First this is not a thread about Moraine or meant to continue any disagreement with him on what is important in today's blackjack and card counting. The game of blackjack has changed in multiple ways since the 1980's and 1990's. And none of the changes in favor of the player, all in favor of the house or casino. In the 1980's and 90's there were mostly single and double deck games. Now most players have to try to beat 6 and increasingly 8 deck shoe games. (Still plenty of really good 6 deck games remaining in Vegas, but you do have to play at minimum $25 tables). This move from single/double deck changed the true count frequencies in that each positive count, especially the really good, max bet type counts occurs far less. I call this reduces true cont frequencies and this is why 6 and 8 deck games are much more favorable to the house. The second change was rule changes. I am not even going to get into the 6:5 blackjack payout as opposed to 3:2, because that is so severe, increasing the house edge by almost 2%, it shouldn't even be allowed to be called blackjack. The big on here that the casino industry did get away with, with only minor push back was the switch from dealer stands on all 17 to dealer hits soft 17's. This adds .2% to the house edge and doesn't seem all that much, but it is. There are other changes as well, like splitting and double down restrictions, but the h17 change is the one that really changed things. Before this change, games were basically 1/3 neutral counts (slight house edge), 1/3 negative counts (bigger house edge) and 1/3 players edge or advantage. All the player had to do to win was bet more in that 1/3 of the rounds where he had an advantage. Enough to overcome the 2/3's of the rounds where the house had the advantage. The increase in house advantage from H17 shifts those frequencies to the right (house advantage). The true count frequencies all shift, or in other words are less frequent than they used to be. So now with fewer rounds that the player has to the advantage he must bet far more to overcome that increase in rounds that the house has the advantage. It is that simple. Now back when single double deck and games with better rules, what count a player played and how many index plays (strategy change plays) mattered. That is why there were all these different counts that came out in the 70's through 90's. Today with these inferior games, both these things, what count, and number of index plays, just don't matter, or matter much less. People that still advocate and argue these things are stuck in the 80's and 90's way of thinking. Today it is about getting your big bet out in those fewer counts that favor the player and things you can do to be able to do this without rocking the boat too much and still be welcome to play. THAT is blackjack card counting in the 2020's. Now I am not telling anyone how to play, or what to do. I am simply sharing what has worked for me for 2 decades now, and my younger brother for almost 8 years now. (time flies). 1). The count doesn't matter. I cannot put enough emphasis on this. As long as it is one of the normal counts and not some goofy thing like speed count, all counts identify 95% of the same advantageous situations. So you might as well stick to something reasonably simple, like Hi-Lo or another similar level one count, so as to minimize mistakes. 2). Index plays don't matter nearly as much as they used to, or players think. Index plays were always only 25-30 % of the players advantage with the majority of the advantage coming from simply betting bigger when the player is at an advantage. And of that 25-30%, the majority comes from the first few strategy change plays. Don Schlesinger came up with 18 plays (illustrious 18) that captures about 90% of that possible advantage, but even only the first 3 captures better than 60%. It is just a big case of diminishing returns with each added play or change. The more index plays you learn after the first few, the less each one is worth. Worth pennies.... literally. And here is the big negative part of this. Casinos and casino personnel know about index plays or strategy changes plays. Especially the more common ones. So each time you make these plays it helps identify you as a card counter. It is a "tell". So here is what I have come up with that has allowed me to play for 20 years (longevity). 1) because of the reduced number of rounds that the player is actually at an advantage (from earlier games), I do not play all rounds, which is referred to as the play all approach of the 80's and 90's. Players serious about winning today have got to escape at least some of the negative counts (the most negative). You can do this by exiting when the count hits a predetermined negative count, as I do, or skipping some of those rounds with bathroom breaks and phony phone calls. But you have to find a way to not sit there and play through all those negative rounds. Once a count hits about -2, it isn't coming back to where you want it to...where you can make your max bet. It might come back to neutral or slightly positive, but not where you want, where you can make that big bet and make some money. So once the count is -2, you might as well exit and find a new game. Easier to do in a place like Las Vegas admittedly. 2). Cut out or at least down those strategy change index plays. They are a "tell" of a card counter. After the top 3, almost any gain by employing index plays is more than offset by identifying the player as a card counter. I play card counter's basic strategy, which is one set of plays, optimal for a true count of about +3, when the bigger bets are out. This means at neutral counts you may be playing the hand not optimal, but it is when your smallest wagers are out at a very low cost. Any player seeking longevity, should look into card counters basic strategy or at most cutting down to just a handful of strategy change plays. Don's 18 is far too many in my opinion. I am talking 3-5 at most. So that is what I do and have done for 20 years (next month). Anyone that wants to respectfully engage in discussion, feel free. I am open to discussion and consideration of other opinions and ideas. But I have asked the administrators to not allow and remove anyone just hijacking and trolling, as this is not the appropriate area for that.