Book Review: “Step up to Blackjack” by Arnold Snyder

What makes this book unique is it assumes readers know absolutely nothing. The text starts with a discussion of basic strategy, using a high-school geometry exercise to reveal how well the basic strategy works.

Before discussing more advanced strategies and systems, Snyder admits that such things are not necessary for most players. The Blackjack Strategy book sticks to basics with chapters on Basic Strategy, Hitting and Standing, Double Down, Doubling after splitting (including a discussion of Deuces Wild and Deuces and Joker Wild), Splitting, Insurance (including a discussion of the Basic Strategy to take or not take insurance), Surrender, and Progressive betting systems.

See the Top 25 list of the best blackjack strategy books.

What Snyder does best is explain things in everyday English instead of gambling jargon. He never tries to “sugarcoat” things by saying that the player will win back his losses at a future time.

He uses his bankroll to show the ups and downs of playing blackjack. It is not necessarily as much fun reading what happened to him on May 7, 1993, when he “blew out” by losing $800 (because blackjacks were dealt with the house five times in a row), but it is an excellent example of what can happen to even the best players.

The book is filled with many other examples of Snyder’s blackjack adventures, and they are almost always exciting and fun to read. He also includes stories about his experiences playing in Vegas, Atlantic City, Reno, Lake Tahoe, Los Angeles, and New Orleans.

For anyone who has never played blackjack or wants to learn more about the game, this is an excellent place to start.

Step up to Blackjack might very well be the best blackjack strategy book for beginners. That is why we have rated it as our number one blackjack strategy book, in front of “Playing Blackjack as a Business” by Stanford Wong.

If you are a beginner or intermediate in blackjack, this is the perfect book for you. If you have already read this book or are looking for an alternative, How to Play Blackjack by Don Schlesinger and Roger Rapoport comes highly recommended by us.