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The Key Count
 

Recall the gumball analogy in which we introduced the concept of the key count. The key count is the count at which we first have the advantage. It was +1 in the gumball game, which signified that there was one extra winning gumball in the mix and favorable for us to raise our bet.

It works the same way when playing Online Blackjack Games. Instead of counting gumballs, though, we count the cards according to the K-O values. We then monitor the running count as we play, betting small when the RC is below the key count and bet-ting big when it's at or above the key count.

It's that simple. There are only two bets, small and large, and the key count is the point that separates them. The chart below lists the two crucial numbers you need to know: the IRC and the key count.

Conditions IRC Key Count
1 deck 0 +2
2 decks -4 +l
6 decks -20 -4
8 decks -28 -6
What constitutes big and small in your betting scheme? It's a matter of personal preference, as well as a function of your gambling bankroll. Your aversion to risk, and so forth. You might choose the table minimum. Say $5, for your small bet. A $5 wager thus represents a 1-unit bet. Your big bet will then be the multiple of $5 that you choose. For example, if your big bet is $25 (5 x $5), you'll be employing a 1-5 "spread."

 
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Useful Strategies for Seven-card Stud
A player whose board (exposed cards) looks weak needs very good hidden strength, because his opponents are almost certainly going to attack. Similarly, a player whose board, appears threatening can and should put his opponents to the test. It's entirely pos -,hat by betting a visible king, you may be able to get an opponent to lay down a I pair of queens-especially if no other kings are out.

There are few hard and fast rules about stud strategies, because the hands are so context-dependent. Still, there's one principle that has served stud players well for decades. If you decide to play on fifth street where the bet levels have doubled, you should probably play on through the river.
 
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