Blackjack Card Counting System-KO Count

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KO stands for Knock Out Count system and is another great system for beginners to learn because it is simple, yet effective.

It was developed in 1998 by Ken Fuchs and Olaf Vancura.

How it works

Like in the KISS systems, a running count is used instead of a true count, so there is no division necessary to get a true count.

There are only 3 card values: -1, 0 or +1 and your count continues until there is a shuffle, but your count will not always start at zero.

The starting count is determined by the number of decks being used.  That is called the IRC or Initial Running Count.  If you’re playing a single deck game, the count starts at zero, however if 2 decks are used, you start at -4, if 6 decks are used, the count starts at -20, and with 8 decks, the count starts at -28. 

The IRC formula for those starting numbers is: -4 x (Total Number of decks -1). So for 2 decks, it’s -4 x (2-1) = -4, and for 8 decks, it’s -4 x (8-1) = -28

The card value chart is:

+1 +1+1+1+1 +100 -1-1-1-1 -1

This is considered an unbalanced system because if you counted through an entire deck using those values, you would end up with +4.

As with all counting systems, the higher the count, the more you should bet.

Sizing your bets

A betting spread of 1 to 5 units is most commonly used with this system.  The running count is used as the multiplier of the table minimum bet.

For example, if you’re at a $5 minimum table and your card count is +3, your bet should be $15.  This keeps you at a minimum bet unless the count gets to +2, where you would want to bet $10.  The most you would bet would be 5 times the table minimum.

There are other common spread betting systems used with card counting that will take the multiplier from 1-6 or even 1-12 for 6-8 deck games.

The use of a spread betting system is beneficial in that it minimizes and maximizes your losses and wins, while helping to disguise the fact that you’re a card counter.

Final Thoughts

The KO Count system is one of the easiest card counting systems to learn and use, therefore great for beginners.  It works in a similar manner to many other systems, so it can be easily switched to from other systems.

It was developed to be simple and effective, which it is.  It is not as accurate as some other systems, but it is for beginners and if you’re looking for more accuracy, go with a more difficult system, there are plenty out there.  It will give you, to some extent, the ability to predict the upcoming cards.

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