The focus in 2017 onward, was the history of blackjack and blackjack personalities.  In addition to hundreds of continued updates to all areas of the book you will find improved basic strategy charts, a card counting system comparison chart and improved cross-referencing.  A searchable blackjack history database was started that includes hundreds of historically significant blackjack events.  In addition, the title of the book was changed to The Encyclopedia of Blackjack to better reflect its content and improve overall internet search capability.



In 2016, the entire text of this book was converted to WordPress1)According to, WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. WordPress is installed on a web server, which either is part of an Internet hosting service or is a network host itself; the first case may be on a service like, for example, and the second case is a computer running the software package moved to the domain name. A major update to the 3rd edition that has taken hundreds of hours of research was completed in October 2016.  Hundreds of new items have been added including entries for well known and/or famous blackjack personalities and historically significant items.   Many corrections were made to reflect today’s blackjack game and environment.  See an error or think something should be added?  Let me know by using our contact form.


In addition to placing the text of this document online in 1999, a name change to The Encyclopedia of Casino Twenty-One had been made.  The internet has also made it possible for this book to become a living document which means that you can expect occasional updates from this time forward.  Everyone is encouraged to participate in keeping this book up-to-date by submitting comments, corrections and suggestions using our contact form or posting comments on the Blackjack Review Network site.


3rd Edition - Blackjack: A Professional ReferenceSince the first edition of this book my goal has been to create the ultimate resource for serious blackjack players. This resource would directly answer any question that a player might have or it would guide you to the answer. This resource would also describe and rate every blackjack product known to exist and provide advice to new players who want to learn a valid system. This resource would also have the ultimate dictionary and describe every term, rule, game, side bet, acronym and system ever created.

In the third edition of Blackjack:  A Professional Reference I believe I have achieved my goal. I have to admit, however, that you will undoubtedly find something that you are interested in that is not included. Indeed, this book will never be complete for there will always be someone who attempts to sell some silly system or offer the player the moon in exchange for their credit card number. As you read and use this book please take a moment and jot down things you like and don’t like about it and keep your eyes open for possible errors or misrepresentations. I pride myself in attempting to be honest and accurate about this game but I am only human. With your help this book will continue to be the leading resource guide for serious players.

This edition is subtitled The Encyclopedia of Casino Twenty-One which I believe is a better description of the book than the original title. In addition to the obvious cosmetic changes, I have added over 40 pages of important new material. This material includes over a hundred new dictionary and reference section entries as well as material that reflects the rapidly changing face of casino gambling in this country.


The second edition of Blackjack:  A Professional Reference includes several new dictionary and reference section entries, updates some material and corrects a few errors that readers brought to my attention. With the help of some good reviews I managed to sell my entire stock of first edition copies. This reinforces my faith that there is still a market for honest information about this game. If this edition does as well I will strive to keep it up to date by publishing a new version every few years or so. I encourage readers to write me with updates and corrections.

Card counters enjoyed a banner year in 1991, especially if they played in Las Vegas. Some of the best conditions in years could be found in this desert oasis and I, for one, took advantage of them. The Maxim casino even offered, for a short period of time, single-deck games that were dealt through the bottom of the deck. Now that’s fun blackjack! No, I didn’t make enough to quit my job and consider becoming a professional blackjack player. I did manage, however, to have one of my best years ever, earning enough to cover expenses and increasing my bankroll substantially.

I’m a tough player. I’m always on the lookout for great deals, great conditions and great coupons. I take advantage of anything the casinos might offer players. If a dealer makes a mistake in my favor I encourage him to make more mistakes. I’m patient. I put on acts when necessary. I walk when conditions aren’t right. I don’t drink when I play. I talk and laugh and manipulate dealers and other players. I’m disciplined. I don’t cheat. I’m ready, however, to take advantage of information I shouldn’t have. I keep records of my play and try to learn from my mistakes. I study intensely before each trip and use proven techniques to beat this game.

Yes, card counting can give a player an advantage in some games, but only if the casinos let you play. Blackjack expertise is an art form that requires knowledge, skill and experience in several different areas including card counting, probability, finance and casino comportment. But even then, the big money in this game is reserved for players with substantial bankrolls and a great act. I hope the casinos continue generating large blackjack profits from all the bad players out there. If it were not for them the game wouldn’t exist for us to beat.

If you want to learn how to gain an advantage in this fascinating game take the advice this book has to offer. Be aware, however, that this book is also a reference with good and bad information sources listed. Study the good information and you will have a fighting chance!


My original goal in writing Blackjack:  A Professional Reference was to create an instrument for my own learning experience. Over a period of a few years it had evolved from some cluttered notes into a comprehensive resource that I believe all serious players would find valuable. Although not originally intended, I also believe that the gaming industry will find this book a wealth of information that every casino executive should be familiar with.

What has often confused me about this fascinating game is the lack of organization and consensus on methods, strategies, and even terminology and history. As far as I know, this book is the first attempt to organize this material in the manner presented. Yes, I do have opinions that I have freely expressed throughout these pages. However, unlike some system sellers I have attempted to present an honest and unbiased view of the wealth of material available to the player. To set the record straight, I have no financial interest in any system, method, school, personality, book, publication, or anything else mentioned within these pages except for the book you are holding and my Florida Cruise Ship Report that was published in 1990.

Although some may consider it an almost impossible task, this book attempts to reference all known blackjack systems and strategies. I have done this to make the reader aware of their existence and to give the reader a broader understanding of the many systems currently or previously available at one time or another. I know, you will probably find that I haven’t managed to list every system or method ever devised. If a system or method is, or was, generally known it is probably included, however, research of this type can last a lifetime. If you are a system seller and your system is not included please don’t be offended. Just send me a copy for review and I will include a mention of it in my next edition.

In addition to my attempt at describing the many various systems on and off the market are over a thousand entries covering blackjack rules, terminology, history, books, publications, articles, reports, videos, software and sources of information. It is cross-referenced with recommendations and I have included what I feel to be a comprehensive collection of basic strategy charts that cover most games in the world.

This being the first edition of the book, I welcome critical evaluations and suggestions for improvement. As for errors that will undoubtedly be discovered I quote from the preface to Bouvier’s Law Dictionary of 1839:

“To those who are aware of the difficulties of the task, the author deems it unnecessary to make any apology for the imperfections which may be found in the work. His object has been to be useful: if that has been accomplished in any degree, he will be amply rewarded for his labor.”





1According to, WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) based on PHP and MySQL. WordPress is installed on a web server, which either is part of an Internet hosting service or is a network host itself; the first case may be on a service like, for example, and the second case is a computer running the software package

The World Blackjack Portal!