The KO system was developed by Olaf Vancura and Ken Fuchs and
described in their book "Knock-Out Blackjack".
“KO”, as it is known, is arguably as powerful as HiLo but is easier to implement as running count to true count conversions are not required.
A simple variant, REKO, was developed and published by Norm Wattenberger in his excellent book "Modern Blackjack", the first edition of which is available free online.
A summary may be found at https://www.qfit.com/rekostrategy.htm
true count systems which are more accurate throughout the entirety of a
shoe, both KO and REKO are running count systems.
As a result, they both under bet early opportunities and overbet towards the end of a shoe.
To solve this problem a true count version of KO, referred to as True Count KO, or TKO has been developed.
It solves the problem of underbetting early and overbetting late in a shoe by calculating the player’s advantage at any point in the shoe.
of biggest advantages of KO and REKO is that the player does not have
to estimate how many decks remain to the be dealt and do the mental
math to convert the running count into the true count.
Adding the conversion from running count to true count in TKO seems counter-intuitive.
Why add back the very thing that makes KO so unique?
The answer lies in that the true count conversion creates value by finding more opportunities to bet with an advantage early in the shoe and minimizes overbetting later in the shoe.
The original formula to convert the KO running count to a TKO true count is as follows:
TKO = (RC-IRC-4*P) / R
IRC = Initial Running Count
P = Decks played (seen)
R = Remaining decks (not seen)
Harris simplified the TKO formula if the IRC is the total number
decks multiplied by -4.
For example, in a six deck game, the IRC is
-4 x 6 = -24.
Harris reduced the number of mathematical operations by half and the number of variables from five to three. It is a remarkable improvement. In his formula:
TKO = RC/R+4
Though simplified, the Harris TKO formula still requires a calculation.
The EZ-TKO system completely removes calculations "on the fly".
The system was inspired from postings by “Roger Harris” who was an occasional contributor to BJ21.com back in the 2000’s.
It is similar to the system proposed by Daniel Dravot in "The Color of Blackjack".
Dravot designed a system which did away with true count conversions and
instead uses a grid system to scale bets based on the RC, True Count
and number of decks remaining.
In practice, a player need only memorize how their bet spread changes depending on the number of decks remaining.
In addition to using the traditional KO Pivot point, EZ-TKO adopts and additional terms, called the Current Key.
If you prefer working with mostly positive numbers, use an IRC of 0. For 6 decks the pivot is then 24, and your Current Key starts at +12.
Current Key using IRC=0
>= 1 and <2
>= 2 and <3
>= 3 and <4
>= 4 and <5
Resolution of the Current Pivot can be make more accurate if you can estimate half-decks instead of full decks. In that case, add +1 for each half-deck dealt.
At any given time, the Current Key is equivalent to a TKO or HiLo of +2, which is about 0.5% advantage for "classic" rules.
A simplified EZ-TKO bet ramp is as follows:
Bett the minimum when the current count is below the Current Key (TKO < +2)
Increase your bet when the RC is at the Current Key (TKO = +2).
Make an average bet when the current count is at least halfway between the Current Key and the Pivot (TKO = +3)
Make your maximum bet at the Pivot and beyond (TKO >= +4)
Simply continue to use the RC and appropriate KO or REKO index