on 18 February 2001
After losing hundreds of pounds in the casino, and watching Rainman, I was extremely interested in learning the skill of card counting. I did a lot of research, and it appears that this book is generally considered to be THE definitive text for professional card counting. Wong first describes Basic Generic Strategy which allows the reader to maximise his winnings without actually counting cards, he then goes on to describe the Hi-Lo system of card counting (which appears to be one of the most widely used systems). The great thing about this book is that it provides betting strategies for pretty much every variation of casino blackjack, along with statistical analyses of average profit and variation per 100 hands played. One flaw with the book is that there is a lot of waffle that isn't really essential. All you really need to learn is the card counting system, and the betting table of the most common BJ variation. Card counting itself is not too difficult with practice. It is the memorisation of the tables that is the most important thing. This is why, I use this book for playing in online casinos where I can take my time and use it as a reference. I made £160 yesterday.
on 6 July 2011
BUY THIS BOOK. I spent 25 years on Blackjack in a main London Casino. When I retired, some 15 years ago, I was the No 1 Pit Boss. I spent hours every night counting cards resulting in being able to do so almost with my eyes shut. Want to be a serious counter? Make sure you know the Basic Strategy without having to think about it- or you're beaten before you start. Then practice. The good news: About 99% of casino staff can't count cards. Give them an Ace, 5, 8 and they wouldn't have a clue. You don't need any other books, but you should buy them anyway, in particular Beat The Dealer (Thorpe) just for the history and all round understanding of the whole game. There are a few others: Million Dollar Blackjack (Uston). The World's Greatest Blackjack Book (Humble & Cooper). The Theory of Blackjack (Griffin). Playing Blackjack as a Business (Revere). A couple of them will do your head in, but they're worth a read though mostly out of date for current games. Learn to count multiple cards in one go, and you'll soon be able to look at all the hands on a table and know the count almost instantly. Make up a little card with the Basic Strategy on it (I suggest you use colours). Then add a few count decisions from this book. A good start is- Split 3,3 against a 2. Double 9 against a 3. Stand 16 against a 10, 13 against a 2, 12 against a 4 or 6, A7 against an Ace. And as you get more proficient, add a few more numbers. It's hard work and you're not going to make a fortune. But then you're not going to lose one either- regardless of how much money you've got. And a specific instance when I was working to make the point: One of the regular punters was a well known millionaire and thought he was the best Blackjack player in the world, and then one day within 2 hours lost £10 million- and that's true! And finally to the gentleman who plays online and won £160. He was lucky. Online they shuffle after every hand.