Exit Strategy

We've discussed the technique of back-counting, which allows you to avoid poor counts. Let's apply the same concept in a different context. Say you're playing in a 2-deck game and one deck has already been dealt. The standard RC should now be near 0. If it's, say, -6 instead, your expectation is obviously negative. You may want to pick up your chips and find another table, rather than play out the last few hands. Or, you may want to take a well-timed lavatory break. With proper timing, you can get up, stretch your legs, hit the restroom, and return in time for the end of the shuffle and the start of a fresh deck, thus successfully avoiding playing in several hands with a probable negative expectation.

To this end, the K-O count can be played with an "exit strategy." An "exit condition" is a pair of numbers consisting of an exit count and an exit point. If you're at or below the exit count at the exit point, you leave the game. This is an advanced strategy that's most useful in shoe games.

For example, in the standard counting scheme, we start the K-O IRC at -20 for six decks or -28 for eight decks. The exit strategy consists of the following conditions.

Use the table entries as follows. First locate the column corresponding to the game in question (6 or 8 decks). Then, determine the appropriate exit points from the left-most column.

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