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Knock-Out (KO) Card Counting - Blackjack Betting Strategy
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ko vs hi-lo

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But for a long time, i've been looking for simulation numbers of TKO compared to Hi-Lo (including the same deviations for both counts). Anyone.


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ko vs hi-lo

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Hi-Low is a balanced count. Generally considered more powerful, whereas KO is considered by some to be easier. I agree. Maybe I need to.


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I started counting with KO and have been doing well with it. However, reading other threads, I wonder if I should switch to Hi Lo. The only deck.


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There's been so much discussion, on which system is better, most opining in favour of the HiLo, but am I right if I say, that the only difference between the two is.


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Let me provide one practical example. For most casual players, however, I still believe the unbalanced counting systems are the best choice because they're simpler, can be played longer without costly errors, and allow the player to focus more on heat, getting away with a big bet spread, and other factors that matter more to your win rate than the count system you use. It is not difficult for me to set up a computer simulation where the Hi-Lo Count will outperform the Advanced Omega II a much stronger and more difficult count , even when both counts are being played accurately and employing the same betting spread. Optimizing system performance to obtain the highest percent advantage for each system does not ensure that all systems being so compared are playing with the same level of risk. I think in the real world, a good Hi-Lo player would outperform the unbalanced running count players more than these sim results indicate. Also, many serious players are already aware of why the KO system looks so strong in the sims Vancura and Fuchs provide in their book. In the real world, it is more meaningful to optimize the percent advantage than the maximum potential dollar win. If you actually look at all of the data in the WGBJS reports, you find that all three of these counts continually go back and forth, depending on the number of decks, penetration, and betting spreads. Red 7, Hi-Lo, and Omega II, assuming spreads in the one and two-deck games, in the 6-deck games, and in the 8-deck games, with all systems using the 16 most important strategy indices. Also, in some games under specific conditions, KO does outperform Hi-Lo in a risk-adjusted sim. In almost all cases, as soon as I would look at the results of the optimal betting scheme for that system, defining optimal as the scheme that would produce the greatest percent advantage, the greater profit potential of a technically superior system would exhibit itself. The simulations Auston used in his WGBG repots, his risk-adjusted analyses, and his truly amazing Blackjack Risk Manager software, are all based on sims of million hands each, quite enough to obtain statistically significant data for practical comparisons. It is simply incorrect to attempt to compare a balanced system with an unbalanced system based on BC and PE if you are using the unbalanced system as a running count system. A Hi-Lo player who is using more indices for the common playing variations that occur both at negative counts and at higher positive counts would actually expect a performance level closer to the Advanced Omega II system which Auston simmed with a full set of indices in the one and two deck games. A player with an unlimited bankroll, in fact, will show the highest dollar return if he places his high bet as soon as he has even the slightest fraction of a percent advantage over the house. But in fact, the Hi-Lo is simply being played more aggressively and with a higher risk of ruin. What they did, however, was inadvertently set up a system comparison where the KO strategy was played to its optimal power, while the other systems were forced to play with less than optimal betting schemes. Some Red Seven players may regret that he did not run risk adjusted sims on the full range of rule sets that he did for Hi-Lo and KO. For example, the chart below reproduces the simulation data provided by Knock-Out Blackjack comparing the win rates for KO vs. The KO counting system is actually very easy to use and very strong. Note that with 4. I first learned about this aggression factor back in the early s, when I was working with Dr. One of the worst examples of misleading simulation data from ill-chosen betting schemes can be found in Knock-Out Blackjack by Olaf Vancura and Ken Fuchs. John Gwynn, Jr. Players with unlimited bankrolls, however, do not exist. Unless we are adjusting an unbalanced count to a true count, we cannot cite its betting correlation BC or playing efficiency PE. Finally, the risk-adjusted method of analysis will give an unbalanced system an ability to bet far more accurately in all games than would be possible in the real world. John chose five different rule sets for his Red Seven single-deck analyses, and four different rule sets for each of the two deck, six deck and eight deck analyses. All I have to do is play around with the betting strategies so that Omega II is waiting too long to put its big bets on the table. For example, if they had run a single-deck simulation with Omega II optimized to bet with a spread in order to attain its highest possible percent advantage, and then forced a betting scheme on KO that required the same average bet that Advanced Omega II used, I can assure you that KO would be left in the dust. Red Seven and KO simply do not have a playing accuracy level comparable to Hi-Lo outside the limited Illustrious 18 range. I can already see a barrage of letters from players asking me to explain why anyone would want an analysis based on such an impractical, nay impossible, betting methodology. The explanations of blackjack and card counting are clear. Imagine how the sims would have turned out if the authors had used Omega II as the benchmark. So, the authors, very logically, set up their sims so that KO was placing its high bets precisely at this point. How True is Your True Count? A system with a lower betting correlation and playing efficiency would appear to outperform a technically superior system. I can assure you, however, that it is playing with more risk than Hi-Lo, so in reality it would require a larger bankroll to play Red Seven to its optimum performance in these games. There has been a lot of sim data posted on the various Internet blackjack sites that refute the findings in the KO book. And beating Hi-Lo in all games? For example, look at this six deck game with a less favorable set of rules:. John Gwynn Jr.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} Again, the explanation for these types of seemingly aberrant results is that at some levels of penetration, and with certain rule sets, the sevens which Hi-Lo ignores are important enough on some of the Illustrious 18 strategy decisions as to give these unbalanced counts, which count sevens, a slight edge. Curtis assured me that he felt the authors were honest and that their simulation data was real, with no intention to skew the system comparison data. Here again, we see that KO outperforms Red Seven at the very deepest level of penetration. If we were to force average bets of 1. Overall, as we would expect, the risk-adjusted comparisons do show Hi-Lo accurately used to be the stronger counting system. It is similar in strength to the Red Seven, which itself is close to the Hi-Lo in strength within certain confines. I did this because it was more realistic. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}It addresses how system sellers sometimes fudge results to make their systems look better. In the hand-held games the Hi-Lo player would simply be able to use more strategy changes, and in the shoe games the Hi-Lo player would be betting more accurately according to his advantage throughout the full range of counts that occur. Note that these indices assume that you begin your count at 0. This would not change any of the indices. For more information on card counting and blackjack basic strategy, and instructions for the Red 7 card counting system, see the end of this article. KO beating Omega II in a single-deck game? The performance of Red Seven in these simulations will be hurt by not employing these techniques. I suspect that I did not run a sufficient number of hands. I do not believe my suggestion that Red Seven players might count in this way in the Blackbelt in Blackjack was the first reference to this technique in print. So, as you look at this risk-adjusted comparison data, bear in mind all of these factors. I have met and corresponded with both of them since, and I now know that, in fact, they are both gentlemen and scholars with no intent to deceive. The validity of the data extends as far as the assumptions used in the sims for playing and betting. Computers were notably slower back then. Below, you will find all of the Red Seven risk-adjusted data that John Auston produced for this study. Ultimately, Red Seven and KO perform very well compared to Hi-Lo, and I still believe these simplified unbalanced systems should be used by most players for practical reasons, in particular the cost of errors associated with inaccurate true count adjustments. Those who use it swear it is the easiest and most accurate way to count with these systems. I hope this article will help you better understand some of the issues involved in blackjack system simulations and comparisons. Blackbelt also contains introductions to shuffle tracking, hole-card play, team play, and other advanced professional gambling techniques. So, both the betting and playing strategies used in these risk-adjusted analyses are different from those you will find in the and edition of Blackbelt in Blackjack, which I believe to be superior. The system is good. I knew that Red Seven performed close to Hi-Lo in shoe games, and did occasionally outperform it, but never in single deck. Note that in the single and double deck games, Auston did not provide sim data for a spread, so I used his data for in single deck, and in double. Again, I want to emphasize that Hi-Lo is being severely penalized in the hand-held games in the charts below by using the Illustrious Most single deck players I know use many more indices than this in single deck, especially some negative indices that are more important than some of the Illustrious 18 in these games, and unbalanced counts are incapable of using more indices with accuracy. In shoe games, for example, I provide index numbers for the Advanced Red Seven that are to be used only in the second half of the shoe. Also, the SBA software used for these simulations was incapable of counting sevens by color. In order to compare different count systems using the same betting spread in the same game, I asked Gwynn to produce data showing the full range of possible betting schemes for each system based on the various true counts. The Red Seven that is, the simple running count version tested here simply performs better in shoes at most common levels of penetration, whereas KO performs better in the rare games with an extremely deep level. This would also be true of an Advanced Red Seven player who is using the true edge method of bet sizing. I called Anthony Curtis, who was distributing the KO book through Huntington Press now publisher of the second edition and told Curtis that I thought the authors may have jerry-rigged the sims to make KO appear stronger than it actually was. I was unable to find the reference in print but the technique has been used by some Red Seven and Halves players for many years. In order to accomplish this in the sim, unrealistic bets are forced. Such hypothetical players have no risk of ruin because they can always dig out more money. At this point, I had never met Olaf Vancura or Ken Fuchs, so I did not know if these guys were legitimate experts or big phonies. So, Red Seven is optimized to play in precisely these types of games. I told him that in the one-deck sims I was running, Red Seven outperformed KO, not by much, but slightly. But none of them are a match for Advanced Omega II. The data Gwynn and I came up with showed nothing about risk of ruin, but it did show that a player who wanted to optimize his percent advantage over the house could do so by raising his bets at precisely the right counts. For complete instructions on the Red 7 count, see The East Red 7 Count In summary, the "best" blackjack card counting system for you, whether the Red Seven, Advanced Red Seven, KO, Hi-Lo, Zen, or some other count, will depend partly on your current abilities as a card counter and partly on the games you actually play in. In the six deck comparisons above, we have a perfect illustration of the power of the pivot. But look what happens when we go to 5. Briefly, the purpose of this type of analysis is not to tell us our win rate to the exact penny per hour, nor is it to suggest that we should attempt to mimic the impractical betting strategies in the real world so that we may obtain optimal results. For a KO player or a simple Red Seven player who is purely going by the running count, an accurate bet can only be made at the pivot. The system comparison charts in Chapter Five of the edition and again in the Appendix of the edition would lead one to believe that the KO Count was superior to or equal to just about every other counting system on the planet, and especially powerful in one-deck games. In fact, it also slightly under-performed Red Seven throughout all the tests I ran. A player who wanted to optimize his dollar return, on the other hand, could do so by betting more aggressively placing high bets earlier , even though this tactic would lower his percentage return. Because it is strongest at this point, this is where it will be placing most high bets. If I simply raise the true count by one or two numbers where these bigger bets are placed, then Hi-Lo will appear to be a stronger system. It will also discuss important issues in the comparison of different blackjack card counting systems.