Blackjack players often combine basic strategy with a card counting system to sway the odds in their favor. The choice of a system for counting is essential, though, as they vary in difficulty and overall profitability. Being relatively complex, yet extremely efficient, the Advanced Omega II System, is one of the best methods for advanced counters and the key to its success is mastering it.
The Advanced Omega II is one the most preferred ways to count cards for experienced, professional players, although it can be used by amateurs, as well. The system was described in detail by blackjack pro Bryce Carlson in his 2001 book Blackjack for Blood. Carlson, who started writing the book back in 1989, explains that this method is mainly aimed at serious players who are committed and skilled. Carlson himself is believed to be a professional counter who play at casinos under aliases and his true identity is still unknown.
The counting method he described, however, has become quite popular since it is known to outperform universally recognized systems such as the Hi-Lo, the K-O, and more. The Advanced Omega II System, often referred to as simply the Omega II System, is a balanced, two-level system for counting cards and if applied perfectly, it could help players generate huge profits over time.
The Advanced Omega II Card Counting System Fundamentals
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Omega II System
The variety of card values in the Omega II makes the system much more accurate than simpler and more commonly used methods for card counting. Players should, of course, consider variables such as variance and deck penetration but overall, they will be able to generate substantial profits if they manage to apply the system without making mistakes. In this regard, it is much more powerful than basic methods such as K-O or the Hi-Lo Count.
The biggest issue with this system is its complexity. Many blackjack players, both amateurs and pros, would find its structure too complicated and difficult to learn because they have to not only memorize the two levels of card values but also have to keep a side count for the Aces. Without the side count, the method is simply not as effective in pointing out the player advantage as initially intended.
Another good aspect of the Advanced Omega II is that it could be adjusted to the player’s skill level. Those who are not confident in their ability to keep a side count can stick to the main count without paying attention to the Aces. Adding a separate count for the Aces, however, significantly increases the effectiveness of the method and those who combine the two counts can afford to place much larger bets.
And this is where the other problem arises – Carlson’s Advanced Omega II System was designed for single and double-deck pitch games. In them, counting the Aces separately is much easier since we have either 4 or 8 Aces in total. The majority of modern blackjack games, however, use 6 or 8 decks where keeping a side count requires a lot more practice, skills, and concentration during play. Of course, it is possible to keep two counts simultaneously – it is simply hard for many people.
The Advanced Omega II System, published by Bryce Carlson, is certainly a useful, effective and potentially highly profitable method for counting cards. It is not the simplest one, nor the most difficult one to learn and use – there are, in fact, counting systems that are much more complicated and demanding. If players master the Omega II method, know basic strategy, and use an appropriate betting spread, they could earn a lot on the blackjack tables.