The KO Count is an unbalanced system. It sacrifices some accuracy for ease of use. Remember a simple system counted correctly is better than a complex system counted incorrectly.

Establish the running count. The KO Count system relies on a count to tell you when the odds favor the player. The count is simply a number. You must keep this number in your head. For every card you see that is then discarded, you add or subtract its value from the running count. This running count tracks the history of the game.

#Decks IRC

—— —

1 0

2 -4

6 -20

8 -28

The KO Count method is an unbalanced count. That means if you start from running count of zero and count through a single deck you will not wind up back at zero. In fact, with a single deck you will wind up a +4. A balanced method on the other hand will wind up at a zero. The benefit of the unbalanced KO Count is that you only need to remember the running count. You do not need to calculate a true count.

The initial start of the count depends on the number of decks being used. The basic formula for the “initial running count” (IRC) is (decks – 1) x -4. The means the IRC is defined by the table here.

Face Value

—- —–

2 +1

3 +1

4 +1

5 +1

6 +1

7 +1

8 0

9 0

10 -1

Jack -1

Queen -1

King -1

Ace -1

Assigning values to the individual cards. Each card you see on the table (and is then discarded) is translated into a value and added to the count. The values assigned to the cards are demonstrated in this table.

Pair Value

—- —–

King, 8 -1

8, 4 +1

5, 2 +2

Ace, Jack -2

For example, let’s say you are counting into a six deck shoe. The Initial Running Count (IRC) is (6 – 1) x -4. That means the IRC is -20. Now, imagine you see the cards being dealt. You translate each card into its KOCount value, and then add that amount to the running total. When you have a high running count number, there are more ten cards in the shoe. At this point you realize that the odds are in your favor.

It is generally recommended that you practice counting in pairs of cards. When you look at several cards at once, you can quickly cancel out a pair consisting of one low card and one high card.

Betting Spread. All card counting system rely on knowing when the odds shift from the house to player. As we seen, by careful counting you can maintain a running count of the ratio of high to low cards in the shoe. The next part is taking advantage of the shifting odds. You take advantage of the odds by increasing your bet when the odds are in your favor. You wager more when you have a better chance of beating the house.

#Decks IRC Key Point

—— — ———

1 0 +2

2 -4 +1

6 -20 -4

8 -28 -6

Our game uses a simple two wager scenario. A low bet, usually the table minimum. You use the low bet on a new deck, after the dealer shuffles or when the count is not in your favor. The second bet is the high bet. This should 10 times the low bet. So, if you are playing a $25 low bet, the high bet would be $250. The high bet should be no more than 2% of your bankroll.

The “key point” is the critical point at which you should switch between the low and high wager. Just like the IRC value, the key point depends on the number of decks in the shoe. The various keys can be seen in this table. Whenever the running count reaches the key point our higher, you should be using the high bet. When the running count is less than key point, you use the low bet.

Now you have the complete KO Count card counting method. It is unbalanced, so you don’t convert the running count to a true count.

Would you like to learn how to count cards? The free card counting game at howtocountcards.org teaches you how to count cards while you play. Plus, the computer also shows you how to play basic strategy. Visit howtocountcards.org to play blackjack and learn card counting.

Vincent Clark