# THE ZEN COUNT – Blackjack Card Counting

The Zen Count card counting system was developed by blackjack expert Arnold Snyder and was introduced in his book Blackbelt in Blackjack.  This is just one of a few card counting systems Snyder developed.

Though he was a master card counter, Snyder developed systems that were simple enough for a beginner to work with, yet effective and efficient enough that an advanced player would be willing to work with it.

The Zen Count is a level 2, balanced system with parts that would require some practice at home before trying to use it at a live table game.

The indices range from -2 to +2, which is why it’s a level 2 system and it’s considered balanced because if you were to count down a deck, you would start and end with zero.

Because a true count, instead of running count, is used, it is considered slightly more difficult to learn.  Figuring out the true count is not really that difficult, it’s just adds to the process, making it a little more involved.

True count with this system is determined by dividing the running count by the estimate of remaining decks in play. A true count is designed to give the player a more accurate representation of the remaining cards and how favorable or not it is to the player.

One point about this system is that using a true count is actually optional, The Zen Count can be used profitably with just the running count, but if you incorporate the true count, it will definitely give you an even greater edge.

## How it Works

Each card in the deck is assigned a value of -2, -1, 0, +1, or +2.  The chart of values is:

As the cards are dealt, a running count is kept.  The count does start at 0 and is increased or decreased per the value of the card dealt. You will then need to convert the running count to the true count (optional) before deciding on your bet.

Your running count will revert back to zero once the cards are shuffled.

## ACE TRACKING

Fortunately, keeping track of aces on the side is not part of this system because they are given a value within the system.  Snyder figured that accounting for aces with a -1 value, was just as effective as eliminating them from the running count or tracking them separately.  This is what the more advanced players like about the system, one less thing to track.