Wednesday, December 28, 2011


The KISS IV count is in no way affiliated with Fred Renzey. The inspiration does certainly come from his work which can be found in Blackjack Bluebook II, which is recommend for any aspiring blackjack player. With that said, here is the KISS IV count.


Betting Correlation: .98 Playing Efficiency: .62 Insurance Correlation: .87

Level 1, unbalanced

As can be seen above, the KISS IV count has stats that rival a level two balanced count, yet remains a level 1 unbalanced. This is made possible by taking the strengths of the KISS II and KISS III counts and combining them into one count.

KISS IV Initial Running Count By Number Of Decks

1 Deck - 18
2 Deck - 17
4 Deck - 13
6 Deck - 9
8 Deck – 5

KISS IV Betting Ramp (in units)

Running Count
1 Deck
2 Deck
4 Deck
6 Deck
8 Deck
19 and Below
2 to 3
2 to 3
2 to 5
2 to 4
2 to 5
4 to 5
6 to 7
5 to 8
6 to 9
8 to 9
9 to 11
10 to 11

The Side Count
The only difference between II and III is that III counts the Aces and 7's, where as II does not. So if a side count of Aces vs 7's is kept, that can be added that to the running count for betting purposes and only use the black 2's, 3's, 4', 5's, 6's, and 10's for the main count.

KISS IV Card Ranks

Black 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 = +1

10 = -1

7 = A, B, C, D . . . (or fingers and toes if you prefer)

A = Z, Y, X, W . . .

The side count is used as follows:

. . . Y=-2, Z=-1, 0, A=1, B=2 . . .

Remember the side count is a ratio, not two separate side counts.

As an example; off the top of a six deck shoe the cards come out 3, 7, 5, 9, 10, 7, Ace. The count would start at 9, the initial running count for a six deck game. The count would then go 10, 10A, 11A, 11A, 10A, 10B, 10A.

For betting purposes the running count would be 11. 10 + A = 11.

For playing and insurance decisions the count is still 10.

Since KISS users don't have to convert it's essentially just keeping two running counts and doing simple addition or subtraction before making the bet.

Estimating The Advantage
In the charts below KISS III and KISS IV are interchangeable.

Another issue is KISS III a lot of times will overestimate the advantage early in the shoe and underestimate it towards the end of a shoe. Luckily Daniel Dravot in The Color of Blackjack has shown an easy way to solve that problem using a warm and cold line ramp.

Early in the shoe the max bet is being played before it should be (assuming a max bet at a +3 true count). This can easily be solved by memorizing a couple numbers.

At the beginning of a 6 deck shoe max bet should be placed at RC 27 or higher and lowered by 1 with each deck remaining.

Conversely there is a slight advantage off the top of a shoe at RC 15 and this number will rise by 1 for every deck played. This will help notice advantages much sooner.

In the chart above, it is shown that the KISS III normally wants to raise bets at a running count of 20. Unfortunately that misses a lot of opportunities early on in the shoe (keep in mind "warm line" is a +1 True Count, a very slight advantage in most games.)

If the game conditions are sub par it is recommended to wait for a +1.5 true count before raising bets. These numbers rise by half running counts so this works better if all 2's are counted as .5. They start at 18, 18.5, 19, 19.5, 20, 20.5. (Round the numbers up if only counting black 2's.) - NOTE: This group should be used if only playing H17 games.

The Insurance Decision

Insurance is normally taken at the running of 25 when using KISS III. However, that's just an all around compromise. Normally, insurance would be taken at a +3 true count which varies as decks are played.

From the chart above, it is seen that, other than two decks in, a running count of 25 will be slightly off from making the correct insurance call. The solution to this is very simple. Off the top of a 6 deck shoe insurance should be taken at 27 or above, and then reduced by 1 for every deck played. This is identical to the max bet ramp.
Index Ramps
This is the least important section for this count, and in all honesty, a player would be just fine memorizing the index plays. If one wants to squeeze every last bit of power out of the .62 playing efficiency, then this is how it's done. This is touched on in Fred Renzey's book Blackjack Bluebook II, but gets overlooked more than it should.

As can be seen here it's exactly the same as the betting and insurance ramp. The running count moves with the number of decks. But the great thing is that it's always moving in the same direction by the same amount in proportion to number of remaining decks.

Here is a few of the one's that are listed in Fred's book (don't worry, I asked permission) and as can be seen, they group together to make it easier.

16 V 10 and 12 V 4 - 10,12,14,16,18,19

12 V 6, 13 V 2, and 9 V 3 - 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18

12 V 5, 13 V 3, 10 V 9 - -3, 1, 5, 9, 13, 17
Also a lot of this is similar to the True Fudging method also described in Blackjack Bluebook II, but it has never been just laid out for others to use.

Some may find the challenge of using a side count to be too daunting of a task. If that's the case, then using a level 2 balanced count is a great method. For those that do not enjoy true counting, but have the ability to keep two running counts this method will give the power needed to compete with the best counts out there. It all comes down to personal preference, and there is no wrong way to go.

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