Blackjack Card Counting - Learn the REKO System
If you're looking for a very easy-to-learn blackjack card counting system, the REKO system might be precisely what you're searching for. REKO stands for "Ridiculously Easy Knock Out" or "Ridiculously Easy KO." At its core, the REKO system is a simplified version of the popular Knockout/KO System.
On this page, we'll provide you with all of the details you need to know about this simple card counting system. As you scroll below, you'll find information about how the system works, how you can practice it, and tips on how to size your bets. We've even included guidance on how you can avoid getting caught when using the system and frequently asked questions.
Because we've covered so much information about the REKO card counting system on this page, we've included jump links below. You can use these to skip ahead to the portions of this page you're most interested in learning about. However, if you'd like to get the most out of this page, we'd suggest you read it from top to bottom, so you don't miss any critical details.
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Understanding the Basics of the REKO System
To kick things off, we need to provide you with a basic understanding of the core bits of the REKO system. Below, we'll introduce you to these critical components of the system so you can understand how the system works to help you count cards when playing blackjack.
The central premise of the REKO system is the running count. It's this running count that will help you decide how you'll size your bets when it's your turn. In short, the running count is how you track the probability of you getting blackjack on your next hand. If your count is high, it means you have a high chance of getting a blackjack. Alternatively, a low count means you're not likely to get blackjack.
In the next section, we'll provide you with a chart that showcases the values you'll need to memorize. Each card in the deck has a value you'll assign to the card as it comes out. You'll then continue to add the values up to one another as you see them. It's this process that creates your running count. We'll go into more detail about how you'll go about doing this in the following section.
Because the REKO system of blackjack card counting is an unbalanced system, we have to adjust our starting count. While many other systems have a starting count of 0, the REKO system has you change your starting count based on the number of decks being used by the casino. The good news is, since you're changing your starting count, you won't have to deal with the pesky division associated with converting to a true count as many other systems require. We'll discuss more on that later.
In short, the more decks in play, the lower your starting count will be when using the REKO system. Below, we've added in a graphic that showcases the starting counts tied to different amounts of decks in use.
- 1 deck = Starting count of -1
- 2 decks = Starting count of -5
- 6 decks = Staring count of -20
- 8 decks = Starting count of -27
Once you determine how many decks are being used at the table, you'll then make your starting count the value shown above. From there, you'll continue to execute the REKO system according to the other steps we've included on this page.
One of the things we like most about the REKO system is that it doesn't require users to convert their running count into a true count. Many other card counting systems do need this step to help account for the number of decks in play. The problem with calculating a true count is that it needs division, which is often difficult for folks to do in their head. Luckily, since the REKO system accounts for the number of decks in play by adjusting the starting count, there's no need to worry about a true count with this system.
The goal of the REKO card counting system is to help you sort out how much to bet. When your count is high, the system is telling you that you have a high chance of getting a blackjack on the next hand. Since getting blackjack has a higher payout than simply winning a hand, you'll want to bet more to maximize your value.
Alternatively, when your count is negative or low, it means you're less likely to get a blackjack. In these cases, you'll want to bet as little as possible. Often, you'll stick to just betting the table minimum. To learn more, check out the section below about how to size your bets.
Counting Cards With the REKO System
Up next, we wanted to build on the principles we covered above to help you learn how to count cards using the REKO system. You'll want to study the chart below and get familiar with it. This chart showcases the card values you'll need to know and track to operate the REKO system of card counting.
- Adjust your starting count based on the guidance provided in the section above
- When you see an A, K, Q, J, or 10: Subtract 1 from your running count
- When you see an 8 or 9: Do nothing (worth 0)
- When you see a 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7: Add 1 to your running count
Don't forget to adjust your starting count based on the number of decks in play. The more decks in use, the lower your starting count will be. Check out the section above if you need a refresher on how to adjust the starting count to account for the decks in use.
Let's say you're playing at a table using just a single deck of cards. In that case, your starting count is a -1. Then, if the first card out of the deck is a king, you'll subtract 1 from your running count, bringing your new total to -2. If the next card out of the deck is a five, you'd then add 1 back, meaning your new total is -1. You'll repeat this process the entire time you're playing blackjack.
As a reminder, you don't need to use a true count with the REKO system. Instead, your running count is what you'll use to help you adjust your bets. We'll give you some pointers on this in the next section below.
There's one last tip for you when it comes to the REKO card counting system. You'll need to reset your starting count each time the deck is shuffled. Because a shuffle creates new patterns, you'll start over with your starting count again to account for the number of decks in use.
How to Size Your Bets Using the REKO System
Now that you know how to use the REKO system to count cards while playing blackjack, we wanted to give you tips on how you can size your bets. After all, the goal of this card counting system and others is to help give you a leg up on the casino. By following the guidelines below, you can make sure you're getting the most out of using the system.
The most straightforward way to size your bets when using the REKO system is to use your running count as a simple multiplier. Let's say your current running count was +3 when it's your turn to bet. Here, you'd bet 3x the table minimum. But if your count is negative or +1, you'll only bet the table minimum.
If you'd like to try another method for sizing your bets, you can create buckets for your betting strategy.
You might say that if your running count is +2 or +3, you'll bet 2x the table minimum. By developing a buckets strategy, you can use a less aggressive betting plan if the one described above isn't appealing to you.
As you play blackjack using the REKO card counting system, you can try out different ways to size your bets and find the one that works best for you. While you test out new things, don't forget the core idea of betting more when your count is high and vice versa. By following this general guidance, you'll have the best chance of walking away from the table with a profit.
How to Practice the REKO System
In this section, we're going to provide you with practical guidance on how you can begin practicing the REKO system. Since card counting takes some practice, you'll want to invest the time in doing it so you can smoothly implement it when playing real money blackjack. Just follow the steps below, and you'll be ready to count cards with the REKO system in no time at all.
Count a Full Deck of Cards
Your first practice step in card counting is learning how to count a deck of cards. Simply deal yourself one card at a time. Then, take its value from the chart above and add it to your running count. Repeat this process for the remaining 51 cards in the deck.
Once you've run through an entire deck once or twice, try timing yourself. By doing this, you'll be able to track your progress. Your goal should be to cut the time it takes you initially to do it in half. Keep practicing until you feel like you're making some good progress in reducing your time counting a deck using the REKO card counting system.
Learn to Count in Pairs
Once you are happy with your performance counting a deck one card at a time, you'll want to move on to counting cards in pairs. By counting two cards at once, you'll end up being able to count cards at a faster pace, so you're more efficient when doing it.
To practice, start by dealing two cards to yourself instead of one. Then, add up the impact of those two cards summed together and add that amount to your running total. You'll repeat this process over and over again until you finish counting all of the cards in the deck. Don't forget to time yourself, so you can measure your success as you get faster at computing pairs with the REKO system.
Once you feel like you've got the hang of counting a deck in pairs, the next step is to try distracting yourself as you count. Since casinos are very distracting places with lots of lights, noises, smells, and people, you'll want to simulate some distractions to get used to ignoring them as you execute the REKO system.
To get things rolling, try turning on your radio and turning up the volume. Then, try executing your counting. You can even time yourself to gauge the impact of the distractions. If you'd like a more significant challenge, you can also turn on the television at the same time and then repeat the process. Your goal should be to reduce the amount of time it takes you to count a deck even with the distractions.
Use a Friend
Up next, you'll need to recruit a friend you trust to help you with this next step of practicing the REKO system. Once you find a friend to help, you'll have them closely observe you as you count cards. Ask them to see if they notice anything odd that you may be doing while you're counting a deck. Some of the things they can keep an eye out for are if you're furrowing your brow or mouthing words. If your friend notices anything that seems off, have them report it to you so you can work to stop doing it in the future.
Head to a Casino
For this next round of practice, you'll want to head to one of your local casinos. Here, you'll be watching other folks play blackjack. However, you'll be counting as if you are seated at the table yourself. The goal of this round of practice is to help you practice counting cards in a true casino setting. Just stand back a couple of feet from the table and begin your counts. Continue practicing this until you feel like you can keep up with the counts despite the speed of the dealer and all of the casino distractions going on around you.
Practice at a Low Stakes Table
After you've run through all of our suggested practice steps above, we urge you to begin playing blackjack for real money at low stakes tables. Since you'll be new to counting cards at a real table, it's vital that you allow yourself the chance to work out the kinks without it costing you too much. If you were to dive right into a higher stakes table, things could get costly if you make too many mistakes. Once you feel like you've ironed out all of the kinks in playing for real money, feel free to graduate yourself up to higher stakes tables according to your comfort level.
Tips to Avoid Getting Caught
Now that you know how to use and practice the REKO system, we wanted to provide you with our top ten tips on how you can avoid getting caught. Since casinos don't like card counters, you'll need to work hard to fly under the radar, so they don't suspect you of counting cards. Check out our tips below and keep these in mind when you're at a casino, so you don't get caught by the staff.
- Go easy on the alcohol.
It's always a smart idea to limit your alcohol when gambling. However, this is even more true if you're looking to use the REKO system to count cards when playing blackjack. Due to alcohol's ability to impact your decision-making ability, it can be a significant issue for card counters. To stay on top of your counts, try limiting your drinks to just one per hour.
- Don't think too hard.
While card counting requires thinking as you calculate your running count with the REKO system, it's vital you don't overthink things. The reason for this is because you're more likely to show body tells if you're overdoing Don't forget to practice with a friend to have them help you identify potential tells you might be giving off.
- Don't advise your fellow players.
If you provide tips to your table mates, it's likely to tip off the dealer you may be a card counter. Instead, stay focused on your running count, and keep the tips to yourself.
- Play at different times.
Instead of playing at the same time of day, try to mix things up. By going this route, you'll end up exposing yourself to different casino staff, so it lessens the likelihood they flag you as a potential card counter.
- Use different dealers.
Even if you have some dealers you love at your local casinos, you'll want to change things up regularly. By playing with dealers too often, it may allow them to catch on to your card counting ways.
- Gamble at various casinos.
When possible, be sure to play blackjack at different casinos as much as you can. Understandably, you may not have many casinos near your home. For those of you that do, mix things up by playing at as many as you can. This will allow you to spread your exposure to different casino employees thus lessening the chance of you getting caught.
- Don't sit at one table for too long.
At least once an hour, be sure to change the table you're playing at. The goal with this move is to expose you to a different set of casino employees. Be sure to keep this tip in mind if you're planning to play for extended periods of time.
- Tip your dealers.
Professional card counters are notorious for not tipping the dealers to help them keep their profit margins as high as possible. However, it's a good idea for you to tip from time to time so you're not flagged as a potential card counter. Simply tip the dealer a bit here and there to help you fly under the radar.
- Don't bet too much.
While your running count with the REKO system might suggest a massive bet from time to time, you'll want to keep your bets from getting too big. By betting too much, you'll catch the eye of the dealer who might flag you as a card counter. Our advice is never to bet more than 5x the table minimum.
- Are you being watched too much?
While you're always being observed in a casino, it's important to pay attention and see if you're being watched more than is usual. If you have the feeling this is happening, it may be a sign the casino's staff is on to you as a card counter. Should you end up in this predicament, consider leaving for the day and trying again some other time.
Additional Blackjack Resources
While you're on this page, we wanted to introduce you to a few other blackjack related resources we can provide you. Below, you'll get a small taste for some of the added value we can bring to your blackjack game. Check these resources out now to elevate your blackjack knowledge and skills.
Main Blackjack Card Counting Hub
If you're just beginning your journey with blackjack card counting, it's worth checking out the link below. On this page, we'll give you more insight into blackjack card counting. In addition, we'll also introduce you to other popular card counting variants you might want to consider other than the REKO system.
Best Online Casinos for Blackjack
If you're interested in playing blackjack online, then don't miss the link below. The link will take you to our page that's got the best online casinos for blackjack. We'll provide you with our list of top picks along with lots of other helpful information about playing blackjack online.
Blackjack Strategy for Beginners
Counting cards is just one of many different strategies you can use when playing blackjack. But if you're new to blackjack as a whole, you'll want to learn some other strategies first before trying to count cards. Below, you'll find a link to our blackjack strategy guide for beginners where you can get all of the details you need to know to help take your blackjack game to all new levels.
Frequently Asked Questions
Finally, we didn't want to wrap things up without providing you with some frequently asked questions about the REKO system. If you're still looking for some answers, don't miss out on the questions below that readers have submitted to us. You can click on one of the questions if you'd like to see the answer that's associated with it.
Yes. Counting cards is not illegal as long as you do it with just your brain. No matter where you live in the world, it's not illegal to track the cards you've seen with your mind. However, if you decide to use any form of device to assist you with your card counting, then what you're doing might be illegal. On top of that, it's also cheating. To stay out of potential trouble with the law, stick to counting cards with just your mind.
As a reminder, while counting cards with the REKO system or any other one isn't illegal, it's something casinos don't like. If you're caught or suspected of counting cards, the casino will most likely ask you to leave. While you won't get in trouble with the law, you may end up banned from that particular casino.
It's up to you to determine if this is the best card counting system for you to use. If you're new to the idea of card counting, you'll want to check out some other methods to get a feel for what you like about each one. You'll find very simplified systems along with super complicated ones. Your goal should be to locate one that's easy for you to learn and remember how to use. By using any card counting system, you'll get a small leg up on the casino when playing blackjack.
If you're playing a traditional form of online blackjack, the REKO system won't be able to assist you. The reason behind this is because most formats of online blackjack automatically reshuffle the deck after each hand. This makes it impossible to track and establish patterns that are needed to run the REKO system and all other card counting systems.
However, there is one form of online blackjack you might be able to utilize the REKO system with. That format is live dealer blackjack. Because you can usually see the dealer, cards, and shuffler, you should be able to use the system to count cards when playing online blackjack.
No. The REKO system doesn't mean you'll always walk away a winner. The same can be said for all other forms of blackjack card counting systems. But if you learn and properly execute the REKO system, you can gain a small advantage over the casino. In turn, you'll have a reasonable likelihood of making a little bit of profit when playing blackjack for an extended period of time.
The REKO system is one of the easiest card counting methods available. If you're looking for a very simplistic approach, this might be the best one for you. However, if you'd like a more accurate and advanced system, you might want to check out some of the other options to see how you like them before settling on this one.
We appreciate you stopping by to check out our page about the REKO card counting system. Hopefully, you've found all of the details you were searching for about the system. For those of you that are new to our website, don't miss out on the other helpful gambling guides we have to offer. What you've seen here today is just a scratch on the surface of everything we have developed over the years. Use the main menu to get a feel for other ways we can help you learn more knowledge and skills to improve your gambling skills. Thanks for reading, and good luck with your future use of the REKO system.