A-10 Front Count
  • I have used the A-10 Front Count for over a year since I first read about in one of Fred Renzy's newspaper articals. The hardest part about using it for me is estimating when 2 decks have been played. This weekend I even went so far as to play at the same table with my wife where I counted the A-10's and she counted the first 104 cards delt then gave me a secret signal when 104 cards had been delt. When the count was 36 or less we then both raised our bets to 3 units. After a win we went to 6 units. Played that way for about 7 hours in two sessions and were small winners.

    Two things though: Does that make us too noticable? It also makes for much greater volitility. My wife usually flat bets at a different table. That lowers the volitility. Sometimes she wins when I lose and vice-versa. Which helps even out the volitility. Or she could just continue to flat bet.

    Would be interested in what others think. Also any easy way to estimate when two decks have been played?

  • 1. Buy yourself two decks of cards and stare at them. (I'm serious!)

    2. Volatility is reduced when two hands are playing, rather than one, even at the same table.

    3. If you are red chip players, no one will notice if both of you are counting. If you are a green or black chip player, one of you can flat bet while the other increases his/her bet. (and switch back and forth)
  • Tuffy, When your looking at the discard tray, the problem is that you
    don't have a "STANDARD"; something to compare to; something to
    measure by. If you had another deck sitting there it would be no problem.

    On the back clasp of your watch you can have your standard. How you
    do that is up to you. Is it two of these? Is it 4 cards less,6 cards less,etc?
    If its 4 0r 6 cards less at the start of a round, count only the number
    that you need to equal 2 decks. Don't count the other cards because
    from an A/10 point of view you could care less. Over time this ability
    will get better and better. Hope this helps...................

    Now how much does a watch band cost?

  • Tuffy – My thoughts are similar to Ray and Ed’s, but with a couple of different “twists”.

    - I think the idea of you counting A/10’s and your wife counting actual cards dealt is an excellent idea……Renzey has stated several times that the “two deck estimate” must be accurate. You have solved that.

    - I would strongly suggest you and you wife carry your “counts” to at least three decks. This will improve your betting efficiency tremendously.

    - “Man/Wife”, boyfriend/girlfriend, whatever, it still one of the best “covers” around, especially if you play the “tourist” routine. However, I would suggest that only one of you raise your bets when you get the “indicator”. Mr. Ed is probably right that it won’t make any difference at the nickel level, but are you going to stop there?..... (practice now for the future).

    - Estimating Two Decks?...... There have probably been a dozen suggestions posted here over the last six months (I have contributed at least three), but the bottom line is EXPERIENCE! Mr. Ed’s suggestion is excellent……Stare at those cards. I have been playing/counting many, many, many years and yet I can look over my left shoulder right now and there are two stacks laying on my desk……..one with one deck and one with two decks. You must establish an indelible mental image of these in your mind.

  • Tuffy, I agree with Grifter....You have a great team to start with. Why
    don't you take the A/10 to the next level...Call it the A/9 and count
    all the way. The advantages will be worth the effort and you can progress
    in small steps toward a complete strategy.

    As for the discard tray problem...........If you visually cut off one deck,
    you will know without question if their is a shortage in cards toward two
    decks and what that shortage is in terms of cards 2,4,6,etc. Also, this gets you better prepared to estimate various combinations. I stare at 1/2 and
    one deck mainly because of true conversion. Everything else is built from
    those relationships. You can't very well remember all the combinations
    and how they look, at least I can't.

    So what if I've got 35-36 and 110 cards have come out? Don't worry
    about that because your count is somewhat stronger than it would be
    at 104 cards.

  • Mr Ed, Ray and Grifter

    Thanks for your reply. Mr. Ed getting 2 decks and just staring at them sounds like a good idea.. I will try it. I have thought about extending the A-10 Front Count out to 3 decks and if the A-10 count goes above 57 going back to one unit bet. My wife says she still likes flat betting better so she will probably continue doing it, but playing at my table and counting the first 104 cards from a new shoe.
    We play at the $10 table so are probably red betters. Also I diden't understand the watch band example.
    Again thanks for your replies.

  • Tuffy, The watch clasp is the same as using chips, your finger,etc. All
    are references that you can use in a game to judge decks; be it one,two
    or more. I use a one deck reference because I can mentalally push one
    deck up agains the discard tray and determine if its over,equal or under
    two decks. (all three conditions stand out pretty well)
  • RAY, Understand you now. Thanks.

  • The team idea is a good one, when using the A/10 count, but what about when you are playing alone ? You can guesstamate the two decks or you can count all the cards. This is not as hard as it sounds. Lets play a round and I will try and show you what I mean. You and three other players. You know that you, the other players and the dealer will all get two cards (but you will only see one of his cards), so when the dealer takes his second card you say (to yourself) 9 and.....now count all the Aces and 10's. P 1. 3-(J) P 2. 8-2 P 3. 9-(Q) P 4. (you) 3-7 dealer X-5. (9 and 2) P 1. stands P.2 doubles and gets a (K) (10 and 3) P 3. stands You double and get a 7 (11 and 3) dealer turns up a 5 (12 and 3) hits and draws a (K) ( 13 and 4) end of round. Now add 9 to the 13 or if you are slow with math, move the 9 up (make it 19) and add the 3 to 19. (now you can use your fingers, if you need to) you will still get 22 and....again count the Aces and 10's. By counting all the cards you will know exactly when you hit the 104 and you will know what the A/10 count is.
  • In the A/10 Front Count, is the initial burnt card:

    (a) Counted as an A/10 :?:
    (b) Counted as a non A/10 :?:
    (c) Not included in the 104-card count :?:
  • Midnight, You understand that most A/10 players are new to the
    concept of counting and even more new to the idea of backcounting.
    He/she may, in good time, be able to use the concept that you have
    outlined(sitting at the table and counting) but, getting the looks at a distance
    to just simply count the cards is not all that easy, so I think counting
    from some other location would not be practical.

    Estimating two decks is not that hard, nor is it as critical as one would
    think. For Example: There are three conditions that can occur when you
    have an A/10 count of 36 0r less.

    1. More than 2 decks are in the discard tray. There is no danger in this
    situation because your count is stronger and you don't need to make
    any adjustements/ fudging.

    2. There is exactly 2 decks in the discard tray(+ or - one card) same thing
    no adjustments/fudging required.

    3. There is less than two decks in the discard tray. Over estimating how
    many cards/decks are in the discard tray is where you can run into
    problems. The simple fix for this is to be a little less generous with your
    estimates when there is some doubt. You have this situation deep into shoe games when your trying to true the count.

    My thoughts...........................
  • Midnite - Perhaps your method above would work, but IMHO it wouldn't be practical. For the amount of effort you are putting out, it would be far easier and much more accurate to simply use a full count....Grifter
  • Midnight, LazBoy,Ray and Grifter

    Thanks for your suggustions. I think using a team is best. When alone estimating 2 decks giving bias to estimating few cards to many might be allright. Not sure how many good shoes it would miss. Have been practicing just looking at two decks for 15 minuets at a time several times a day.

  • layZboy said:
    In the A/10 Front Count, is the initial burnt card:

    (a) Counted as an A/10 :?:
    (b) Counted as a non A/10 :?:
    (c) Not included in the 104-card count :?:

    Anyone? :roll:
  • I don't count the burn card or cards in the 104 front count. Not sure if that is the right way or not. Just the way I do it.

  • The burn card is in the same category as all the others still in the shoe -- unseen and therefore unrecorded.
  • OK i Live in Winnipeg and when I go to the Casino they have the Shoe, use 6 decks, shuffle then have 2 plastic red "Cards" the have on at the end of the deck, and stick one hanging out of the middle then sweep the whol stack of 6 decks accross the table until someone grabs the plastic card and "cuts" the deck. I've only played in that casino bt with the second red "Card they move it to around the end of the shoe, at least a full deck from the end and don't use those cards at all, so I don't see how conting cards would possibly work. because all the aces or 10's could be in the back, they only go into the end of the deck on the last round. please tell me if this is standard in all casino;s.
  • Mr. Insane, No that ain't exactly standard.... Seems as if you have a better game than the rest of us......

  • Can you explain how that game would be better for a counting perspective? I lived in winnipeg for about 18 years so i know what casino he is talking about..I believe its Club Regent, or maybe McPhillips Station.
  • 1 deck cut out of 6 is 83% penetration, which is better than most. Other casinos might cut 1.5 or even 2 decks. A higher penetration is better for a counter because it results in a larger variance in True Counts. A running count of +2 means a true count of +1 with two decks left, but +2 with one deck left (or +52 with 2 cards left!!!) . It works on the other side: a -2 running count is now a -2 true count, but the counter can just leave the table, minimum bet, or sit out the hand to avoid the pain.

    I don't get the two plastic card thing, but whatever.

    True, the aces might be behind the cut card, but they could also be in front of it as well. In the long run, the distribution is independent of the cut card and the counter is in it for the long run.
  • Mr. Ed - I think he's simply referring to the cut cards with the "two plastic card thing"......so, his answer is:

    Mr. Insane - Yes, that is standard procedure.
  • Grifter, I don't think so Grif. He is thinking his expected cards have
    a good chance of being behind the cut card. Ours are yellow; one to
    hide the exposed end of the deck and one for the cut card. So, yes
    that is standard but thats not his concern.
  • Ray - You may be right.....Let's see what his response is......Grif'
  • INSANE: Which cards are more likely to be tucked behind the cutoff card -- all the Aces or all the 5's????
  • That's my point Renzey. How can u expect an accurate count no matter what? you could be counting for nothing. are you to expect that of the 1 -2 decks that are cut out that there are equaly #'s of all cards on there?
  • INSANE: With any probability application you're always operating with incomplete information. You use that information to form a degree of probability and then act on it. When you count cards at blackjack, all you're ever doing is betting on the "preponderance" of cards that remain, without any information about exactly where in the remaining supply certain cards might be. That's why when you double down with 11 against a 5, you don't care if the 3rd baseman hits his 16 or not.

    Understand this though. If there was no cut card at all and they dealt out all the cards until there were none left, through the first four or five decks you'd have absolutely no more information than if that cut card were there -- and all your probabilities would be exactly the same up to that point either way.

    It's when/if they played beyond that cut card that you'd be able to narrow things down further and the probabilities would become more preponderant. Finally, when you got down to the last couple of cards things would often no longer be a matter of probability, but certainty.

    The point of this post is that you shouldn't get psyched out by the cut card. If the count is such that 35% of the remaining cards are 10's, the best you can do is assume that every next card has a 35% chance of being a 10, wherever it is picked from -- cut card or no cut card.
  • Insane, To better understand the above info , Go to Gamemaster.com
    and read thru the 24 lesson of "Blackjack School". I think you may be able
    to download same to your hard disk. You may want to skip some of the
    lessons, depending on the current level of your game. Don't skip the card
    counting sections and/or anything about penetration and game rules. If
    you find the counting method just too complicated, then your ready to
    select an alternative. Such as:

    NAME ____________ REFERERENCE

    A/5__ Nickels and Bullets seems to have all the skinny here
    A/10-4,5__ Renzey post
    A/10 (A,K,Q,J,10)__ Renzey- Blue Book II
    A/9 (A,K,Q,J,10,9)__ Just a logical continuation of A/10
    KISS I, II, III__ Renzey - Blue Book II

    Any of these are good entry level counting system and they are well
    represented on this forum. Some eliminate the plus and minus
    component, and all eliminate the concept of "TRUE COUNT" conv., at
    least initially.(you could true with any of the first four)


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