For the novice
Personally, I prefer KO out of the unbalanced systems you mentioned, but that's simply a personal preference.
I'd appreciate any comments regarding lucky/ unlucky 'streaks'..ie card personality (how one's performing against the dealer,etc.) I've read considerably about expected losses , standard deviations, 'wild swings', etc. In my limited experience, it appears that this aspect of the game may be more important than emphasized in the literature
that I've seen..'stop-loss' suggestions?..This area may fall under the 'arty' side of the game..thanks..
The problem with streaks is that they are wild and unpredictable. You can't base a system of play on streaks, whether they be winning streaks or losing streaks. Whatever "streak" you are in can end on the next hand.
I'm not sure what you mean about "card personality," or "performance against a dealer." For all practical purposes, the dealer is just a dealing machine. There are dealers who can be exploited if they mispay hands or flash the hole card. There are dealers who might be cheaters. There are dealers who might shuffle-up on you or half-shoe you if they think you are counting cards. There are dealers who might rat you out to the pit. There are dealers who give good penetration and those who give bad penetration. These can all be factors in determining what dealer you choose. But in an honest straight-up game, the dealer doesn't matter except in terms of dealing speed. You don't win hands because of the dealer and you don't lose hands because of the dealer.
I do not recommend the use of stop losses or win limits. If the playing conditions are favorable, you play as long as you want and as long as you have money to play with. You might leave a table because you are tired. You might leave to avoid a backoff or barring, and you might have a pre-set time limit for this reason. You might leave because you are hungry or have another commitment. But don't leave based on some arbitrary stop loss or win limit you have set. To make money as a card counter, you have to put in the time at the tables. Setting artificial and arbitrary stop losses or win limits interferes with that basic tenet and simply makes getting to the long run longer. It won't make you win more or lose less.
You might want to read my book, Bootlegger's 200 Proof Blackjack. Hi-Lo is the system it uses, which is a balanced true count system, but the advice it gives is specifically designed for novice players. For KO, you should purchase Knock-Out Blackjack by Vancurra and Fuchs. Both books are available from the catalog on this site. I would also suggest that you subscribe to Green Chip on this site. There is a wealth of information available at a low price. It is worth the investment for any novice who is going to put his money at risk at the blackjack tables.