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Book Review: Win at Blackjack by Arnold Snyder

The title says it all. Arnold Snyder’s “Win at Blackjack” is a blackjack strategy book for players who want to win, and the reviews on Amazon.com confirm that. The reviews are nearly unanimous in their praise for this book: It doesn’t matter if you’re an expert or a beginner; buys this book! Please buy it before you go to Vegas, or buy it after your first visit. Still not convinced? Then read on, dear reader.

The introduction begins with a dedication: “To the people who make it possible for me to sit in my office and write these books instead of being outside running around like a maniac.” I found it interesting that Mr Snyder would include this dedication towards the start of the book since most authors seem to save it for close to the end. This suggests he has an intimate relationship with his readers or, maybe, just an ego on par with mine (only bigger).

Getting past that, you are then presented with an honest statement concerning the purpose of this book: “I am not going to promise you that I will tell you how to win every time. What I will do is give you, in a clear and accurate a manner as possible, the odds on various bets.”

Any gambler who does his own research knows that finding the correct information can often be more difficult than doing the research. Or, as Snyder puts it: “The purpose of this book is to give you a shortcut through all those thousands of words and numbers.” This book will help you cut through the bad information (and misinformation) and discover which bets are worth your time, money, brain cells or whatever else you might be losing.

One of the reasons Snyder can accomplish this goal is because he spent a great deal of time and effort developing his theories, not just math equations: “I often had several charts open at once so I could plot them all together and get an overall picture.” Snyder’s dedication to research is a welcome relief for anyone who has ever tried to make sense out of the complete nonsense that surrounds blackjack strategy.

One of my favourite notes in this section was about counting cards: “There are those who claim they can control the game with card counting.” Whether you’re an expert or just starting, I bet you’ve run into someone like this. Even though the number of actual card counters is minuscule compared to the total blackjack players, you can still find them all over the Internet and Las Vegas.

“I have had numerous people offer me lucrative positions as their personal card counter or dealer… For those who wonder what I am talking about, a professional card counter (also known as a “dinosaur” in some circles) is someone who sits at the blackjack table and actually counts cards. If you play enough hands, this will enable you to know what is coming… I personally never counted cards.”

So there it is. No matter how much someone might insist that they can control a game or beat the casino using card counting, this book will prove otherwise. Unfortunately, a few bad apples have to spoil the whole blackjack barrel but, then again, most people enjoy watching the occasional train wreck.

If you want a good alternative to this book, we recommend checking out “Playing 21” by Karl Jensen. Karl Jensen wrote this book after he had won countless pounds over many years at English casinos. If you’d rather test your skills at poker, we have found the well-hidden “Winning At No-Limit Hold’em” by Lee Nelson and Anthony Curtis for you to consider.