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The KO Count in Blackjack

The KO or knockout count card counting strategy is one of the simplest card counting strategies which has proven its worth through years. As many other counting strategies with this strategy the player needs to begin from zero. After the cards are dealt the player needs to add or subtract the number in his/her head to/from a definite number. The player needs to do so until the certain number is reached and then he\she can win the bank.

Each card has an appointed number: cards from 2 to 7 should be counted as +1

8’s and 9’s should be counted as 0.

Cards from 10 and higher should be counted as -1.

For example, beginning from 0, if the dealer dealt 7 to the player, the player’s count changes from 0 to +1. If the dealer dealt after that 10 or higher - the count becomes a 0 again.

All cards on the table should be counted – all players’ cards and even the dealer’s cards.

Basically there are two main types of counting strategy – balanced and unbalanced.

With balanced strategies when the player counts cards with +1,-1, 0 at the end of the deck the sum must become zero as it was on the beginning of the game.

In unbalanced card counting systems the end sum will not be a zero. Unbalanced systems give the player more options than balanced. The KO count is an unbalanced counting strategy. The final count in the KO count should be 4.

You may ask which are the benefits of unbalanced systems, like KO count? They are huge. Unlike balanced systems where you should always end up on zero, in unbalanced systems you will have a place for a maneuver. We will explain:

Until your count is below +2 you need to be careful and to put little bets in order to not lose big money. When you have reached +2 it is a so called pivot point – it means that you have gained little advantage over the dealer and now you can raise your stakes.

The KO count even helps with the insurance betting. If you have reached +3 in your head you will want to take the insurance bet.

The KO count strategy was designed to make card counting easy with both – single deck blackjack and several deck blackjack games. If we have explained above what to do with single deck blackjack, to explain how to count multiply decks you need to remember the running count and the true countof the game.

The number that you are adding in your head while playing is a running count. To count the true count, you must divide the running count by the number of decks left in the shoe.

By using the KO count you can reduce casino’s edge, and advance yours by 1-2%, but, of course, if you remember – no one loves counters and you should be careful! As well we would strongly recommend you to learn the blackjack strategy – it is the main weapon in any blackjack player’s arsenal. Counting strategy can help, but will not win the game for you!