Counting cards -- keep it simple
This is general advice geared towards new players. The level or complexity of your count will not define your success as an advantage player. Just because you're using Hi Opt II w/ASC will not guarantee you advantage-play success. And just because you employ the Hi Lo system, that doesn't automatically classify you as an amateur either! I know successful AP's (people who have experienced long term success) who are using simple counts and blasting 2x $1,000 at the tables. At the same time, I know others who are red-chipping amateurs that use complex counts.
There are so many other aspects to counting cards successfully and I think the type of count you employ barely scratches the surface. THESE are the things new players should really concern themselves with:
1) How well do you know your count system? Well enough so when some casino employee or patron sparks up a conversation, you can easily converse without losing the count?
2) How well do you know your basic strategy and your indices? You need to know your strategy cold! No exceptions!
3) How well do you handle the swings? Do you allow your emotions to dictate your play? If so, then maybe you're betting too much. How will you emotionally handle a big loss? If your stakes are already low and you still can't psychologically handle the swings, then maybe this game isn't for you.
4) How is your casino comportment? Do you look like you're concentrating too much? Does it just look like "you don't belong" at the tables? You need to feel comfortable and try to emulate other gambling patrons. Don't stick out like a sore thumb.
5) How well do you assess heat? For a low-stakes player, this might not be much of a concern, but most definitely for moderate stakes and above. You can't be so consumed with what you're doing and ignore your surroundings. If you do, this will inevitably lead to more backoffs.
6) How good is your bankroll management? You could employ the fanciest count on earth, but if you can't properly manage your bankroll, you WILL go bust! Simple.
7) What betting ramps and unit sizes will you use? Are you utilizing the aid of software? Do you understand what spread must be employed to beat your specific game and do you understand the concept of risk of ruin? If you aren't currently using software, you should start now! Don't go out there and start betting blindly!
8) If you do end up getting backed off or counter-measured, how will you handle it? Are you aware of the important "rules of thumb" you must follow in order to not make a bad situation even worse?
Everything I just listed above is far more important than banging your head up against a wall, trying to figure out which count is "the best." Master everything else first, then decide if you want to move to a higher-level count.
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