of you folks tried out the Kiss count or kissII or kissIII?
  • Yep, started with KISS and moved right to Kiss III. My only advice is to follow Grifter's advice and bump up your starting number so that your count doesn't match your hand totals. I would often think, "Was 16 the count, or my last hand total?" For example, I start a 6 deck at 39 ; that makes my pivot point 50. I also worked with the Casino Verite program and set it up to use KISS III, because it doesn't come pre-loaded. The practice that it affords was worth the time.
  • I've been using Kiss III with solid results. I make use of 30 indices and alter basic strategy in a true count mode even though Kiss III is really an unbalanced count. So I'm playing it at a slightly more sophisticated level than straight out of the book, but regardless its a solid level-1 system that will win dollars if played correctly.

    If you're playing a shoe game then I'd recommend making the effort to upgrade to Kiss III since it includes the Ace.

    I basically like it because I find it easy to use, I can keep the count while talking to the player next to me, have an occasional beer and play for long stretches without too much mental fatigue.

    I haven't seen any sim comparisons but I'd guess Kiss III is on par with KO-preferred.
  • How do you vary the bet with the KISS II or III system?
    The TC of Hi/Lo and how you bet with TC versus the KISS bets don't seem to correlate.
  • I don't like the betting ramp Renzey has in his book, its way too aggressive for me. He has you at 5 units on +2 true (running count = 21) and 10 units getting up near +3 or more (running count = 23 or more).

    I have a 6D game near me and I usually play it like this:
    TC= 0 or less....... 1 unit
    TC= +1............... 1.5 units
    TC= +2............... 2 units
    TC= +3............... 4 units
    TC= +4............... 6 units
    TC= +5 or more... 8 units

    Now for betting straight off the running KISS count that would correlate to something like this:
    RC= 16 or less........ 1 unit
    RC= 17-20.............. 1.5
    RC= 21................... 2 units
    RC= 23-26.............. 4 units
    RC= 25-30.............. 6 units
    RC= 27 or more...... 8 units

    The running count is in a range of values because the true count can be anywhere in that range, depending on where in the shoe you are.

    So you could approximate and use, lets say, 25 as your value for +3. So you would jump to 4 unit bet at RC=25. Use 28 as your value for +4 and jump to 6 unit bet at RC=28.
  • I agree with you 100% ++. Renzey’s charts seem way more aggressive than any other book I have read in the area of suggested betting per the count.
    As you do, most books suggest that TC be used to determine the bet. So I converted KISS to TC and got the following:
    At a KISS count of 19 the True Count is 1, TC goes to 2 at KISS 22, TC goes to 3 at KISS = 25, TC goes to 4 at KISS 28 and to 5 at KISS = 31.

    To figure the bet, if we use True Count minus casino advantage (@-.480) for 6 decks) times the unit,
    (TC-.48)Unit, we get:

    KISS = 19-20………1/2 or 1 unit (rounding up)
    KISS = 21-23………1 ½ or 2 units
    KISS = 24-26………2 ½ or 3 units
    KISS = 27-29…….…3 ½ or 4 units
    KISS = 30 +…………4 ½ or 5 units
    This is a lot more conservative than your play. So each person should play with what they are comfortable with. But it shows just how far out of the main stream Renzey is.
    I can now count KISS and am just beginning to modify the bet based on the count.
    Thanks for the input. I'll try it :wink:
  • The only drawback I see is that 1-8 spread on a 6d game is _really_ thin, unless you are wonging out at negative counts (however that maps into your unbalanced count of course). I could always run a cvcx sim if you want to give your expected win per hour if you will post the exact game rules and penetration you play with, as well as your counting, whether you use any indices for BS deviations, and your betting unit...
  • The only drawback I see is that 1-8 spread on a 6d game is _really_ thin

    Agreed, its definitely thin especially since where I play is not at all conducive to wonging. But its good enough to show a slow but steady return while staying under the radar. The one good thing is I have pretty good rules to work with so at +1 I'm already in a positive expectation situation.
  • With the 1-8 spread, what are the bank roll requirements?
    What is the aveage bet over the session? Is it 3 units?
  • Sage- With most the average bet at a $10 table is a little over $20(2U)
    with a 1-10 spread. So a 1-8 will come in at between 15-20 and if the
    ramp is not steep, you may get by with 1.5 units and figure your BR
    from that. The problem as I see it is in your win rate which I think is
    going to drop into the 50's unless you have outstanding rules or better
    yet play double deck. With 6 deck you need all the good rules & surrender.
    Also, if you can walk on negative counts that would help a great deal.
    You almost need a sim to be certain and all I did was extrapolate from
    known figures. GH21 may know otherwise.

    You may be able to get a sim at one of the sites. It would be packaged,
    but if you can vary the spread and rules it could help. I don't think the
    count system matters because they are mostly around 97%.
  • Sage- Answered the question at BJstats......Looked at H/L, 1-8 S17,DAS
    and late surrender. Ave bet was just slightly less than 2U with no cover.
    With heavy cover it is around 1.5U . Luckly the spread was 1-8 because you can't change it and there is no instructions.
  • Thanks Ray :)
    BJ stats is quite a web site, now all I have to do is understand what I'm looking at. Interesting that they use 1-8 spread. Wonder if that is trying to tell us something!!
    I agree the average bet, taking doubles & splits into consideration, is around 2 or slightly under.
    Played my first tournament today, came in 3rd and won $75. It was fun.
    Just bought the book "Casino Tournament Strategy" by Wong. Great book, but now I have some other "rules" to learn. :wink:
  • Sage- congrats. Nothing like making the final table in your first tournament. BTW Ken Smith is writing a book on BJ tournaments. I think Hollywood Dave is also.
  • Sage - I don't think they are trying to "tell us something". The accepted "standard" for 6 deck is a spread of 1-8. Anything less and your ER is simply too low.

  • Playing defense in shoe games, unless you're lucky as hell, will give
    you a better chance. If you look at the EV down around zero and less,
    it is clear why your bet spread is so important. You are playing gobs of
    hands that your big bets must overcome. At the lower limit tables you
    can get a "running start" that will help and is much easier than you think.
    Backcounting 2-3 decks is not practical in the casino's that most of us
    play. There is a Q for that one seat and if you exit you lose your seat or
    wait too long and there is no seat. At the shuffle, walk up to the table as
    you get the first round, look around a little as you get the second round
    and then get behind the open seat and fool around with your money as
    you protect the seat and get the third round. About 1.15 decks are gone
    and if your running count is 4 or more buy in and play. The next two
    rounds gets you to two decks in the tray and yes, you may be back to
    0 or less, but look at what you have avoided.
  • The following is an example of just how dramatically your spread affects your Win Rate (or ER).

    Assume four players all playing a six deck game where the house advantage is 0.50%, penetration is 75%, all players us the Hi-Lo count, and all players will increase their bet to two units when TC=+1, and ramp at increases of TC=+1. The difference is:
    - Player A spreads 1-2 with a ramp of 1, 2.
    - Player B spreads 1-4 with a ramp of 1, 2, 4.
    - Player C spreads 1-8 with a ramp of 1, 2, 4, 8
    - Player D spreads 1-16 with a ramp of 1, 2, 4, 8, 16

    The expected Win Rate for these players (playing the same game):

    Player A:…………………….. -0.11%
    Player B:…………………….. +0.21%
    Player C……………………… +0.56%
    Player D……………………… +0.93%

    Quite a difference, isn’t it?

    Caveat: The above ramps are very steep, but they illustrate the effect of spreads very well. Your starting point and ramp will have to be as determined to be within your “comfort zone”.

  • Grif-very good....Player "c" comes in at 56 as expected(1-8) and
    1-10 would have been around 65. Something that I have noticed
    on several occasions is min/max spread and nothing in-between.
    I wonder if that is KO stuff or some trend.
  • Ray - No, I do not see it as a new trend at all. It has always "just been that way". If you can go clear back to Humble & Cooper in 1980, their ramps are 1,2,4 for double deck and 1,2,4,8 for six deck....I have seen some books that include perhaps one more 'stop' in their data, but not that many.

    It would be almost impossible to include all the combinations of spreads/ramps for any system in a decscriptive book....It would be the size and weight of Webster's Collegiate Dictionary. :wink:

  • Grif-Saturday these three Japanese players were at my table. Two
    players(man and wife) and one observer off to the side. Woman at
    first and man next to her, me at third. Most of the time they were
    at min bet, but more than onced the observer would get up and
    stretch and put one hand on each shoulder, the bets (both players)
    would increase to some amount. His was much greater than hers(ego)
    and stay that way(same amount). They were young, so I figured they
    were playing that KO min/max or whatever it is called. Or maybe A/10.
  • Grifter:
    Is the ramp always between TC = 1 and TC = 5, regardless of the end point betting values? (In a 6 deck game, is it the same in a DD game?)
    So no matter what the end point bet is, be it 2, 4, 8 or 16 then the end point bet is always at TC =5 and the first bet of 1 unit is always at TC =1 ? Then you build your own ramp between TC = 1 and TC = 5?
  • The point is that at TC=1 you have no advantage, at TC=2 you have a slight advantage (I'm using Hi-Lo numbers here). The main point is to bet small at TC <=1, and bet big at TC >= 2. How quickly you ramp up depends on lots of things. What risk are you willing to take? What does the pit do with big (and fast) bet spreads? Etc. Many of us work out some sort of doubling progression to get our bet "up there" along with the count. But, on occasion, I have been able to simply spread like mad with no notice... The quicker you get your bet high, the larger your EV. And variance.

    Other than +advantage = bet big, no (or -) advantage = bet small, your ramp is whatever you feel comfortable with. A good software package can let you experiment with various ramps to see what will happen so that you can choose the one that suits your temperament best...
  • Sage – That’s not quite right. Perhaps I wasn’t clear enough. What I posted was just as example to show how the spread affects the ER…….What you use is up to you, and everything in my example is variable. But there are some guidelines (assuming you are not ‘wonging’ and are playing all hands).

    1. You are going to bet one unit when the count is negative and until it reaches a certain plus count. That plus count is selected by you, but most players use a TC of +1 or +2. At this point you will increase your bet to the next step of your ramp, almost always 2 units.

    2. From that point on, it is entirely up to you for the reasons that Gorilla posted above. In response to your post above, no the ramp does not necessarily, or should it, stop at TC= +5. That again is up to you, and again per the reasons in G’s post above.

    There are aggressive spreads/ramps, conservative spreads/ramps, and everything in between. Yes, those shown in Fred Renzy’s book are aggressive; but that sure doesn’t make them wrong or bad. Conversely, GH21’s ramps on the previous page are fairly conservative, but they are also o.k. if those meet your other criteria.

    As Gorilla pointed out, put together something that seems logical to you, and run some sims with it; then tweak it as needed.

    If you have any questions after reading this and Gorilla's post above, fire at will.

  • I've mentioned more than once that I'm a computer science professor. Here is a good exercise for those that are curious about betting...

    get a piece of software that lets you run simulations. Then enter the rules of your game, and get everything set but the betting. Let's assume a 6d game for fun, but you can do this for 1, 2, 6 or 8 (or even 4 if you can find such an animal any longer).

    Now for experiment 1, try betting 1 unit at TC < 2, and N units at a TC of 2 or more. Try various values for N. IE try 4, 8 and 12. The purpose of this first exercise is to see what you could do if the pit were blind with the cameras (eye in sky) all off. :) Going from 1 to 8 would do ok. But notice what happens as you go up to say 1 and 40. :)

    OK, bigger is better, right? While you are looking at the win per hour rate, do pay attention to what widening the spread is doing to your variance as well, and if you want to feed that into a ROR calculator to see what kind of BR you need when you go ape with that huge spread.

    Now think about what is going to happen if you use that betting plan in a casino. If you haven't done this much, I can tell you what will happen. Your first meeting with a security person or with a pit boss telling you to "get lost". :) You can't do 1-40 in one jump unless you really do find a pit critter with a white cane.

    OK. Big jump won't work. So now try a ramp. I can give you two ideas, there are probably others. Grifter probably has more experience at this part of the game than anyone else around here, so he can chime in easily if he wants. One ramping scheme is to tie the bet to the TC with a linear function. IE bet = 2 ^ (TC - 1) for TC >= 2. ^ means "to the power of" so for TC=2, 2 ^ 1 == 2 units. For TC=3, 2 ^ 2 = 4, TC=4 is 8, and you can stop there or keep going. That is easy to remember, but it is also predictable. Here's what will likely happen. The pit boss or eye will watch you, the pit boss will come over and pick up the discards and count 'em down. After a few times, they will have your bet to TC ramp and out you go. You can't get too predictable.
    So try a different scheme. At TC=2, ramp your bet up, say 2 units. If you win, parlay which ramps you to 4. If the TC drops, you can drop your bet, particularly if you lose. What you are trying to do is to ramp up like a "gambler" might do. But here's the fun part. Now you are probably going to lag behind the count. IE you will not be betting as big when you first get an advantage, and you might be over-betting sometimes as you can't just drop your bet to 1 after betting 12-15-20 units and you win, but all the 10s drop out and the count goes to zero or worse.

    When you sim that, you will notice that the spread requirement goes up. And that's the point of this "exercise". It will teach you some valuable information. The slower you ramp your bet, the wider the spread you need to make the same hourly profit.

    Now you see the problem. rapid ramp wins more money. Also attracts unwanted attention. Slower ramps attract less attention, but win slower or require wider spreads to keep up.

    And you thought back-counting two tables at one time was hard? that is the easy part of this nonsense. :)

    But seriously, the above is a good idea for _anybody_. It is eye-opening and gives you a good feel for what is needed. IE you might do pretty well going from 1 at TC of <= 1, to 8 at TC of 2. But it's a bit obvious. The more "cover" you incorporate into your betting scheme, the wider your spread is going to have to be, as you end up over-betting or underbetting more and you have to make up for that...<br />
    Hope that helps. This is all doable. It takes some time. Some report that they hate blackjack and counting after doing it a while. I still consider it a lot of fun. I'm not sure I'll do it much if I burn out, but after 4 years, I'm having more fun than ever. Easy to get frustrated at times, but once you understand the spread, the ramp, and how everything affects everything else, you are ready to step to the next level. One note, it is far better to get your betting and ramp stuff firmly in mind, so that you don't get confused when you discover that your ramp that worked last week is drawing a lot of heat this week. If you change the ramp, you probably will want to change the spread, to maintain your target win rate. This is more important than counting flawlessly. An occasional counting error is nowhere near as damaging as screwing up your betting which can turn a winning game into a losing game...

    As Grifter said, fire away with questions. I can't answer anywhere near as many questions nearly as clearly as he can, as a professor, I've learned over the years there is no replacement for experience, which he has a lot of. I'm particularly ill-suited to talk about any other counting system than Hi-Lo in anything other than general terms. Hi-Lo I can do. Others I can't...

    Now, that assignment is due by 5pm December 17. :)

    two page maximum, typed, single-spaced. :)
  • Gentlemen:
    This betting ramp, spread discussion has been a great teaching lesson for me. Prior to this I have reviewed 4 to 5 books. They always seem to have different betting ramps and spreads. I couldn't find a consistent approach. Now I understand you must work out your own, based upon TC and how much you want to be your max $$ bet. (plus the "heat, etc") consideration.
    Just a comment, HI/Lo seem fairly conservative, while Renzey seems to be very aggressive. It is easier to count the unbalance Renzey KISS approach than the balanced HI/LO system (or the unbalanced KO system). So I guess KISS has a number of beginning counters leaning it, thus it is surprising the betting is so aggressive. But now, thanks to all the comments, I understand it better. :wink:
  • I have always liked the parlay of 1-2-4-8-(16 opt.). It looks more natural to "double-down" on the next hand when things improve a bit. Sometimes I even parlay a Blackjack. "Ya never know...2 in a row" ;o)
  • that is my favorite scheme also. But that is one-directional and has lag. IE if the count shoots up, you double, then double again, but it takes two hands to 4x your bet. In a 6d shoe, that isn't that horrible. In a 2d game, the count might be dropping before you even get to 8x. :)

    The harder problem is when the count is dropping. One has to be careful if you are winning, because a "gambler" would be unlikely to reduce his bet significantly after "parlaying" over several hands to get it up there, and still winning. If you start to drop it with the count, that can become obvious. All depends on the pit of course. Of course, if the count tanks, you really don't want to be caught with your big bet out, so you can try the old "OK, time to take some profit" or whatever and remove some of the chips. But unless you get back to 1 unit at TC <= 1, you are over-betting and giving up part of the advantage you work so hard to get in the first place...<br />
    Most think counting is the hard part. I believe money management is harder, myself...
  • I was referring to the T.C. in my last post... not a simple winners parlay scheme.
  • In thinking further about the betting spread-ramp, etc. In the last chapter of “Bringing down the house”, the MIT student story, they discuss the betting technique used:
    Six decks in a standard LV strip shoe game. (Assuming we accept these statements at face value?)
    1.) We divide our count (running count) by the number of decks not see. If we had a count of 15 with 3 decks remaining, our TC would be 5.
    2.) After you’ve established your betting unit, you can make decisions on how much to bet given each count. Simply, you subtract your offset (casino edge) from the true count, then multiply that number by your base unit. For example, with a running count of 15 with 3 decks remaining, you would have a true count of 5.
    3.) You then subtract the offset of 1, and your new count would be 4. Multiply 4 by the base unit of $100 and the bet would be $400.
    4.) Further more, as the count is favorable you should play two hands. If the count is not in your favor, play minimum bet and single hand.

    So what have we got:: Since you subtract 1 from the TC, it takes a TC of 3 to bet 2 units. That seems quite conservative.
    Once the TC gets above 3 you are betting twice the TC – 1 number.
    TC = 3, bet 2 units times 2 hands or 4 units.
    TC = 4, bet 3 units times 2 hands or 6 units.
    TC = 5, bet 4 units times 2 hands or 8 units.
    These bets are exactly what GH21 suggested in a post above.
    Also bjstats (thanks to Ray) suggests a bet of 8 units at a high TC.
    But making the bet in two hands is a little more conservative.
    It’s the big bankroll that resulted in the big bucks.
    It seems the team betting was on the conservative side. :wink:
  • Sage- I didn't read the book, but my guess is that they avoided the neg.
    counts and may have done some backcounting as well. That could make
    a difference in the bet spread used because that would effectively lower
    the slow drain on resources. I don't think that they would depend on the
    covariance properties of two hands for anything and playing two hands
    does get more money in the game with smaller bets and may be an
    attempt to hide the spread. Team play would be hard to figure unless
    they gave all the details.
  • Didn't read it either, but usually the best way is to have a BS player signal the index, and let the sharks play. Usually at 2nd base or 1st base. Sometimes this signal is table to table.

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