Friday, February 11, 2011

Top 15 blackjack books of all time

The following represents our version of the top 15 blackjack books of all time ( we've actually read all of these and many others ). Some are appropriate for beginners and some are for serious advantage players. Others on the list are a full treatise on the game for novices to pros. Brief descriptions including authors and applications are included. Links are included for further descriptions and purchases.

Some of these books were first published long ago, but most of their uses and applications still apply for today's games. The forerunners of the game and their works provided a foundation for future players and researchers to expand and devise more accurate and / or player-friendly systems.

These books all tout the appropriate MATH of the game conducive to playing the game as it should be played. None of these works promote progressive betting systems as a sole means to beat blackjack, because those systems simply do not work over the long haul.

The first 6 books are all great texts for novice players, while entries 7 through 15 delve more deeply into theory, card - counting systems, cover plays, and other aspects of advantage play.

1. The World's Greatest Blackjack Book by Lance Humble and Carl Cooper ; Despite the somewhat vain title , this entry is suitable for beginners as it provides a good basic introduction to game description, rules, odds, and strategies. It also addresses card counting (mostly one system) in a readable format. This book offers broad coverage of the game.

2. Bootlegger's 200 Proof Blackjack by Mike Turner ; This is a great A - Z blackjack book and is quite suitable for new players, though it delves into some of the finer points of advantage play.

3. Basic Blackjack by Stanford Wong ; This book is a comprehensive guide to blackjack basic strategy and rule variations. Great book for new players authored by a renowned blackjack theorist and player.

4. Best Blackjack by Frank Sclobete ; Another good A - Z book suitable for novice players, though card counting is covered as well.

5. Winning Blackjack For The Serious Player by Edwin Silberstang ; Good introduction to the game with broad coverage including importance of true counts in advantage play betting.

6. Fundamentals of 21 by Mason Malmuth & Lynne Loomis ; A good introductory work including basic strategies and an introduction to the Hi - Lo counting method.

7. Beat The Dealer by Edward O Thorp ; Landmark classic blackjack book that provided the first publicly available card counting strategy allowing players to beat the game. This book turned the Vegas casinos on their ears and eventually paved the way for blackjack to become the most popular table game in the world. This work is a must read for any serious blackjack player because of it's historical importance.

8. Professional Blackjack by Stanford Wong ; Classic book authored by a classic player and theorist that is likely the best available reference on the popular Hi - Lo card counting system.

9. Blackjack For Blood by Bryce Carlson ; Successful big - stakes player's methods and systems to beat the casinos is offered. Thorough descriptions of the Omega II counting system and related betting strategies are provided.

10. Modern Blackjack - An Illustrated Guide to Blackjack Advantage Play by Norm Wattenberger ; This free online book covers the gamut of advantage play methods and is an excellent recent resource. Can't beat the price, either.

11. Blackjack Attack, 3rd Edition by Don Schlesinger ; This work has evolved into a bonafide professional blackjack player's math bible. This recognized player - author is noted for statistical use and perfection as elements for advanced players application to beat the game. The author is known as the developer of the Illustrious 18 strategy / betting variation system which is thoroughly described in this classic work. Many pros use this as a mainstay reference.

12. Burning the Tables in Las Vegas by Ian Andersen ; The author is considered one of the top blackjack players of all time based on play results (winning money ). The core theme in this work is application of cover plays and camouflage for advantage players which can directly contribute to their survival playing under today's casino conditions.

13. The Big Book of Blackjack by Arnold Snyder ; This book lives up to it's subtitle claim..."Everything you've ever wanted to know about blackjack". There's some interesting blackjack history, description and application of the author's Red Seven count, team play, alternate blackjack game strategies, and much more. The author is a well known and respected blackjack authority.

14. The Theory of Blackjack by Peter Griffin ; Players interested in the mathematics behind blackjack play methods will appreciate this book. It's considered a classic regarding some of the early statistical work for basic strategy and card counting systems.

15. Blackjack Bluebook II by Fred Renzey ; This book is another A - Z blackjack book, but provides some interesting yet sound twists on the game and advantage play. Entry (KISS) and advanced (Mentor) level card counting systems are presented and the author delivers a very readable text with hit - home descriptions.

The above is certainly not a complete list of all the better blackjack texts available but these are our picks. Two others that should be mentioned here are Knockout Blackjack (by Olaf Vancura and Ken Fuchs ) and Playing Blackjack Like the Pros by Kevin Blackwood. A complete list of blackjack books and resources can be found at this Gambler's Book Shop link.


Header image courtesy Ppntori, Wiki Commons public domain licensure


sawebzone said...

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Thanks for sharing such kind of nice and wonderful collection......again, beautiful :) I love reading your posts. They make me happy .
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Tommy Blackjack said...

I also found a new book on Amazon called Blackjack: The Basic Strategy Book - 1001 Problems and Drills which is very good. It visually teaches you basic strategy instead of just showing a table to memorize. The book is featured on this website: and offers a free basic strategy computer game.

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Mostly Useless (and approximate) Las Vegas Facts

1. Number of Las Vegas citizens   500,000
2. Number of Clark County residents   1,500,000
3. Year first casino licensed   1931
4. Number of slot machines in Vegas   200,000
5. Number of annual Vegas visitors   40,000,000 (and dropping)
6. Number of licensed gambling entities   1700
7. Hours per day average visitor gambles   4
8. Annual state gaming revenue   9 billion (and dropping)
9. Average gambling budget per trip   560  (and dropping)
10. Mean price per acre in valley   161,000.00
11. Price per acre on the Strip   11,000,000.00
12. Number of  hotel rooms   137,000 +
13. Number of pillowcases washed at MGM daily   15,000
14. Number of doors at MGM  18,000 
15. Annual no. toilet paper rolls used at Bally's   1 million
16. Lucky The Clown marquee sign at Circus Circus has
      1232 fluorescent bulbs, 14,498 incandescent bulbs, and
      3/4 mile of neon tubing light  (no wonder they're replacing
17. In good times, Excalibur goes through over 44,000 
      Cornish game hens, 15 thousand pounds of hamburger
      meat, and 4200 pounds of prime rib monthly
18. Caesar's Palace has used 2 million plus maraschino 
      cherries, 11 thousand ounces of caviar, 2 million ounces
      of tomato juice, and close to 600 thousand ounces of
      vodka yearly (bloody mary winner?)
19. Mandalay Bay has 5,300 palm trees and their wave pool
      has a capacity of 1,640,270 gallons of water
20. Average nightly room rate  119.00 (and dropping)
21. Average number of Vegas weddings per day   300+
22. Number of golf courses  37
23. Miles of neon tubing on the Strip and Downtown  15,000
24. State's nationwide rank in gold production  1st
25. Cost of Nevada marriage license   35.00
26. Average cost of filing for divorce  450.00
27. Average length of stay for visitors    3.7 days
28. Number of hosted conventions annually  3750
29. The electric bill to operate the Luxor pyramid beam is
      approximately 55.00 per hour.
30. Las Vegas has 17 of the world's 20 largest hotels   


Just a cautionary tip when in Vegas.. there are active
pickpockets all over town. I experienced this first-hand
and came within 10 seconds of losing my cash stash last July
while visiting one of those upper end joints on the strip.

I was gambling significantly at a video poker machine, unabashedly slipping C-notes in them. Somebody had been
observing my wagering behavior. I was happily winning at the time and my cautionary tendencies regarding my bankroll
money went south and out the window.

A lady approached me from behind as I played and was all aglow with my run of good luck. She initiated a conversation about nothing and anything . I was concentrating on proper VP strategy and responding to her comments with a lot of "yeah-yeahs". I was fortunate enough to get ahead on the machine again and I cashed out. I had a satchel (I normally never gamble under those conditions) with me that had assorted trip stuff in it. The satchel presence and the relatively high denomination coin-in amount collectively screamed " please rob me!" I placed my wallet in the satchel along with the machine cash-out tickets and proceeded to reconnect with my family and head to our room.

I had developed a sense of cautionary unease as I mulled over the contact with the effusively talkative woman at the VP machine. My senses told me that something about that encounter was skewed, although at the time I didn't know what it was and I wasn't bleeding profusely..yet. My group then proceeded to meander through a very crowded slot machine aisle and some other 6th, 7th, or 8th sense that vaguely detected an impersonal yet succinct encroachment into my personal space kicked in. Instinctively, I immediately dug into the satchel to locate my wallet and it was gone. I then immediately turned around and backtracked about ten feet (a matter of maybe 3 seconds, tops) as my endogenous adrenaline kicked in. I'm not sure that my hair wasn't on fire briefly.

I then spotted my wallet (and life) in a woman's hand who was playing a slot machine. I walked straight at her and demanded it post-haste in a tone that screamed seriousness. I immediately grabbed the wallet and called for security. The woman claimed she picked it up off the floor and so did the man (her accomplice) behind her, both vowing that they were planning to remit it to the security desk. My svelte ass they were.

This team of thieves including the woman who was all goony-googoo at the VP machine were pros. I have to claim part of the blame for the openly careless manner I had displayed with my money. They were held by security and the eye-in-the-sky tapes were to be reviewed.

The good thing is I didn't lose a cent because my peripheral senses kicked in immediately and they didn't have time to bury the evidence ( perhaps they weren't the best of pros?). Take heed folks..these people are everywhere in Vegas. Know where your cash is at all times; take precautions to protect it, don't flaunt it around carelessly as I did, and if you sense something is awry while gambling trust your instincts.

Distractions from one member of a team of thieves is a common MO. Store your gambling session monies in a front pants pocket or in one of those god-awful front-loaded fanny packs (pride be damned). The lesson I learned here after several years of Vegas gambling experiences turned out to be one of the most valuable for me personally.