To
maintain the running count (or "RC"), we
continually update it according to the cards that
we see played. Based on the previous table, we add
1 for each low card (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7), and subtract
1 for each high card (10, jack, queen, king, or ace)
that we see. The RC is the important count that we
need to remember, even during and inbetween hands,
and keep updating until the next shuffle.
The running count
begins at the IRC. For reasons that will become clear
in a moment, after a shuffle, we start with a standard
initial running count that conforms with the following
equation: 4  (4 x number of decks). We adopt the
term "standard" here as a reference point
for discussion; later we will discuss ways to customize
the KO system (for example, to avoid the use of negative
numbers).
Applying our
equation, we start with a standard IRC of 0 for a
singledeck game, IRC = 4 (4 x 1 deck). For a double
deck, it's 4  (4 x 2) for an [RC of4. For a 6deck
shoe, =I  (4 x 6) equals a standard IRC: of 20.
The lowest standard IRC you will he(,in with is2K
for an 8deck shoe game.
By starting with
an IRC equal to 4  (4 5 number of decks), we will
always end with a count of +4 after all the cards
in a pack have been counted. Because of the unbalanced
pointvalues, each deck has a net count of +4, so the
net count of the entire pack will exactly cancel Out
the "4 x number of' decks" initially subtracted
and leave us with +4 as the sum.
Let's look at
a 2deck game as an example. The IRC for a double
decker is 4  (4 x 2) _ 4. As we count through the
deck, the running count will generally rise from the
IRC of 4 toward the final count, which will be +4
after all cards are counted. In practice, the running
count will jump around on its journey, sometimes dipping
downward below 4 and at other times cresting above
+4. But at the end, it must equal +4 if we've counted
correctly.
Figure 4 shows
what a representative running count distribution might
look like in the 2deck game. We'll soon see that
these statistical variations are what we, as counters,
will take advantage of while playing.
The average running
count behaves quite differently. In this case, the
assumption is that we've played a great many hands,
rendering the statistical variations negligible. On
average, we expect the running count to rise linearly
with the number of decks (total cards) already played,
such that the rate of increase is +4 per deck.

As
with book authors, the quality of the columnists is
quite uneven, but you'll figure out who's good and
who isn't, and who's writing about subjects that interest
you and who isn't, pretty quickly. I have my favorites,
but a lot of the columnists are my friends and the
subsets "Andy's friends" and "the best
columnists" aren't identical, so I'll just tell
you my favorite Card Player writer whom I don't know:
Rolf Slot boom. He's pretty new at the column writing
game, but you wouldn't know it to read his work.
You can't
always carry a laptop, so print magazines and newspapers
will always have their place (remember all the people
who thought TV would kill radio, yep, they were right
about that one). There are, though, now eperiodicals
available.
