Blackjack Book Reviews

Books are important; they are how we learn. For example, virtually everyone who has taken a SERIOUS look at the game of Blackjack has read Thorp's book Beat The Dealer. Because we rely on published information, we have a right to expect that information to be accurate. The aforementioned book is a perfect example.

In 1978 when I encountered Thorp's book shoe games were almost non-existent, except in Atlantic city. With his Ten-Count, my days of PAYING for my gambling trips ended. I began by winning every play session during my Christmas holiday stopovers in Reno and Tahoe. Living in Cincinnati, I found time to visit Atlantic City 3 times in 1979. While these four (and eventually six) deck games were indeed more difficult, I nevertheless managed a 100% session win-rate.

However by 1982, something began to change. I turned to Revere and Humble for assistance. I found Revere too complicated and Humble too simplistic. The game was changing right before my eyes, but the "experts" of the day had trained me to not notice the game changes; because in fact THEY were not aware of the changes. They were no doubt still analyzing the game on their IBM 704 and 709 computers (circa 1960-62). The rest of the strategies of those days were mostly nothing more than recycled droppings from the previously mentioned three authors.

Even worse, BOTH Thorp and Humble were leaning on the stability-factor of "The dealers are cheating - that is the REAL reason why I am can't win anymore". I didn't buy it; especially in the Atlantic City games where dealer-cheating is all but non-existent (except maybe shorting players during payoff). In summary, these "Experts" were now costing me money.

Since 1982, I have been searching for books on Blackjack that are TRULY useful. I have since amassed quite a library; most books being useful, if for nothing else than to remind me how NOT to play. To save you some time and hassle, this page offers reviews of books which I think are useful in one way or another, or, which, in a few cases, should be completely avoided.

A number of additional books are being considered for this section. If there are specific Blackjack Books you would like to have reviewed, please e-mail with your suggestions and why you think the book should be reviewed. If I do not presently own a copy of said book, arrangements can be made to get one.

Casino Gambling

A Winner's Guide to Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Baccarat, and Casino Poker

by Jerry L. Patterson
with Eric Nielsen and "Sharpshooter".

Normally after having read and re-read a book for nearly a week, "cranking" out a review about it seems relatively easy. As it turns out, with Jerry Patterson's "revised" Edition of Casino Gambling, for me, this is a rather difficult task. The difficulty is due, in part, to my past association with Jerry and Nancy, as well as input from others "who were there" during "key years". Such data offers an inside look at the OTHER SIDE of many events related in Jerry's book; after all, Boris' website is all about the OTHER SIDE of Winning Blackjack. Contrast that with my desire to continue writing accurate, objective and informative book reviews, and you can appreciate my dilemma....

Blackjack: A Winner's Handbook

New Edition for the 90's

by Jerry L. Patterson

"If you are familiar with my Blackjack background, the following review may surprise you..."

Blackjack Diary

by Stuart Perry

"You might be surprised to hear me offer praise to a card-counter's book; especially in the 90's..."

Temples of Chance:
How America Incorporated bought out Murder Incorporated...

by David Johnston

"While this book does not deal directly with the subject of Blackjack it IS casino-related and makes for fascinating reading..."

Turning the Tables on Las Vegas:

by Ian Andersen

"While most Blackjack books rehash the standard drivel of Basic Strategy and card-counting, Turning the Tables on Las Vegas was/is the first to focus on the psychological aspects of the game of Blackjack. In the process of this review, I am going to take the opportunity to communicate some aspects of the Introspection Therapy approach I use with patients and clients (I am also a therapist)."

If you have questions or comments about the above reviews, e-mail me at: