The Red 7 Card Counting System offers blackjack players something that is rarely found among card counting methods today. It combines simplicity with professional-level efficiency. Anyone familiar with basic blackjack strategy and the general rules of card counting can, with a minimum of practice, master the Red 7 card counting method.
The man behind the method is Arnold Snyder, a legend in the blackjack world. Snyder’s landmark book titled Blackbelt In Blackjack was the book that put the Red 7 card counting system on the map, and serious players have made millions of dollars with Snyder’s method. Another system he developed is the ZEN Count!
Before you dive into the Red 7 count you need to take a little time to familiarize yourself with blackjack strategy . This is because the Red 7 incorporates that strategy into the decisions you’ll be making at the blackjack table.
THE BASICS OF THE RED 7
If you already have a basic familiarity with card counting you will immediately grasp the principles upon which the Red 7 is built. The method is used to create a running count which will tell the player when the deck is in their favor and the player can bet more when playing blackjack at the casinos
In other methods the running count is the sole indicator of when you should raise and lower your bets. This isn’t always the case with the Red 7 counting method. As we stated above, elements of blackjack strategy are combined with the running count in the Red 7 to make informed decisions at the blackjack table.
The Red 7 is an unbalanced system—it does not always yield a running count of 0 when all the cards have been dealt. This actually makes the Red 7 more accurate when it comes to determining how favorable the deck is to the player.
Many variations of the Red 7 count can be found online, but we recommend that the beginning player stick with the method as we have detailed it on Counting Edge.
CARD VALUES IN THE RED 7
Each card in the Red 7 is assigned a point value which is used to determine the running count. Here are the values for each card in the Red 7 card counting system:
You should notice a couple of things about the Red 7 card values. The most important one, however, is that the count for the 7’s in the deck is what is called suit-specific. This means that the 7’s receive a different value based upon their color. Red 7’s are valued at +1, and black 7’s are valued at 0.
This may seem a little bit intimidating for the card counter, but with a little practice assigning the different values to the 7’s will become second nature. Some players have attempted to simplify the Red 7 counting system by giving a value of +0.5 to all 7’s regardless of the suit. The problem is that when you begin to tinker with the method as Arnold Snyder originally intended it, the efficiency of the Red 7 count goes down.
Also note that aces in the Red 7 card counting method are given a value of -1. The Red 7 does not mandate that you keep a separate count of the aces in play. However, in any system it is always beneficial to maintain a side count of aces to determine your chances of receiving a blackjack.
BLACKJACK STRATEGY AND THE RED 7 COUNTING SYSTEM
We mentioned earlier that one of the things that make the Red 7 counting method different is that it incorporates blackjack strategy alongside the running count. Let’s examine this this in detail.
First, you need to be aware of what is known as a pivot point. In card counting there comes a time when you need to increase your bets to take advantage of a favorable deck. This is done when the running count reaches a pivot point. A pivot point is meant to indicate when a deck has turned in the player’s favor.
In most counting systems the pivot point would be +3, +4, or +5. In the Red 7 system the pivot point is different because you do not begin the count at 0. You begin the count by multiplying the number of decks in play by -2. In other words, in a six deck game your starting count would be -12 (6(-2)=-12). The pivot is reached when the running count crosses over into positive territory (+1, +2, +3).
This is what makes the Red 7 such an effective and powerful card counting method. Because the deck must become very favorable before you reach the pivot point there is very little chance that you will be fooled by a temporary swing in the cards.
There are a few other specific strategies which apply to the Red 7 count:
When the running count is 0 or higher, stand with 16 against the dealer’s 10.
When the running count is 0 or higher, stand with 12 against the dealer’s 3.
When the running count is +2 or higher, stand with 15 against the dealer’s 10.
When the running count is +2 or higher, stand with 12 against the dealer’s 2.
When the running count is +2 or higher, double down a total of 10 against the dealer’s A.
These are the basic variations in strategy you will need to know when you use the Red 7 card counting method.
SUMMING UP THE RED 7 CARD COUNTING SYSTEM
The Red 7 is actually a simple system to use and can be learned quickly. It is a suit-specific count and also depends upon your knowledge of blackjack strategy to work, but these added wrinkles should not deter you from mastering the Red 7 counting method.
The best way to learn this method is to take three to four decks, shuffle them together, and use them to practice in your own home. Remember, when you play live your money is at risk. Get comfortable with the Red 7 method before you apply it at the blackjack table.