The Old Way

You should by now be ready to move on to the KnockOut system. Before doing so, however, we'll take this opportunity to show you why we developed K-O. It's a matter of manageability: The traditional systems are just too difficult to implement.

The example that follows is representative of the process a card counter using a traditional balanced count system must go through. Note that it's not necessary that you understand all of the steps, but we're sure that you'll appreciate the ease of K-O once you're aware of them.

Like all card-counting systems, balanced counts assign a value to each card (+1, -1, etc.). A running Count is kept and continually updated.

Now imagine the following 2-deck scenario. You're keeping the running count in your head; say it's +3. It's time to bet and the dealer is waiting on you. But before you can bet, the system requires that you convert the running count to a standardized measure, which is called a true count. Here's how it goes. While remembering the running count, you need to look over at the discard rack and estimate the number of decks already played-let's say a deck and a quarter. Now you think to yourself, "2 (decks) less 1 1/4 leaves 3/4 unplayed." Okay, now divide the running count (Still remember it? It's +3.) by the number of decks unplayed, and round down toward zero to get the true count. Quick, what's the answer? (It's 4.) Finally, you size your bet according to the true count of +4 and make the bet. It's necessary to repeat this process before you make every big wager.

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The Flop Missed You and Dominates You

In other words, the flop didn't match any of your cards, didn't give you a valid draw, and contains cards that are higher than yours. No matter how tantalizing the promise of your starting cards, fold on any bet. You will slowly bleed chips if you succumb to the temptation to call "just one more" little bet on the flop to see the turn card without a good reason.