By Michael Dalton
There are many good books that have been written about the game of blackjack. Here are my personal favorites for the best blackjack books of all time. These books have stood the test of time and provide outstanding advice on how to improve your blackjack skills. As a collection, these books cover everything you need to be successful at beating the casinos. Books are listed in order of the year they were first published. If you buy any of these books, be sure you get the latest edition. 1) Michael Dalton is author of the Encyclopedia of Blackjack and editor/publisher of the Blackjack Review Network. Looking for other good blackjack books? Check out the product review section of the Encyclopedia of Blackjack.
Edward Thorp’s Beat the Dealer (First published 1962)
Why? This is the classic that changed the way we all view the game of twenty-one. This book presents, for the first time, a validated winning strategy (a ten-count) based on the results of computer simulation. The 1966 version has a practical point count (Hi-Lo) that was later revised by Julian Braun. Is this required reading for the aspiring card counter? Probably not…. but if you are a history buff, it is required reading.
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Lawrence Revere’s Playing Blackjack as a Business (First published 1969)
Why? The classic text that many early card counters were taught by including myself. Contained nice color charts that made it easier to memorize basic strategy. Included four counting systems developed by Revere with computer simulation data from Julian Braun.
[ BUY ON AMAZON: Playing Blackjack As A Business ]
Stanford Wong’s Professional Blackjack (First published 1975)
Peter Griffin’s The Theory of Blackjack (First published 1979)
Why? This book is considered the bible on the mathematics of blackjack. Probably not required reading unless you are really interested in math.
[ BUY ON AMAZON: The Theory of Blackjack ]
Lance Humble & Carl Cooper’s The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book (First published 1980)
Ken Uston’s Million Dollar Blackjack (First published 1981)
Why? At the time, this was one of the most complete books on traditional blackjack ever published. Discussed everything from card counting to team play. Included the Uston Simple Plus/Minus, Uston Advanced Plus/Minus and Uston Advanced Point Count systems. Also, chapters on the art of single- and multiple-deck play, team methods, front-loading, spooking, cheating, getting barred and tournament blackjack.
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Arnold Snyder’s Blackbelt in Blackjack (First published 1983)
Why? Introduced the easier unbalanced Red Seven count and the two-level Zen count. Topics included depth charging, money management, the true count, camouflage techniques, toking guidelines, hole card play, cheating, team play and the effect of table conditions. Written by the editor/publisher of the outstanding card counters resource, Blackjack Forum magazine.
[ BUY ON AMAZON: Blackbelt in Blackjack : Playing 21 as a Martial Art ]
Bryce Carlson’s Blackjack For Blood (First published 1992)
Why? The best part of this book is Carlson’s insight into what I call the art of twenty-one. Introduced the advanced ace neutral two-level Omega II count.
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Olaf Vancura & Ken Fuchs’ Knock-Out Blackjack (First published 1996)
Why? Introduced the very popular K-O unbalanced [glossary_exclude]card counting system[/glossary_exclude]. This count ranks as one of the top single-level counts available to players today. The K-O card-counting system eliminates the mountain of mental arithmetic necessary to win at blackjack.
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Don Schlesinger’s Blackjack Attack (First published 1997)
Why? The ultimate blackjack reference book for professional players. Covered topics such as back-counting the shoe game, betting techniques and win rates, evaluating new rules and bonuses, statistical insights, the “Illustrious 18”, the “Floating Advantage”, team play, camouflage, risk of ruin, and more.
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Ian Andersen’s Burning the Tables in Las Vegas (First published 1999)
Rick Blaine’s Blackjack BluePrint (First published 2006)
Why? Think of this book as everything you need to know about team play that Ken Uston never told you. Anyone even considering joining a team must own this book. Revised and updated in 2014.
Norm Wattenberger’s Modern Blackjack (First published 2009)
Why? This two-volume book is massive. It was written by the author of the outstanding Casino Verite suite of blackjack software which he used to provide highly detailed information and analyses of every aspect of the game.
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