The Red 7 Blackjack Card Counting System

The Red 7 Count was created by professional Blackjack player, author and Blackjack Hall of Fame member Arnold Snyder. It was featured in Snyder’s book Blackbelt in Blackjack. The Red 7 Blackjack card counting system is unique because it is one of the few simple systems that can be used at 2+ deck Blackjack games. It combines the simplicity of a single deck running count system with accuracy that is close to the more complex systems like the Uston Advanced Count. The Red 7 Count is the perfect system for beginners to card counting in Blackjack. Snyder is also wrote the Big Book of Blackjack and has published several other articles and treatises about Blackjack, poker and casino games in general. The Red 7 Count is still well respected amongst Blackjack enthusiasts and will help you to negate the small edge that enables casinos to always win money on the long run. Using a card counting system like the Red 7 Count does not guarantee a profit. Using the optimal strategy based on the specific rules for the version of Blackjack you intend on playing should be your first priority.

How To Use The Red 7 Blackjack Card Counting System

The Red 7 Count can be used at both single deck and multi-deck Blackjack tables. The basic principle behind the Red 7 Count and other systems is to help you determine when it is propitious to increase or decrease your wager. Most Blackjack card counting methods start the initial count at 0, but this count is different. You will need to determine which number to begin your running count on by using the following formula. You take the number of decks used and multiply it by -2. If you are playing at a 4 deck Blackjack table you will start your running count at -8. A six deck table will begin at -16. As you play Blackjack you will need to maintain a running count of the used cards based on the chart below.

Red7 System

The Red 7 Count is one of the only systems that factors in the suit of a card. This is only done for 7’s, hence the name of the system, so it really doesn’t add any complexity to this formula. The 2’s, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s, 6’s and red 7’s will be counted as +1. Ten point cards and Aces will be counted as -1. You will not count any other cards, including the two black 7’s. Here is an example hand that you can practice counting. To simplify things please assume that you are playing at a table using 2 decks and this is the first hand.

  • Player 1: 4h-7s- 8c
  • Player 2: 10c-9s
  • Player 3: 3s-7d-Ah
  • You: 5c-Kd
  • Dealer: 8s-6d-Qc

In the above example you would start out at -4 because you are using two decks (-2 X 2). After you plus and minus the points for the used cards you should end up with a Red 7 count of -3. Obviously it is still far too early in the shoe to base any betting decisions on your count total.

When you start off in the negatives it can be hard to determine when you should lower your bet due to a negative running count. My advice is to start lowering your bets if you have used at least 10% of the cards and the running count is still negative. If your count is in the positives that means you should increase your wager regardless of how many cards have been used thus far. The Red 7 Count can also be used to correct your Blackjack strategy. This isn’t the primary purpose of the Red 7 Count and I do not have any exact mathematical formulas for you to utilize so you will have to use common sense if you do this. Even a slight variation from the accepted Blackjack strategies can drastically increase the edge in the house’s favor.

In certain circumstances you can use the Red 7 Count to decide if you will hit or stand. If the running count is fairly high the odds of the next card being a 10-pointer is higher than normal. It may be worthwhile to stand on hands that you would usually hit on. For instance, if you have 16 and the dealer is showing a 9 you may be better off standing since the odds of you catching a 5 or less are lower. The same is true for the dealer having a 10-pointer in the hole so use caution when basing decisions on the running count.


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