Win and Walk

by Bill Minty and Sons

There is indeed money to be made from the Minty Method - selling the book, not from playing the method in the casino.

Since I received a copy of this book last year, Bill Minty's publicist periodically sends me e-mail queries about when this review would be published on the website. In my opinion, he should've just let it drop. I admit that as soon as I read "BE A WINNER - Using the Minty Method of Money Management" (emblazoned in multi-colors on the back of the book), I knew we were in trouble.

To save time, I could simply quote the following paragraph from the back of the book and be done with it:

At $19.95, one would expect to find some revolutionary material amongst it's 131 pages. The book IS attractive, with it's color glossy cover photo of chrome-domed Bill Minty, decked out in a tuxedo against a backdrop of downtown Las Vegas (he looks familiar - like a pitboss I've seen at the Golden Nugget; which ironically is prominently shown on the cover). Unfortunately, that is about it. The book is loaded with interesting cliche's. Unfortunately, cliche's don't transform a losing method into a winning one.

For me, the warning-flags go up when I read such comments as: "For the Minty Method player, craps is the preferred choice". And yet, Minty contradicts himself in the Introduction wherein he describes scouting for "Hot" Blackjack tables (ala Jerry Patterson's Target method). However the reader isn't yet aware of this contradiction (Craps is discussed in Chapter 5).

Bill Minty actually gives away the fact that this method is worthless when (on P.22) he says "Believe me, if I thought that by going public with my system casinos could combat the Minty Method, I wouldn't be telling you about it now: I'd keep it to myself". The casinos don't bother trying to combat Minty's method because there is nothing to combat - over the long haul, this system is a quietly dangerous loser. The reason is simple - Minty's reliance on Luck.

Luck is the Key

The Minty Method relies on (and is devoured by) Luck. The most dangerous chapter in the book (Chapter 4) is entitled "The Rhythm of Luck", wherein Minty explains "In this chapter, we'll look into the voodoo, for lack of a more precise term, of what any gambler comes to feel is lucky.... The feeling that luck is with you, or against you, is unscientific by any standard, but you should pay attention to it".

Whoops - Excuse me, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Early in the book (P. 13) Minty explains why we should take marker breaks. He ends this section by saying: "Using markers this way is also good strategy for changing the "rhythm of luck", (if the rhythm isn't swinging your way)". This advice appears in a dangerously titled chapter - A Disciplined Approach.

I don't really need to divulge the essentials of his betting method to give you the essence of what the Minty Method is all about. On Page 11, he gives it all away:

What is ultimately wrong with the Minty Method

There are many problems with the Win and Walk method; the most obvious being that it is nothing more than a betting system which is presented independently of the various casino games it alleges to beat. In order to win consistently at any given casino game, FIRST you must thoroughly understand the game itself. Discussions of betting methods should come MUCH LATER.

Next, this method is essentially nothing more than a modified "Up-as-you-win" betting progression. This method gets blown-out in games where you lose many hands in a row; a not unheard of situation in today's games. Oddly enough, Blackjack is probably the WORST game to apply Minty's progression method.

As we know, in today's non-random shoe games Splits and Double-downs lose FAR-more than they used to. Even Clump-trackers and Card-counters have to be careful. If you don't split pairs or double down, and don't find yourself in lengthy losing streaks, Minty's method can indeed pull down some units. Otherwise, look out.

I was tempted to program Minty's betting method into Boris' Blackjack Simulation Software for a formal test-drive. Instead, I simply matched his method against playing logs from our Blackjack team practice games. The results were tragic.

To make any money with Bill Minty's method, you better be in as good of physical shape as he seems to be - you're going to be doing a LOT of table hopping and casino bopping. I recommend wearing some very stylish sneakers with your tuxedo, to ease your feet by the end of the day.

You will recall that Minty recommends Craps as the preferred game for using his method. Unfortunately, the chapter on Craps says NOTHING about how to apply the Minty method to the Craps table. This is EXTREMELY dangerous. "Winning" Craps requires judicious use of the odds bets; which ALSO increase your short-haul risk. The Minty method makes no distinction on how to protect yourself from the Dreaded-7; especially with odds bets out.

Bill Minty on Blackjack

Unfortunately, in Minty's book, the betting system is the main focus and is discussed first. It is followed by a chapter on Blackjack which is HORRIBLY incomplete. In this chapter, the assumption is made (although not explicitly stated), that all Blackjack games are dealt faceup from a shoe, requiring hand signals. Near the end of the chapter, he does acknowledge that single-deck games exist, however he calls them "a rarity".

Minty's presentation of Basic Strategy is flawed (recommending that we stand on a 12 .vs. 3 and Double a 9 ONLY against a 3 - 6). He explains that you can use "ponies" (strategy crib-cards) in the casino, and that you can order one from him on the form in the back of the book. There is no form in the back of the book; only a tiny crib card in the upper right-hand side of a piece of cardboard in the back of the book.

Minty makes the usual mistake in describing the assumptions of basic strategy, although he couches it amidst a bit of weak "math" to sound more impressive:

With regard to insurance bets, Minty explains that "Insurance bets are rarely made by the skilled player". I gather that by "skilled player", he means people using his system. Card-counters and Clump-trackers rely on Insurance, which sometimes makes the difference between a winning and losing session. Following his Insurance discussion, Minty then explains Surrender (sort of), yet offers no advice one way or another on whether Surrender should be utilized.

Ending the chapter on Blackjack, Minty does make reference to Card counting and tracking. His descriptions of these methods are slanted to pave the way for the last paragraph on this subject wherein he states:

Bottom line: Card counting and card tracking are poor investments for all the effort they take to master, and the average bettor has neither the discipline nor the patience to make those investments. Given the possibilities for success my system offers, card counting is not only not advisable, its also not necessary.

Finally, the chapter on Blackjack ends with a series of poorly explained "Tips". Examples include:

Luck has a Rhythm

I have problems with gambling books which purport to be authoritative and then use "all-inclusive" language throughout. In Chapter 4 ("The Rhythm of Luck"), Minty opens by saying "Anyone who has ever gambled believes that luck has a rhythm". ANYONE? Wow! I didn't realize that he has met all the gamblers who have ever existed since the dawn of time. He sure hasn't met ME! I have NEVER believed that luck has a rhythm.

Now you may feel that I am nit-picking here, and I am. Bill would probably say in his defense that comment was just "a figure of speech". Figures of speech have no place in books purportedly teaching us gambling methods that if erroneous can cost us HUGE amounts of money. I expect books like this to be PRECISEly written. Erroneous information can be DEADLY. A minor case in point is his definition of "Snapper" (i.e. a dealer Blackjack) in the glossary - he calls it "a Winning Streak" - HUH? Throughout the book, Minty interchangeably uses the terms "game" and "round". A round is NOT a game. A game consists of MANY rounds.

However, the classic error in this chapter comes in the form of:

A heavy cloud? One of the most SERIOUS mistakes gamblers make is to personalize their wins and losses.

In the section entitled "Changing the Rhythm", Minty introduces the concept of adding or dropping hands to change the game. Unfortunately, he refers to it as changing the rhythm of luck, not recognizing WHY changing the player number can make a difference. Clump-trackers are well aware that changing the player number can influence the game; however, Luck has NOTHING to do with it. It is all about card-flows and mathematics.

Final thoughts about this book

Thus far, I have had harsh things to say about "Win and Walk", and for good reason. Outside of making the author (and his sons) a lot of money (in sales of the book), I don't see any purpose in it. This book relies highly on glitz and metaphor to overshadow its short-comings. The chapter on comps is well written, but does not justify the book's $19.95 price tag. One look at the cover, tells readers that we spent $20 to read about Bill Minty's exploits in the ego-gratification arena.

This is best detailed in Chapter 10 (Casino Life - Gambling Abroad), wherein we learn a lot of worthless trivia:

In other words, Chapter 10 is a complete waste of the paper it is written on. If he wants to regale people with stories of his alleged exploits, he should save them for cocktail hour at his local lounge.

At $19.95, I cannot recommend this book; not even at $4.95. It is for this reason that I have given it a letter grade of "D". While parts of it are fun to read, I can think of better ways to "get a buzz", and they cost far less than $20.

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