The Big Book of Blackjack
Detailed review of Arnold Snyder's The Big Book of Blackjack.
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Arnold Snyder - The Big Book of Blackjack
The tag line of Arnold Snyder's The Big Book of Blackjack reads: "Everything you've ever wanted to know about blackjack". This book is a huge volume, and yes, it probably does contain just about anything anyone would want to know about the game of blackjack, including card counting. Arnold Snyder has written 10 books about casino gambling, many of them focused on blackjack. His blackjack forum is one of the better resources on the Internet for blackjack players, and it's well worth taking a look at.
Introduction: Blackjack: The War for the Money
Snyder's introduction to The Big Book of Blackjack compares blackjack to a war fought over money. He points out that both sides (the casinos and the players) have generals, soldiers, scouts, and spies, but most blackjack players are completely oblivious to this "war". He also explains that he's going to assume that the reader of this book is a complete novice to blackjack, and that the only familiarity they have with the game is that it's a casino game where a skilled player can get an edge over the house.
One statement in the introduction that struck me wrong was Snyder's contention that blackjack isn't a game. This reminds me of those people who try to claim that because poker includes elements of skill, it isn't really gambling. Redefining the language is a weak way to make one's point. But Snyder's book and writing are so excellent that this is a minor quibble on the reviewer's part.
Section One: The Mystery History
The meat of The Big Book of Blackjack begins with Snyder's discussion of the history of the game. After pointing out that most other blackjack books make little mention of the history of the game, he provides a detailed history of the game as well as a history of basic strategy and card counting, and how card counting has affected the way the game of blackjack is offered in casinos all over the world.
I have more thoughts on The Big Book of Blackjack that I'll be adding soon.
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