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counting cardsWhen Bryce Carlson created the Advanced Omega II Card Counting System he obviously had the experienced, professional player in mind. Advanced Omega II is a complex system. It is probably not the best place to begin if you are new to card counting. That being said, the Advanced Omega II is one of the most powerful counting methods around and mastering it can lead to huge wins at blackjack.

Carlson detailed the entire system in his 2001 blackjack book, Blackjack for Blood. Many professional players adopted the Advanced Omega II counting strategy when it was released, and it continues to be a popular method despite the fact that many players have chosen to go with simpler methods of card counting.

How The Count Works In The Advanced Omega II

As with any other card counting system, each card is assigned a specific value in the Advanced Omega II. Here are the point values assigned to each card:

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Card Values

2345678910JQKA
+1+1+2+2+2+10-1-2-2-2-20

Right away you can see that the Advanced Omega II has a more complex counting structure than other basic card counting systems. While this complicated structure is more difficult to learn, Bryce Carlson claims it is far more accurate than simpler systems.

The standard rules of card counting apply to the Advanced Omega II. It is always best to begin a count in a new shoe. In other words, you want to start counting immediately after the cards are shuffled up. As each card is dealt from the shoe you will assign the value listed above to form a running count of the cards that have been dealt. This is common to all forms of counting. In the Advanced Omega II counting is a little more difficult because of the values assigned to the cards.

The basic premise of the Advanced Omega II system is the same as other methods. The higher the positive count is (+3, +4, +5), the bigger your bet becomes. When the count drops to a low number (+1, 0, -1), this indicates the deck now favors the house and you should scale back all bets until the positive count increases.

You should also note that the Advanced Omega II is what is known as a balanced card count. This means that if you were to maintain a running count until the last card was dealt from the shoe your ending total would be 0. Of course, all the cards are never dealt from a six or eight deck shoe. Approximately one quarter of the cards will be below the cut card and never put into play.

Aces In The Advanced Omega II

The way aces are counted in the Advanced Omega II presents another wrinkle for the player. As you can see in the list above, aces are counted in the running count. They are assigned a point value of 0. However, maintaining a separate count of the aces remaining in play can increase the effectiveness of the Advanced Omega II system.

Here’s how this works in actual play. Let’s assume you are playing in a game which uses eight decks. In an eight deck game there are 32 aces (8×4=32). To increase the power of the Advanced Omega II you want to keep a separate count of how many of those aces have been dealt into play. At the same time, you also count them as 0 in your running count. This is a little extra work, but the effort is worth it. Some studies have shown that the efficiency of the Advanced Omega II count is increased by as much as three percentage points when you keep a separate count of the aces.

The more aces that remain in the deck, the greater your chances are of getting a blackjack and scoring a 3-2 payoff on your hand. When you know that the deck is rich in aces and combine that knowledge with a high positive count the results can be amazing.

Summing Up The Advanced Omega II System

Greater difficulty can lead to greater rewards at the blackjack table, and that pretty much sums up the Advanced Omega II system. It is more difficult to master than other basic card counting systems because of the card values and the importance of counting aces separately. However, if you are willing to invest the time and effort required to learn the Advanced Omega II you will find it to be one of the most powerful card counting methods available to the blackjack player.

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