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For Olaf & Ken: A K-O Question

Posted by +24 on 11 February 1998, at 12:13 p.m.

I am a very satisfied K-O user who has modified K-O somewhat. Let me explain my modifications and then follow with a question or two. I will use the 6-deck game as my example.

I changed my IRC to 0. This makes my key +16 and pivot +24 (hence my pseudonym). Since I use Schlesinger's bet progression approach, I wanted to modify K-O to approximate his true count approach to betting. (1 unit or less at +1 TC; 2 units at +2; 4 units at +3; 6 units at +4; 8, 10 or 2 hands of 6 units at +5 TC). I did not want to convert the K-O count to true as this would be totally unthematic. I might as well switch to Hi-Lo. I chose a modified approach somewhat similar to Ken's "fudge" factor. Here is my approach:

I created a spreadsheet in Excel that listed the K-O running count on the left hand side of the vertical axis. The top of the horizontal axis contained the remaining decks in half-deck increments from 6 decks to 1 deck (each half deck increment headed a column). At the intersection of RC and Remaining Decks I calculated the TC carried out to two decimal places). This spreadsheet enabled me to really understand what K-O was up to in relation to true count.

Next, I divided the shoe into quartiles (each quartile= 1 1/2 decks). I then noted the first K-0 running count that would be a TC of +1 throughout the entire quartile. I did the same for true counts of +2 through +5. Turning the results into a chart, I have a pattern of running count numbers that correspond to true counts of +1 to +5 for each quartile.

Since penetration seldom takes you into the 4th quartile in most 6-deck games, for practical purposes you only have to know the numbers for the first 3 quartiles.

It is easy to estimate discard trays to the nearest quartile. I further rounded my running count numbers so the pattern would be easier to remember.

Here are my numbers (remember, IRC = 0)

1st Quartile: +10----+15----+20----+24----+30

2nd Quartile: +15----+18----+21----+24----+29

3rd Quartile: +18----+21----+23----+24----+27

These numbers are K-O running count numbers that progress according to an equivalent true count value of +1 to +5 so that each running count is equal to its corresponding true count throughout the entire range of the quartile in question (with slight errors allowed for rounding).

Its not hard to memorize these three patterns for betting purposes. I simply look at the discard tray and when I move to the next quartile I simply convert to the next quartile's betting pattern.

Before I advanced to this quartile system I did the same thing with first half / second half of the shoe. Quartiles simply make the system more precise. It seems to me that if I divided into more than quartiles I might as well convert to true.

If you have had the patience to read this far, here are my questions:

What would you estimate the improvement of EV to be over the simple K-O system as published? My bet progression is certainly more accurate than the published system. Further, my approach is conservative since my +2 equivalent rc for a given quartile is at least +2 throughout the entire quartile. I may occasionally be underbetting, but I am never overbetting my advantage.

Secondly, although pivot is constant, my key could now change with the quartile, making for more accurate playing strategy. Should I make key be the +1 true count equivalent for each quartile? Is it even worth doing? Should I just keep key at +16 for playing strategy purposes? What would I gain by having a floating key according to quartile?

How does my approach compare to Ken's fudge approach? Am I on the right track? Thanks for your great count and any advice you care to offer on my modified approach. And thanks for taking the time to read this rather long question.


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