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True Count Versus Running Count

Card counting is a casino card game strategy that is used primarily in playing blackjack. The idea behind counting cards is to keep track of how many higher cards remain in the deck so that you’re able to alter your wager per round accordingly.

While counting cards doesn’t really require any kind of mathematics expertise, you do need to be able to count down a deck (or more if you’re wagering on several games at once) fairly quickly and memorize what you’ve seen and what you haven’t. Let’s take a look further into how card counting works.

1. True Count

When using this particular method, the true count is usually the running count divided by the number of decks that are yet to be dealt.

Advantages of the True Count

The higher the true count is, the more of an advantage the player has. It’s true that many professional card players make use of the true count because it provides an altogether more accurate representation of the deck.

The obvious advantage of using this strategy is that the potential for gaining profit increases significantly.

True Count Betting Strategies

There are several ways of utilizing the true count when playing blackjack, and each different player will no doubt have their own niche way of strategically bringing it into play.

Revere Point Count. This particular strategy was developed in the early 70s and assigns values of +1 to deuce and seven cards, +2 to three, four, five and six, 0 to eight and nine and -2 to 10, jack, queen and ace. This strategy requires that you turn your running count into a true count by dividing it by the number of half-decks still left to be dealt.

  • Zen Card Counting. You’ll need a little more experience to utilize this method efficiently. Cards are given values of +1 for deuces, threes and sevens, +2 for fours, fives and sixes, 0 for eights and nines, -2 for 10s, jacks, queens and kings and -1 for aces. Using these numbers will give you a running count every time you see one of the cards dealt. Then, you need to estimate the remaining number of decks in play and divide the running country by the decks remaining. This gives the true count.
  • Mentor Card Counting. The assigned numbers in this also run from +2 through to -2, exactly like zen count. The only different between them is that Mentor assigns -1 to the nine card.
  • Hi-Lo offers up +1 for cards two, three, four, five and size, 0 for seven, eight and nine, and -1 for the remainder. Divide your total running count by the number of decks again to receive the true count.
  • Omega II method. Card values are assigned in a much more chaotic way, with +1 going to twos, threes and sevens, +2 to fours, fives and sixes, 0 going to eight and ace, -1 to nine and -2 to everything else. 

2. Running Count

 The running count is what a player tallies up as each card is dealt, so essentially this can be used solely or as a means to divide by the decks left to reach the true count.

Advantages of the Running Count

If you’re able to remember the numbers assigned to each card and keep a track of it while playing rounds of blackjack, then this will work as your running count.

Tallying this total up as you go will mentally advise you on how many 10s and aces are left within the deck, giving you the advantage over the house if there are more of these.

Running Count Betting Strategies

  • KO Card Counting system. This is an unbalanced method of card counting and is generally one of the harder card counting strategies. Cards two through to seven are given the value of +1, eight and nine are 0 and everything else is -1. Using this method eliminates the need to convert into a true count, however its accuracy is sacrificed for convenience.
  • Red 7. This method applies +1 to all cards from two to seven, except black-suited sevens, which are given a 0 alongside eights and nines. The remainder are given -1 numbers. Another unbalanced method, this does make Red 7 more accurate when discovering how favorable the deck is to the player.
  • Hi Opt I assigns plenty of 0s, those being to deuces, sevens, eights and nines as well as aces. -1 goes to 10s through to Kings and +1 for threes to sixes. The equal number of +1 and -1 cards is beneficial as it simplifies the process of counting the cards, due in the most part to them canceling each other out.
  • Hi Opt II is a little more tricky than its sister method, as it assigns +1 to twos, threes, sixes and sevens. +2 is given to fours and fives, 0 goes to eight, nine and ace and -2 to the rest. This does require a lot of work to successfully use.
  • Kiss II assigns different values to deuces, with red 2s being 0 and black 2s being +1. 10s through to Kings get -1 values, sevens, eights, nines and aces get 0 and the rest receive +1s.
In Summary

As you can see, there are many methods of counting cards, some of which require only the running count and others which necessitate a true count. What you should really do is try a few of them out and find which one works in your favor the most. And then, as with everything,

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