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Modern Blackjack nth Edition

Why Does REKO Card Counting Work?

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REKO is a simplified version of the KO count where only one index value is used for all indexes with any number of decks. So, there is no need to memorize index values. It has been suggested that REKO must therefore necessarily have poorer performance than KO. Not true. BOTH REKO and KO are simplified and compromised versions of KO Full. But, REKO is easier. That does NOT mean it is an inferior compromise. The method that the original KO uses for its indexes and IRC is very clever. But, not as accurate as the method used by REKO. I managed to improve performance, despite the use of one index value, by removing the clever, but artificial, restrictions of forcing pivot and key count as indexes and forcing the IRCs to be even multiples of 4. These restrictions make for a clever description of KO, but interfere with performance. REKO’s compromise is designed with ease and performance in mind, not cleverness. This is not to say that I don’t like KO. I would not have used it as the basis of REKO if it was not a great strategy.

A full description can be found at The printed version of the book includes a method of shuffle tracking with REKO. The fact that there is always one index value simplifies ST calculations.

It has also been asked why KO works better at some depths and REKO at other depths. There is a very good reason. Indexes vary enormously by depth in unbalanced strategies. Some indexes vary far more than other indexes. But, KO and REKO only use one set each. Very different sets. This means that KO is more accurate at some points and REKO is more accurate at other points. Hence, the variation in performance by penetration.

Incidentally, this is a point that I have tried to make many times. Most (nearly all) books compare their strategies with others using a tiny number of situations. Guess what, whatever strategy is described in the book always seems to come out the best. This is why my charts display all penetrations – to show the very effect described. More on this at And look at how strategies compare with many, many variables in this study:

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Updated 03-28-2013 at 08:46 AM by Norm

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