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KO System - Details of Use

KO system is the beginner's card counting technique. You may also find it by the name Knock-Out card counting system. The system methodology is explained by Olaf Vancura and Ken Fuchs in the book Knock-Out Blackjack.
This system is unbalanced unlike such CCS as Hi-Lo or Hi-Opt I. The balanced systems are the ones which possess 0 count at the end of the entire 52-card deck tracking. And in contrast, such unbalanced card counting methods as KO system will not end with zero count when all deck is counted.

KO System Principles

KO system is likely to be the basic and elementary card counting method. It's much similar to Hi-Lo system with one little exception: it adds one extra card (7) to a small cards group. It looks like that, actually:







+1 count







0 count







-1 count

Let's interpret the information given above. We see 3 groups of card values:

  • Small cards 2-7 which possess +1 count;
  • Middle cards 8-9 which possess 0 count and has no influence at the count process;
  • Big cards 10-A which possess -1 count.

Now let's consider the universal blackjack counting systems mechanics by way of KO system example.
Imagine a play of 4 fellow gamblers. The game sequence featuring a card counting process is the following:
A dealer distributes cards:

  • King + 8 for Mr. Counter;
  • 4 + Jack for Mr. Brown;
  • Queen + 6 for Mr. White;
  • Ace as a dealer's face-up card.

Mr. Counter starts his count in the following way:

  • Provides a count of his cards first: King + 8 → -1 and 0 count;
  • Then Mr. Brown's: 4 + Jack → +1 and -1 count;
  • Mr. White's: Queen + 6 → -1 and +1 count;
  • The dealer's card: Ace → -1 count.

On this stage of game we observe a negative count -2.
This means:

  • More big cards have already entered a game;
  • More small cards are still in the deck.

The count process is continued as the game goes on.
In fact, this information known by Mr. Counter gives him an advantage over the fellow players.
Cards continue to enter and leave the game and Mr. Counter proceeds his counting. He keeps all traces of card values in his head. It helps much as it's totally up to him - vary his bets and actions in compliance with count rate.
If it's negative - Mr. Counter plays cautiously and do not risk. And in contrast, if the count is positive - then he plays risky and bet more money having a good blackjack probability - as there are more chances to get a big card and hit a blackjack combination.

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