on 14 March 1999
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."
on 30 November 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.