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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Your Own Private Banker

A set fee is more desirable than a situation in which the banker cuts the pot (somewhat randomly taking money from the pot) regularly. You would be amazed how much \$_S here and \$5 there ends up taking out of a game by an evening's end. If you play eight hours at 40 hands per hour, that's 320 hands. The banker won't cut every one of them (some of the pots are too small), but if he takes a \$5 chip out of three-fourths of the hands, he's removed \$1,200 from the game!

A game may also employ a professional dealer. This situation is more common for a private tournament. The players agree that everyone will contribute toward his pay with toking (tipping) optional. Usually a banker-host and a professional dealer are entirely different people. Sometimes a game has just a banker-host. He may deal all of the time or the deal may just rotate among the players. Often the banker-host plays if there is an open seat but gives his seat up if one of his "cash" players arrives wanting a seat.