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Revere Plus - Minus Card Counting Method
The Revere Plus - Minus card counting method first appeared alongside Lawrence Revere's more complicated system, the Revere Point Count (RPC), in his 1980 book, Playing Blackjack as a Business. This system was created as a simpler companion to the RPC, focusing on single deck rather multi-deck games.
Lawrence Revere has a bit of a controversial history in the blackjack community. During the '80s, he both trained casinos to catch counters and trained players to avoid detection, working both sides of the table. Though his actions were a little shady, the card counting systems he created still carry a lot of weight today. Use of the Revere Plus-Minus method has declined in line with single-deck games, but it can still provide a great advantage during a game.
How Revere Plus - Minus Works
The Revere Plus – Minus system uses the traditional card counting values of +1, 0, and -1, but it doesn't apply a value to Aces (it isn't Ace - Reckoned), so it can be helpful for players to keep a running side-count of the Aces that have been played. Here's a table of the point values for the Revere Plus - Minus:
Revere Plus-Minus Card Point Values
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
+1 +1 +1 +1 +1 0 0 -1 -1 0
Running Count Example Using the Revere Plus-Minus
With these values, a running count would look like this:
1st card is a 10, so the running count is -1.
2nd card is a 4, so the running count becomes 0.
3rd card is a 2, so the running count is now +1.
4th card is a 5, making the running count +2.
Most balanced systems are designed for multi-deck games, and require the conversion of a running count into a true count to get an accurate idea of the players' advantage. Because the Revere Plus - Minus was created for application with single-deck games, however, the method retains its high level of accuracy without any need for a true count. This keeps the Revere Plus - Minus simple, even if it does limit the scope of the system's use. The rule remains the same, though: When the count is high, bet more!
As mentioned above, the Revere Plus-Minus is not Ace-Reckoned, so Aces have no effect on the running count. As a result, it can sometimes be a good idea to keep a side-count of the Aces in play, just to know how many are left in the deck.
It may be difficult to find a single-deck game in a major casino these days, but if you happen to come across just such a table the Revere Plus - Minus card counting system can give you a real leg up!
Books about Revere Plus - Minus
Playing Blackjack as a Business, by creator of the Revere Plus - Minus method Lawrence Revere, is the best book for information on this card counting system.