I asked him to simulate the Red Seven Count, exactly as I had published it, with only six strategy changes, all made by running count, in two common games (at that time), and to compare the Red Seven results with two versions of the Hi-Lo Count, as published by Stanford Wong in Professional Blackjack, one version utilizing all 184 indices by true count, and one using Wong’s condensed -6 to +6 version (34 indices) by true count.
I published Gwynn’s results in the December 1983 issue of Blackjack Forum. John Gwynn did not test the 184-index version of the Hi-Lo in the one-deck game, though it surely would have outperformed Wong’s 34-index version, probably by a couple tenths of a %. He tested the full-blown Hi-Lo in the shoe game because I had also expressed the opinion that card counters were wasting their time memorizing 100+ index numbers for shoe games.
I had published my Zen Count system in 1981 with only 25 indices, and had stated that no counting system needed more than these for multiple-deck games. Among professional players, this was another area of great controversy at that time, though today, thanks to Don Schlesinger and others, most experts embrace my simplified approach as common wisdom.
Gwynn’s computer results, which substantiated my claims of the Red Seven’s power, surprised many experts, and revolutionized blackjack
4 Decks, 75% Dealt, Vegas Strip Rules, 1-10 Spread
# Indices Win Rate
Red Seven 6 0.77%
Hi-Lo (condensed) 34 0.87%
Hi-Lo (complete) 184 0.87%
1 Deck, 75% Dealt, Reno Rules, 1-3 Spread
# Indices Win Rate
Red Seven 6 0.73%
Hi-Lo (condensed) 34 0.89%
system development, as many other authors have since devised unbalanced count systems. For example, Ken Uston self-published his “Uston SS Count.” Uston, in fact, hired me to produce the strategy charts for him. George C. came out with his “Unbalanced Zen 11.”
Eddie Olsen, with assistance from Michael Dalton, presented his “TruCount” system.
More recently, Olaf Vancura and Ken Fuchs published their popular Knock-Out Blackjack. They presented their “knock-out” counting system, which essentially was a knock-off of the Red Seven Count; the only difference between the count values was that Vancura and Fuchs counted all the sevens, instead of just the red ones. Their system was one I had abandoned when I was devising the original Red Seven Count back in the early ’80s, because the imbalance created by counting all of the sevens was too heavily skewed toward the low cards. My analysis showed that if all the sevens were counted, the system wouldn’t perform as well.
I was amazed when Knock-Out Blackjack came out with computer simulation data that showed the knock-out count to be not only more powerful than the Red Seven Count, but more powerful than just about every other counting system on the market, including many of the “advanced” multi-level counts.
As it turned out, the authors of the system had made some major errors in their simulation methods. In the Fall 1999 issue of Blackjack Forum magazine, John Auston, author of the Blackjack Risk Manager software, provided his extensive computer simulation data that compared the win rates of the K-O count with both the Red Seven and Stanford Wong’s Hi-Lo Count in one, two, six, and eight-deck games. Auston’s data agreed with my own—in most games, both the Hi-Lo and Red Seven outperform the K-O Count. I still believe that the Red Seven count is the easiest, most straightforward, and most effective system ever devised.