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Thread: What is the most EV card counting system

  1. #1


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    Question What is the most EV card counting system

    Hey fellow card counters!

    There are a variety of card counting systems out there(https://www.qfit.com/card-counting.htm) with different purposes and functionalities. Now, I am wondering what the most EV (expected value) card counting system is(Double Deck,Shoe and for different spreads ) potentially including index play.
    Any insight are greatly appreciated!
    (I would guess HiOpt II)
    Last edited by LT Isaac; 02-17-2024 at 04:20 PM.

  2. #2


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    I could be wrong here... I think you might be asking the wrong question. There are many counting systems as you point out but any system that is out there depends upon 1 key factor: can you master the counting system, keep the count, memorize the proper index plays and still look like an average joe going to a casino and playing some black jack. If you have the ability to master Hi-Lo can you add a secondary count? Can you keep track of 2 secondary counts? It's a skill that has to be learned, memorized and practiced so you can do it flawlessly. That's hard unless you are really commited to investing time. There are books you can invest in buying or software you can compare EV values to determine which system offers the best return for the amount of time you wish to commit to learn it. I was suprised when I was researching just how close many of these systems are and the differences are so slight in win rates. In Arnold Snyder's Black Belt in Black Jack his RED 7 imbalanced count vs HI-LO with 34 index plays only showed a .10% difference in win rates.. ( page 55 3rd editon ). I started with Hi-Lo as my base counting system and I still use it today for 2 deck play. But if I am playing a 4 or 6, or God forbid, 8 deck shoes I use Red 7 with all index plays for the ease of counting. Seems to work with me and I guess that's the second most important thing.. What system you can use and be comfortable in getting consistant performance while using it. In Don's book he memorized 165 index plays.. I think my brain would go into overload if I ever tried to memorize and then play with ease 165 index plays. But some people's brains are wired that way and others are not. Do some research, buy some books and then ask some questions about the counting systems you are interested in mastering.
    Last edited by VonDox; 02-17-2024 at 08:54 PM.

  3. #3


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    Level one systems like Hi Lo, Red 7, KO, etc. are perfectly fine. Most professionals use simpler counts because it's easier to play a lot of hours without mistakes, and easier to watch for heat.


    Level two systems like Zen and RPC are a little better, as long as you can keep the count easily.


    Ace neutral systems like Hi Opt II are even stronger, but really difficult to use on shoe games.
    The Cash Cow.

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    also use red seven (with index plays), although it took a while to understand his advanced deviations chart. what i have trouble with is correct betting amts. at different counts. any ideas ? (table min. inital/$4000 bank roll)

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    In his third edition, Arnold has a 'simple' betting spread for 2 deck and Shoe ( 4 to 8 ). At negative counts play your table min. unit. When you reach the Red 7 pivot point ( 0 ) increase to 2 units. Stay at 2 units for a count of +1 to +3, at a count of +4 you increase to 3 units on a 2 deck game and stay at 2 units if you are playing a shoe. At a +6 count increase to 4 units on a 2 deck and 3 units on a shoe. At a +8 for a 2 deck you go to 6 units and 4 units on a shoe. At a +12 or more you jump to 6 units on a 2 deck and 8 units on a shoe. In the Green Belt Chapter he has a half-kelly betting tables so if your total bankroll is $4k you shouldn't be betting anything above $10 when you are at a 1/2% advantage, 1% $20.00, 1.5% $20, 2% $30, 2.5% $40, 3% $50, 3.5% 50 and 4% $60. I am assuming you can figure out from the running count what your % advantage would be. If you are playing 2 spots it would break down as/per spot ( .5% $10, 1% $10, 1.5% $20, 2% $20, 2.5% $30.00, 3% $30, 3.5% $40 and 4% $40. ) So welcome to red chipping $5 or $10 min table and wong in if you can at only positive counts. Not knowing how you can grow your bankroll or replenish it it might be wise to look at a quarter-kelly betting. Might be wiser to build up your bankroll until you hit $10k and you can push out $150 when you have a 4% advantage?? If you haven't already get Arnold's Black Belt in Black Jack..
    Last edited by VonDox; 02-19-2024 at 04:12 PM.

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    What percent for each of two hands did you use to get your values? They're a bit off. Should be 73%, usually rounded to 75% for convenience.

    Don

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    Page 188 3rd edition... 2 hands: .5% $10, 1% $10, 1.5% $20, 2.0% $20, 2.5% $30, 3% $30, 3.5% $40 and 4% $40. Arnold does state that all amounts/hands were rounded to the nearest $10 increment. Perhaps a typo in the book? I should have perhaps been a bit more clear and said that these numbers were for bet downsizing assuming you originally had $10k bankroll and then found yourself down to $4k and how you should adjust accordingly but I think the same principal holds true even if your starting bankroll was at $4k, instead of $10k. Along with betting sim's on CV-data/CVCX I have used these charts as my basic starting point when working on a new betting strategy. I am by nature a more conservative player and have always tweaked these numbers down in general.

  8. #8
    Random number herder Norm's Avatar
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    The numbers in those books were created before optimal Kelly betting for blackjack was studied. They are based on the old, incorrect, rule of thumb about 0.5% advantage per count.
    "I don't think outside the box; I think of what I can do with the box." - Henri Matisse

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    Vondox, you are working with material that is simply outdated.
    G Man

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    So, Don's comment is that they are 'a bit off' and Norm dives into 'optimal' kelly betting issues.. All I was trying to do was to point out since the Fiddler was using Red 7 that Snyder in his book had some suggested guidelines as to half-kelly betting and bet downsizing based on current bankroll. Yes, I am aware that the simple charts Snyder put in his book are probably not as accurate as can be obtained from using some software to really drill down but it's acurate to a point and since Fiddler has a $4k bankroll and giving him 'some' knowledge as to bet sizing based on Synder's book is probably better than nothing at all and risk him overbetting? Right?

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    I had used that 0.5% rule for quite some time, but after seeing Norm's charts, it's not clear if there is an approximation that works as a rule of thumb:

    https://www.blackjackincolor.com/truecount2.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by Intermediate View Post
    I had used that 0.5% rule for quite some time, but after seeing Norm's charts, it's not clear if there is an approximation that works as a rule of thumb: https://www.blackjackincolor.com/truecount2.htm
    What's with that steep drop in advantage on the bottom chart at +13?

  13. #13
    Random number herder Norm's Avatar
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    High variance at unusual counts.

    The advantage changes by count are, of course, dependent on the indices in use.
    "I don't think outside the box; I think of what I can do with the box." - Henri Matisse

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