Book review: Play to Win at Blackjack by Arnold Snyder

Snyder writes that one should view blackjack as an “investment” in money and time. He states that it is foolish to think that there is a “secret” to winning at blackjack as many non-controllable factors are in play.

Here, I must admit that 12 years of playing with the same method has yielded me profits of over $1 million from an initial bankroll of $3,000 or so. Contrary to Snyder’s statement about not having a “secret” to win, I believe that I do have one. It’s not about the cards or the player — it’s a combination of both. It’s what we might call “the edge”.

I know many blackjack books out there, and some of them may be better than Play to Win at Blackjack by Arnold Snyder. But, to me, it was an inexpensive gamble that rewarded me with a renewed vigour for the game and some new insights into blackjack strategy.

This book seems to be geared towards those who are interested in playing blackjack in live casinos. It is not about running card-counting schemes or other high-tech methods of winning at blackjack. But you might enjoy this book if you have a basic understanding of the rules and strategies (I’m not sure if he includes them in the book or perhaps on an associated website) of blackjack.

This is not what I would call a “casino primer”, but its terminology, illustrations, and strategies are geared towards the regular player.

There have been a few changes regarding blackjack since Snyder’s original text on the subject was published some decades ago. For example, today, you will see fewer single deck games and more than six or eight decks being used by casinos. The composition of these packs is not unknown as they are mixed electronically (instead of being shuffled with a riffle shuffle).

So, in effect, Snyder’s “Play to Win at Blackjack” does not consider the modern changes in blackjack; – but which book does?

I won’t say that I agree with everything Snyder writes about winning strategies. But, more importantly, I was glad to have read this book as it gave me a better understanding of the gambling culture in America.

I don’t suggest that you rush out and buy Play to Win at Blackjack by Arnold Snyder, but if you’re interested, you can find it online at or Borders as well as from other online booksellers.

If you prefer a strategy book for poker that can be used to play blackjack, we can recommend “Winning At No-Limit Hold’em” by Lee Nelson and Anthony Curtis. This is an excellent introduction for those looking for ways to win at no-limit hold’em games using mathematical principles instead of just luck. A great alternative for a beginner at blackjack is “How to Play Blackjack” by Don Schlesinger and Roger Rapoport. This comprehensive book provides the player with all of the information they need to increase their skills while playing the game, especially blackjack for money.