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Uston Advanced Point Count (APC) Card Counting System

Ken Uston developed another card counting system called the Advanced Point Count (APC) in the early 1981s. He wrote in detail about the strategy in his most famous book called "Million Dollar Blackjack". The Uston APC is actually one of the more complicated methods of counting cards. In fact, it is a level III (level 3) system. This means that players have to keep track of a fairly large index of points ranging from (-3,-2,-1,0,+1,+2,+3).

Like all multilevel count systems, the Uston APC is not meant for beginners and it takes a lot of skill to be able to memorize such a large index and keep track of so many different figures. Still, this one is not as complicated as the level IV systems. In fact, Ken Uston himself did not personally use the APC strategy but there is a fairly large number of people who still do use it.

The indices are shown below in the table. The chart lists the point values assigned to each type of card. When counting the cards, you are basically adding these index values to your mental running count in your head, either adding or subtracting those values depending on what cards are dealt out onto the table. Remember, you need to keep track of not only your cards and the dealer, but also all the other players.

Card Value Points
2 +1
3 +2
4 +2
5 +3
6 +2
7 +2
8 +1
9 -1
10 -3
J -3
Q -3
K -3
A 0

The Uston APC is a balanced system, which means that when you first start your count off at zero on a fresh deck of cards, the final count should also be 0 after all the cards have been dealt. This is good for practicing because you can gauge whether or not your own count was accurate by using this reference. The only disadvantage to this has to do a conversion between the running count and true count. This calculation is just dividing the running count by the number of total decks you are playing with and you will find the true count.

This system is actually quite powerful. In fact, it has one of the highest insurance correlations possible in any system with a percentage of 90%. The playing efficiency is also remarkably high at 69%, which is also one of the best efficiencies you can possibly get in any strategy. The betting correlation is lower than many systems but it still impressive at 91%. A major drawback is you still have to count aces on the side since this system does not recognize the aces in the index since they count as 0 points.

The advanced point count is actually not recommended unless you are very good and experienced with counting. It is better to use an easier system with slightly lower odds and efficiencies. The small difference in the statistics is barely noticeable in practical purposes anyways. Not only this, you still have to play a perfect game in regards to basic strategy without making a single mistake. This is a much more difficult feat to do when you are trying to count aces on the side along with a level III system. You can see why Ken Uston himself chose to use an easier strategy.



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