Blackjack KO Count - Advanced Card Counting

The Blackjack KO card counting system is a simple running count system that assigns a value to each card of the deck. As cards are revealed at the table, the card counter adds their values to the running total, which begins at zero.

What makes the Blackjack KO system different than the Hi-Lo Counting method is that the KO system is an unbalanced counting strategy. If you begin with a count of 0 and count every card in a deck, you’ll actually end up at +4 instead of at 0. The Hi-Lo method always ends with a zero.

This difference exists because the KO method counts 7s as +1 instead of neutrals like the Hi-Lo system does. There are four sevens in the deck so instead of ending up at zero, the KO system will end with a count of +4 after a whole deck has been counted.

The KO System assigns points to each card as follows:

KO Point System

In a single deck blackjack game, you begin the count at zero and then add or subtract from that score for every card you see. For example:

KO Card Counting Example

The point of keeping a running total like this is to keep track of how rich the deck is in high cards. If you have a high points total, it means you have seen a lot of small cards, which means the remaining deck is rich in high cards.

A deck that is rich in high cards is a good deck for the gambler. As the running total gets higher, the blackjack card counter will increase the size of his bets to take advantage of the favorable deck.

Training Tips

This system is easy to understand but difficult to practice in real life. If you practice these training tips at home, you’ll be able to perform well when you try card counting at the casino for real money.

1. Don’t just memorize the card values; super memorize them

Memorizing the points value of each card should only take you a few minutes. The difficult part is knowing them so well that you can repeat them back to yourself without even thinking about it. It needs to become as natural as breathing.

There are going to be a lot of cards flying around at a fast pace at the casino so you need to have your card values down pat. In addition to that, there are going to be a lot of distractions at a live casino.

2. Learn how to recognize pairs of cards

After you get each card value memorized, you need to get fast at recognizing the points total any time you see two cards at the same time. If you see a K-2, for example, you need to instantly know that those two cards cancel each other out and add 0 to the points total.

Getting good at recognizing the points total of pairs of cards will make your card counting life ten times easier. With all the cards moving around on the table, recognizing how cards interact with one another is vital.

3. Learn how to count an entire deck in 25 seconds

This sounds like a difficult task at first but if you follow the above two tips, it won’t be hard at all. When you can count an entire deck of cards in 25 seconds are less, it is a signal that you’re almost ready to try card counting for real at the casino.