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.

Further Information

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.

In fact, you can learn everything you need to make a profit
counting cards on the internet—on this site, in fact.

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.

The values given to each card are the meat and potatoes of
any card counting system.

How the Revere Advanced Point Count Works

Here are the values assigned to the various cards in the RAPC
system:

Cards RAPC
2 & 7 +2
3, 4, & 6 +3
8 0
9 -1
Any card worth 10 -3
Aces -4
  • 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.

Summary

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.