Hi Opt II and AO II ...

Hi Opt II and AO II w/side counts for aces......

Both of these 2 level counts seem to be rated the highest for overall
efficiency in varying conditions by reputable sources CV etc.

I already know +/- but I want to learn a more powerful count. I play SD,
DD, 4 and 6 deck shoes.I like to spread 1-4 in SD and DD games and from 1-8
to1-12 in multi-deck games.

I try to play in games where I am looking at -0.35% house edge off the top. My ideal
conditions are SD DD dealt more than 60% and multi-deck games 75-80%+ penetration.

Am I correct that these are the two most powerful counts ? If not which
count/s are?

If you use either count do you like them and why?

Thnx Lee
Hey. I don't know if you want the Mayor to reply, specifically, but I think I'll add my two cents if you don't mind. Here are my ideas about the whole betting efficiency and which system is the best debate. Hi-opt II is pretty good but I've never used it or tested it. I'm just going on the numbers. Thorp proved that when you remove certain cards that it changes a players advantage by a certain percentage:

card %change
5 +.64
4 .52
6 .45
3 .44
2 .37
7 .30
10 -.53
A -.49
9 -.13

(Humble and Cooper, World's Greatest Blackjack Book)

So if you look at those numbers then you want a system that is proportionally in tune with those stats. Like Thorp's Ultimate which is 5 6 8 11 6 4 0 -3 -7 -9 . The 11 iss the 5 card which Thorp said boosted your advantage by .64. Hence, it is the biggest number in the system. I would suggest Wong's Halves . I read this stuff in a book so I'm no expert just relaying the information.

The Mayor

Well-Known Member
I like your name :cool:

You, no doubt, have looked in chapter 11 of Schlesinger's Blackjack Attack, 2nd edition (if not, do so immediately). It gives the complete answer to your question. Hi-Opt II and AOII run neck and neck for most of the simulations Schlesninger presents.

A top pro I know who uses Hi-Opt II only for 1 and 2 deck games. Don't bother with side counts in shoe games, it just doesn't pay. WIth shoes, go with Hi-Lo or Halves, it's easier and essentially more powerful since you cut down your fatigue factor. Halves has the nice quality of being a single parameter system which is nearly as powerful as the multi-parameter systems, and can be used against any number of decks. Another top pro I know switched from a fancy multi-parameter system to playing Hi-Lo on everything -- because he played on teams where they had to relay the count, and that's what everybody else knew.

If you want to notch up your game, all the study in the world will not pay as much as Hi-Lo at a very good game. You might consider staying with what you know, and doing the foot work to find those great games. When you find a 6d shoe game, dealt past the 5 deck point, you are in fat city.

At any rate, these are my random thoughts, I hope others will offer theirs.


The misconception that is prevalent about advanced ace-nuetral level-2 counts is that a typical user can exact the full potential gain using just an ace-density estimate. You cannot (see Uston on BJ '86, Snyder BJF '82) - a proper full-gain use of an ace-neutral side-count for betting REQUIRES a secondary count over-layed onto the primary count consisting of (in the case of the aforementioned counts) A-2v2/5+1.

Without an accurate seconday count you are working harder to obtain ONLY the advantage that is otherwise available to you from an easier ace-reckoned level-2 count such as RPC or ZEN - and speaking of which, if you were ONLY going to incorporate a side-count of 1 card, in a level-2 modality, the strongest sytem you could play in theory would be ZEN (or similar), which contains a compromised ace-value, combined with a side-count of 7s with a bi-valuate playing adjustment.

Other methods for increasing the gain of your current play would include simply upping the #indices of your level-1 count to 50+ and/or using a bigger spread and/or (my favorite) playing faster. All of which are preferred over the out-dated subject systems.