Revere Advanced Point Count System
You might think of the Revere Advanced Point Count system as a sort of sequel to the Revere Point Count. The problem with this system is that it's not easy to use at all. Some card counters like to milk card counting systems for every tenth of a percent of advantage that they can. A system like the RAPC might be appropriate for such players, but newer, easier-to-use systems offer the same advantages without the difficulty.
Lawrence Revere co-designed this system with Julian Braun. Revere was one of the interesting characters in the early days of blackjack card counting. He developed multiple systems with Braun, but the one that's in most use still today is the Revere Point Count.
Most of his systems can be read about and learned from his book Playing Blackjack as a Business.
But some of Revere's and Braun's systems are considered proprietary, meaning they're not just available in a book. You have to actually buy the details for using the system. The Internet is full of gambling systems you can buy, and most of them are worthless. Unlike most of those systems, the RAPC will actually help you get an edge over the casino. But you can find other card counting systems that will give you an edge over the house that don't require you to buy them.
Of course, different systems offer different advantages and disadvantages, but we tend to agree with David Sklansky, author of Sklansky Talks Blackjack. He suggests that the Hi-Lo Count is powerful enough for anyone, and it's easy to use.
This page describes in some detail how card counting in general works and how the Revere Advanced Point Count in particular works. We also provide some analysis of its advantages and disadvantages compared to other systems.
More about Lawrence Revere
Lawrence Revere is the author of Playing Blackjack as a Business, which is worth investing in if for no other reason than the charts and tables are so pretty and colorful. That's not a practical attitude, you might think, but we do think that being willing to look at the materials is practical in the extreme. After all, you need to stay motivated to do the work required to learn the system.
We mentioned earlier that he was quite a character. One of the reasons we suggest this is because of anecdotes we read in Lance Humble's book, The World's Greatest Blackjack Book. We've also read that Revere worked both sides of the casino industry. He was consulting with casinos about how to detect card counters while at the same time consulting with players about how to avoid detection.
He died in 1977, so a lot of the card counting techniques he was a proponent of were cutting edge at the time but are obsolete now. The RAPC is considered one of them, but we present the details here for those interested in how such things work.
How Card Counting Works
Counting cards in blackjack takes advantage of the fact that the composition of a deck of cards changes during play. When certain cards are dealt, the ratio of high cards to low cards can change. A deck with a lot of 10s and aces—compared to the lower cards—is more likely to result in a player being dealt a "natural" or a "blackjack". Since that hand pays off at 3 to 2 instead of even money, a player who raises her bets when the deck is rich in aces and 10s can get an edge over the casino.
But that's just one way card counters get an edge (albeit the most important one). The other way counting cards help is that basic strategy changes based on the composition of the deck. Basic strategy is simply the correct playing decision for every possible combination of player totals versus dealer upcards.
When the composition of the deck changes, certain decisions change. Whether or not to take insurance is an easily-understood example. Insurance is just a side bet that the dealer will have blackjack. If the deck has proportionally more aces and 10s than low cards, the dealer also has a higher probability of having such a hand. So insurance, which is normally a sucker bet, can be the right play in certain situations.
And card counters don't actually memorize which cards have been dealt and which ones are still in the deck. They assign values to certain cards and use those values to keep a rough estimate of how favorable or unfavorable the deck is at any given time. The low cards have positive values, as their removal from the deck improves your odds. The high cards have negative values, as their removal from the deck worsens your odds.
How the Revere Advanced Point Count Works
Here are the values assigned to the various cards in the RAPC system:
|2 & 7||+2|
|3, 4, & 6||+3|
|Any card worth 10||-3|
- You'll notice that almost every card in the deck is given a value. The only cards that count as 0s are the 8s.
- You'll also notice that the values given range from +/- 1 through 4. Most beginner systems are called "single-level" systems, because they only require you to add and subtract a single value, usually 1, but sometimes 2. The number of values in use can be used to describe the system. In this case, we have a 4-level system.
- When the total is positive, you raise your bets. When the total is 0 or negative, you bet the table minimum. The higher the count, the more you raise the size of your bets.
The Pros and Cons of the RAPC
You can look at the effectiveness of a card counting system according to how well it estimates when you should raise and lower your bets. You can also look at how well it measures when you should take insurance. They can also mathematically estimate how well a system advises your strategy decisions.
These measurements are usually expressed as a number between 0 and 1, with a 1 being perfect. The betting correlation for the RAPC is 1.0, which is perfect, but many simpler systems provide an almost equally accurate estimate of when to raise and lower your bets.
The insurance correlation for this system is far better than most, though, at 0.71. That sounds low compared to 1.0, but most systems don't do this good a job of measuring when you should take insurance.
The playing efficiency is a measure of how well the system advises your basic strategy, and the playing efficiency for this system is 0.53. This probably sounds quite a bit worse than it actually is. We know of plenty of card counters who don't even bother adjusting their basic strategy when playing—they just raise and lower their bets according to the count, and they win plenty of money.
The biggest disadvantage of the RAPC is its complexity. Much easier systems exist which provide you with results just as positive. We recommend using one of them instead.
The Revere Advanced Point Count is an obsolete, hard-to-use card counting system. It's interesting more as a look at what kinds of complex systems might have been in use in the past. More modern and easier to use systems provide just as much of an edge with less work on the part of the player, though. We recommend trying one of those.