Blackjack Red Seven Card Counting by Arnold Snyder

The successful simplicity of Arnold Snyder’s Red 7 Card Counting System for blackjack players.

The Successful Simplicity of Snyder's Red 7 Card Counting SystemIn today’s age, most people view blackjack as another unbeatable casino game, glamorized and glorified by Hollywood blockbusters like “21”. The film industry is partly to blame for this. Not only do such movies create a negative stigma around blackjack card counting, they suggest that the art is so complex, only savant-grade mathematicians could possibly pull it off with any hope, or degree, of success.

That’s simply not the case—pun intended. Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to the card counting tactics of many legendary blackjack professionals. Arnold Snyder, for example, describes in his blackjack guides Red Seven Card Counting—a system that’s derived from the most basic Hi-Lo Card Counting Strategy, made even more easy to employ by the purposeful inclusion of an unbalanced count.

Arnold Snyder’s Red 7 Card Counting System

Arnold Snyder Red Seven Card Counting SystemAmong the most successful blackjack strategists of the last century, Arnold Snyder was the first to advise an unbalanced point count system. He was so certain of his Red Seven count—a system he describes as being both “easy and powerful”—that he details its rules of implementation in not just one, but two of his best-selling blackjack books; Blackbelt in Blackjack, and The Big Book of Blackjack.

Snyder details the efficiency of his ‘Easy Red 7 Count’ as capable of reaching “80% of the potential gain” available in complex Hi-Lo point systems that are “significantly more difficult to learn and use”.

Here’s how it works…

Red 7 Card Counting Values

Snyder assigns one of three point values (-1, 0 and +1) to the following groups of cards:

2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and RED 7 = +1

8, 9, and BLACK 7 = 0

10, J, Q, K, and A = -1

If you’ve taken any time to study the minutiae of a basic Hi-Lo point system, you’ll notice this one is extremely similar. In fact, the only difference here is that Red 7s count as +1. Black 7s are neutral, having no point value, as dictated by the standard Hi-Lo system.

So, realistically, all Snyder did to improve upon the original Hi-Lo count, as devised by the legendary grandfather of blackjack, Edward O. Thorp (Beat the Dealer – 1962), was take two little cards – two red sevens, for which the strategy is named – and give them a positive point value.

How could such a slight twist in the system be so beneficial? Because it eliminates the need for any further math. By creating an imbalance in the total value, Snyder eliminates the traditional need to convert a running count to a true count when multiple decks are in use.

If you take a full deck of 52 cards and count it down using Snyder’s Red 7 Card Counting System, you will not end at 0. Instead, you should reach the final card with a count of +2. This imbalance is the genius behind his blackjack strategy, making it just as powerful as Thorp’s Hi-Lo system, but so simple, virtually anyone can do it.

To practice, simply count through a deck of cards until you consistently end at +2. Take your time. There’s no need to rush. Accuracy and reticence are much more important.

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