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The Theory of Blackjack: The Compleat Card Counter's Guide to the Casino Game of 21: The Complete Card Counter's Guide to the Casino (Gambling Theories Methods) [Paperback]

Peter Griffin
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 10.99
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Product details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Huntington Press; 6th Revised edition edition (1 Jan 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0929712137
  • ISBN-13: 978-0929712130
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 14.9 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 639,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Suitable for blackjack players, this work provides insight into the methods and numbers behind the development of today's card-counting systems.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I played my first blackjack in January, 1970, at a small club in Yerington, Nevada. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining for the mathematically inclined 14 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Amidst the hype of most blackjack authors, Miller is refreshingly candid: "His winnings are reputed to be in the hundreds." Casinos everywhere have modified rules and added decks, so systems published before 1995 are likely incomplete and/or obsolete. However, Miller isn't supplying a system. He supplies the mathematical underpinnings for analyzing card-counting systems. A mathematically-inclined reader can modify other systems' calculations and tables for six-deck shoes. Unfortunately, the results confirm the sad truth of gambling-as-business: the casinos read all the books, too, and have stripped down the player's edge. (To test this empirically, I suggest you purchase the MASQUE CASINO PAK software, and play as long as you want, using a six-deck shoe, 75% penetration, and whatever counting technique you prefer.) I haven't read Wong's PROFESSIONAL BLACKJACK, so I can't compare his mathematics to Miller's, but I found this book entertaining and useful -- for card-counting analysis, and for bursting hype-bubbles floated by other authors. To quote a friend and long-time big-stakes gambler: "You should only play if you enjoy it. The real point of the game is to play as long as possible before you run out of money."
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I don't like the smell of these chips. 30 Nov 2000
Looking for an unbeatable card counting system? Look elsewhere. Looking for a math-heavy analysis of Blackjack and various counting strategies? You've found it. Be warned: If the thought of statistical math scares the pants off you, I would not recommend this book. However, if you are handy with stat-math then this is certainly an interesting read. It throws light on exactly WHY you lose, and shows how difficult it really is to put into effect a blackjack count-system which is actually possible for "mortals" to execute.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for those interested in theory! 12 Dec 2004
By Rey Moore - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Although this is a great book you really need to know what it is and what it IS NOT!

It is not an introduction to blackjack. It's assumed you already know how to play the game.

It is not an introduction to card counting. The author assumes you already know a card counting system, or at least have a basic understanding of what one entails.

It is PROBABLY not going to make you a better player. It's not really a "how to" guide for the game as much as it's a guide to show you how to effectively ANALYZE the game.

As the title suggests this book is a fairly comprehensive review of the theory of blackjack. While a traditional counting book will tell you the HOW of card counting, this book will show you WHY it works, how card counting systems are derived, how to compare the power of different card counting systems (the so-called "efficiences") and contrast them to an (linearly) ideal system. You will also learn how to calculate exact probabilities (well, really how to write a program to do this) that could be used to determine the values (in terms of expected return) of different hands or to design a tool that will give you the optimal play in any situation that may arrise in blackjack. This tool isn't to be confused with "basic strategy", which only gives you the optimal play off the top of a freshly shuffled shoe.

This book is ideal for someone who is comfortable with playing blackjack in a casino environment, has a basic understanding of the difficulties faced by card counters, and is comfortable with mathematical formulas and their derivations (although a lot of concepts can be understood without a strong background in math, you'll get a lot more out of the book if you can follow its derivations). After reading it you should be in a position where you COULD develop your own card counting system, calculate expected values (essentially probabilities) for given hands and given plays, and have the satisfaction of knowing that you have a better understanding of the inner workings of blackjack than 99% of the people who play the game!
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book changed my opinion of gambling books 4 Nov 2002
By K. Rule - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I ran across this book many years ago in a used bookstore (mine was the 2nd edition). I must say this book changed my opinion of books about gambling books. Up to that point, all the gambling books I've come across were laughable. But this book was startlingly different. It thoroughly explains the mathematics behind basic strategy and card counting techniques in a way that really made sense.
This may sound too advanced for many folks, but frankly the math is fairly easy to understand (it mostly uses basic statistics that you probably learned and forgot in high school).
If you are serious about card counting, the information in this book will help you evaluate BJ counting systems (or even systems you invent). It will also help you subtly modify your play for changes in rules at different casinos.
Do you need to be a computer programmer to use this book? No, but it wouldn't hurt. Is this book useful for writing BJ simulators? Yes, but it's also great for really understanding what it takes to be a really good card counter.
Personally, this book convinced me that I don't have the patience (or time) to become a good card counter. But at least now I know why.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint of heart 6 Mar 2002
By obediah - Published on Amazon.com
I'll start off by saying that this book is a tool for those interested in the underlying mathematics of the game of blackjack. For those people who just want the numbers, many blackjack simulators are currently on the market. In fact, most of the simulators would be more accurate than the numbers in these books due to the fact that you can customise then to your exact table conditions and playing strategies.
Even for those who are mathematically inclined, this book is very heavy reading. I've completed university level statistics courses and much of this text is still beyond my grasp. Griffin often does not explain why particular statistical methods are appropriate presumably he assumes familiarity with the underlying mathematics.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent mathematical reference 21 Dec 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is the "textbook" for counters. What I mean is that it reads like an excellent textbook, but is not useful for the beginning blackjack player. If you are that, purchase KO blackjack or Basic Blackjack. Then, when you begin to develop an interest in the theory of BJ (hence the title) this is a must buy.
Why does the other review insist on calling him Miller?
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book, tough read 23 Jun 2005
By Bens Luscious Hog - Published on Amazon.com
The theories in this book are rock solid, but unless you have a degree in mathematics, it will be a very tough read. There are lots of complex theories and equations that the everyday Joe might have a problem following.

Also, this book mostly covers 1 deck blackjack which is not played in any casino in the world these days. Most casinos use 6-8 decks, but the theoretical aspect of the book holds true regardless on how many decks are used.
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