Renzey's basic methods
  • browsing count stratgies on other sites, i ran across a couple of mr. renzeys.

    could antone please explain renzeys black-ace count ...
    as i read it: 4 &5 = +1
    10= -1
    A= -.5
    an unbalanced count strategy.... at what point are you at an advantage??? 6 deck typical.... could i get the start point and the betting ramp?? or are these the exclusive domain of his book, which i admittedly have never seen.


    could anyone explain renzeys 10 count?
  • Drew, I think your talking about Renzey's A/10 count and it goes like
    this: Count all ten's and A's until exactly 2 decks are in the discard tray.
    For a neutral deck this should be a total of 40. Anything less than 40 is
    an indication of a surplus of large cards in the deck. Because these cards
    favor the player you should sit down and play at a 4U level for a count
    of 36 or 6U level for a count of 35. With two decks gone this translates
    to a +1 in card counting language. You do all this counting from the
    sideline and only jump in when you have the advantage. The count has
    no plus or minus components; is easy to learn, and proceeds in the way
    that you learned to count all your life. The more formal name is: "A/10

    One thing that Fred does not tell you is this count system with
    some very minor additions and mods can be transformed into a very
    good single level system that, in my opinion, is far better than the, so called, simple KISS system which slips and slides all over the place.
    If you get Blue Book II it has all the info you need.

    I am getting the above info from memory but I'm pretty sure I got it right.

  • Drew: You described the Ace/10 Front Count mostly correct, except that a front count of "36" is equal to an average true count of +1.6 because of the other small cards that need to be missing to make room for the four extra Ace/10's. A front count of "35" equals an average true count of +2.0. A shortcoming of the Ace/10 Front Count is that you "estimate" two decks in the discard tray. Being off by as little as six cards can corrupt your information appreciably. And yes, you can expand the effectiveness of the Ace/10 Front Count by using additional checkpoints in the shoe, such as at three decks and four decks in the discard tray. The system now becomes a full scale strategy without the "plus/minus" requirement, but errors in discard tray estimating become more critical and costly the deeper you are into the shoe.
  • Fred
    I use your A-10 Front Count. Making the count for 2 decks is fairly easy,. The hardest part for me is estimating 2 decks played. Do you know any easy way to make this estimate?

  • TUFFY: Get three decks of BEE cards. First, put together two of them and focus intently on their thickness. Get intimately familiar with what two decks of cards looks like. Then stack the third deck on top of them. Now, while looking at the bottom two decks, try to cut away an amount that will, leave exactly two on the bottom. Count the cards that you removed to see how close to 52 they come. Keep doing this until you're consistently within 3 cards of perfect.
    Why do you have to be so close? Roughly 2 out of every 5 cards should be an Ace/10. Let's say you think there are two decks (104 cards) in the discard tray and you have a "36" front count. If there are really, say only 96 cards there, a perfectly normal front count would be "37", not "40". You would actually still have a tiny disadavantage, yet you'd be raising your bet. Likewise, if you thought there were 104 cards in the tray and you had a front count of "39" -- but -- there were actually 112 cards, you'd miss an advantageous shoe since normal for 112 cards is "43".
  • Thanks Fred. At Victoria they are cutting 1& one-half to 2 decks now which hurts.

  • A couple of questions for the counting experts here:

    1) True or False - If I'm playing at an advantage using any counting system, I'm still an underdog to win each individual hand. The advantage comes in the increased probability that I'll get a blackjack, or a ten on my double-down, and more effective use of surrender (others?).

    2) Using Fred's KISS counts, approximately how much advantage would I be gaining for each +1 TRUE count. I would guess its probably about .4 or .5 percent. For example, using the KISS II I would be at +2 TRUE at a running count of 21, +1 at about 18 or 19, and +3 at about 24 or 25 (I know it fluctuates depending on remaining decks so I'm estimating). So if I start in a -.4% game, would I be playing an even game at a count of +1 TRUE... and then be at a .4% advantage when I'm at +2 TRUE, etc.

    thanks (first post & I really enjoy this forum)
  • Seems like you could count the numbers of cards played , as well as the A/10s without having to guess what looks like two decks in the discard tray (I assume the burn card would not be counted since we have no idea what its face value is?)

  • GH21 - Welcome to the Forum, and glad you are enjoying it.

    Both of your statements above are "true". Note that for ease and convenience most people use 0.5% as the gain/plus true count.

  • Consider that in most counting systems that you...

    WIN 43%
    LOSE 46%
    TIE 8%
    SURR. 4%

    These are rounded figures as a general idea using BASIC strategy surrender. Surrender can be tweaked to as low as 2.5% profitably (my A/5 method is 2.6%)

    In some methods you win less than 42.7% and lose over 46.3% but due to BETTING EFFECIENCY, profit more. (bet less when losers are more likely: more for winners!)

    Hi-low has a 97% bet eff. and does precisely this. On the other hand, A/5 wins 43.05%, loses 45.95%, ties 8.4% and surr. is 2.6%.... but its bet. eff. is only 54%.

    Hope this illustrates some of the complexities to your question #1

  • N&B – With all due respect, I believe you are getting a little confused about the ‘math’ of blackjack. I am only making this post because some of what you are posting is going to mislead others, as in your post above.

    Based on your recent post to Renzey about “betting efficiency” (the term is actually “betting correlation”) and your answer above, I would suggest you review the terms Playing Efficiency (PE), Betting Correlation (BC), and Win Percentage (WP) and how they relate, or more importantly do not relate to each other. I would recommend Peter Griffin’s “Theory of Blackjack” as one good source.

    Regarding your post above, I just wanted to correct one thing for the others here. You have stated/inferred that some systems “win more hands than others”. That is simply not true. Let’s throw away all of those numbers you posted above, and get “back to the basics”……Excluding pushes, you are going to Win 47.5% of the hands you play and Lose 52.5% if you use Basic Strategy (with or without a count).

    That’s the bottom line, pure and simple. It doesn’t matter what counting method you are using. (O.K. purists, don’t jump on me…..Yes there will be a very slight variance from 47.5%, but it will be within “hundredths of a percent”), But for all practical purposes the bottom line will still be “right at” 47.5/52.5.

  • grifter-
    isn't it a true that some count strategies require you to alter BS according to the count- most commonly, you would stand on a 16 against a 7 or better in positive counts. will these strategy alterations not result in more hands won? some basic count strategies (A-5 included?) do not alter BS decisions based on the count. so it would seem that some strategies would win more actual hands than others.... ( admittedly, i have done no research and am guessing)/

    also you are correct about the terms:
    Playing Efficiency - PE indicates how well a card counting system handles changes in playing strategy. Playing efficiency is particularly important in hand-held games (one or two decks.) The best you can do without side counts is about .70 (70% of perfect.)

    Betting Corelation - BC is defined as the correlation between card point values and the effect of removal of cards. It is used to predict how well a card counting system predicts good betting situations and can approach 1.00 (100% correlation.) BC is particularly important in shoe games (six or eight decks.)

    Note: Playing Efficiency (as defined by Griffin) is not relevant to unbalanced card counting systems and is only an estimate. PE & BC stated here do not include side counts. (all taken from, which gives a short description of most basic count strategies)
  • Drew – First of all, there has been one post and I had one PM about some of us, and me, getting into too much detail about counting for this forum, so I will try to keep this general, with very few numbers.

    My post above was specifically to refute N/B’s post that different counting systems have widely different WP’s. I believe he actually stated (I’m not at home….writing this from memory), some numbers where “x” method won so many hands, “y” method won another, etc., or at least inferred that. That is what is ‘horse puckey’. Here’s the analogy: Drew and Ol’ Grifter sit down to play…..Drew plays Hi-Lo, Grifter uses Kiss III, they both use the I18. At the end of a 1,000 hands they will have the same WP, within hundredths, maybe a tenth, maybe identical……but essentially they will be the same.

    Now to answer your question….. Well, you just proved you are a “purist” Remember I told the purists not to “jump on me”? :wink: Yes, there is a slight gain by using the indices, but it is minor…….and remember I am being ‘general’ here. Think about it this way, and let’s use the 16 vs 10 that I believe you mentioned:
    - You will get that hand about 2 times per hundred hands (guesstimate).
    - Too change our decision on hit or stand, we need a TC of >0/1, and how many times out of say 100 hands do you have that plus count?
    - Now add the fact that even though you have say +1 and the right play is to stand, that hand is still a big loser……Even making the right play only means you have reduced your odds of a loss by a “little, little bit”….. You will still lose it probably 69% of the time.
    - See where I’m coming from.....You can fill in the blanks. The gain is there, but is very, very small.

    The money won with counting comes from as you know, and GH21 correctly stated, from having your big bets on the table when the chances are greatest of getting a blackjack and winning your double downs…..It ain’t rocket science. Hell, I can do it.


    p.s….Hope this makes sense. I wrote most of it on a PDA sitting in a dentist’s office. 8)
  • Edge w/ the KISS III: To GH21 - A good rule of thumb is to assume you start off a shoe game at -0.45%. Your "basic" edge improves by 0.5% with each rise of 1.0 in the true count. But due to using index numbers to play your hands, there's some additional edge as the count rises. You reach an edge of about 0.1% at +1TC, an edge of 0.7% at +2TC and an edge of 1.25% at +3TC. You're right, an 18 or 19RC is a +1TC, 21RC is always +2TC, 24 or 25 RC is a +3TC and 27RC is just about +4TC.
  • ON HANDS WON vs. HANDS LOST:In a six deck shoe game, accurately using a range of 25 index numbers rather than basic strategy will improve your hands won from 43.6% to 43.9%, possibly 44.0% (the rest being ties and losers).
    ON PLAYING EFFICIENCY NOT BEING RELEVANT TO UNBALANCED COUNTS: In my opinion, this position has been taken by some because of the error range that exists in unbalanced index numbers. If you did however, "true adjust" or even "true fudge" your index numbers with your unbalanced count, then I believe you'd glean a performance commensurate with that systems' Playing Efficiency.
  • Sorry for the long delay...

    I was quoting the figures indicated by running several 500 meg. rounds of each strategy Hi/lo and A/5. Those figures of win/loss/tie/surr. percentages are what the results are/were. I thought it was common to see a few tenths of a % difference. Considering that the figures reproduced well, I thought observation matched expectation. Considering hi/lo to be a more profitable method, I concluded that:

    a) Despite what I observed as lower win%, the hi/lo method is more efficient, which makes up for the "percieved" 0.3% difference.

    b) Professional strategies are better left to professionals to explain. The terms as described are a bit beyond me.

    c) if I count the 8 ties as 4W/4L it looks better, but the result of a tie is a hand counted with no W/L result. A tie is a tie and cards were consumed. That means 8 more hands need be played to determine the fate of the ties. I'll settle for 4w/4l.

    d) 6-7-8 makes some errors, and may be the cause of the differences. For example it cannot determine or play the hand 88 vs. a dealer 10 correctly at a positive count index. Somewhere above ZERO True Count surrender is better than split. Instead, it counts the 88 as any 16 and surrenders when any hard 16 surrenders.
    I have my doubts as to splitting 22 or 33 vs a Dealer 8, since it might be more advantageous to split at a lower TC index, and hit at a higher index. 6-7-8 does not allow for this situation, and I have seen some apparently confusing indicies as to the Splitting decision. THEREFORE...

    e) I need a new simulator.


Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!