Books are a good method for learning various gambling strategies. In regards to blackjack books, many authors were or still are players themselves. They share their strategies, but the also share experiences from their past. Things like playing blackjack for a living, learning strategies quickly and how to deal with suspicious casinos.
Being as we’re a blackjack site, we thought it’d be helpful to recommend some books to you. However, on Amazon alone there are over 1,300 listings of blackjack books. So what we’ve done is research the best blackjack books for 3 categories, card counting, beginners and biographies, and listed a few books for each one. This is by far a complete list, but it should give you a good place to start.
Top 3 Card Counting Books
Blackjack for Blood by Bryce Carlson – An all-in-one reference. This book focuses primarily on the Omega II card counting system. It also covers blackjack basics, true counts, preventing being barred from casinos, how long to play, bankroll management and more. Blackjack for Blood has received positive reviews from recreational and serious players alike.
Knock-Out Blackjack by Olaf Vancura and Ken Fuchs – This books covers basic strategy and an intro to card counting, and the rest of the book focuses on the knock-out card counting system. There isn’t a whole lot for experienced players, but maybe a few interesting stories. This book is best for blackjack players new to card counting, and that want to learn an easy system that is free of basic math like fractions and division.
The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book by Lance Humble – Claimed to be a book for all blackjack players by Nick Christenson, The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book covers blackjack basics, the casino environment, basic strategy and the Hi-Opt I counting system. A good value for $12.
Top 2 Blackjack Books for Beginners
Blackjack: Take the Money and Run by Henry J Tamburin – This covers blackjack basics, including how to play, why blackjack can be beaten, basic strategies and risks. Also covered are some intermediate to advanced card counting tips.
Basic Blackjack by Stanford Wong – Another book for beginners (for anyone who likes to play blackjack really). It has received low reviews on Amazon from (assuming) amateur players, but it has received high praise from more serious blackjack players in the community. This books covers basic strategy and rule variations, as well as how your strategy should change for these variations.
Top 3 Blackjack Books About Popular Players
Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich – A books that exaggerates the tales of the famous MIT blackjack team, a team that won millions from casinos all around the world using card counting, systems and team strategies. Characters in the book portray Jaff Ma, Mike Aponte and Bill Kaplan. The book was later used for the movie 21.
Hollywood Blackjack by Dave Stann – A mixture of personal stories and blackjack strategies. "Hollywood" Dave Stann shares stories on his appearance on Friend or Foe, Celebrity Blackjack and gives his advice on card counting.
Cheating at Blackjack & Other Casino Games by Dustin Marks – The author, Dustin Marks, managed to cheat the casino for millions without getting caught. And now he’s here to tell the tale. Learn how Dustin and other casino cheaters took the casinos for millions.
Benefits to Reading Blackjack Books
There are a number of benefits to reading blackjack books:
Learn theory from the pros. Most, if not all the books we’ve recommended are by serious blackjack players. They live, breath and play blackjack. They’ve spent hours studying various blackjack strategies and then have relayed that information to you. This cuts your learning curve dramatically. You also can read about first hand experiences with strategies, casinos, being a pro and dealing with being banned. This type of information is priceless, especially if you aspire to become a pro blackjack player.
Books are cheaper than training. You’ll spend $100-$500 on other kinds of blackjack training. While these videos, ebooks and 1-on-1 training are undoubtedly more valuable and easier for learning blackjack, you can still go a long ways on a $15-$30 book.
Books are available on multiple platforms. You don’t have to (only) order a physical book anymore. It’s now possible to read blackjack books on your computer, tablet, phone or ereader. Many of these options are cheaper than buying a (physical) book, too.
The Downside to Blackjack Books
There are downsides to blackjack books, too, such as:
Not all books are up to date. A book that was written in 1990 or 2000 isn’t going to be as relevant as a book written today. That could mean that a particular strategy doesn’t work anymore, or at least not in today’s casinos.
Reading is only half the battle. You can’t just read a blackjack book and expect to become a blackjack master overnight. You’ll still need to put in the hours of work necessary to learn basic blackjack strategy, let alone an advanced card counting system.
Not all information is accurate. The Wizard of Odds has reviewed several books, and cannot recommend some of them because he claims the basic strategy information is not right. If you’re a beginner you might not know right from wrong, and as a result, could consume incorrect information. That means potentially making mistakes at the blackjack tables.
Not everyone learns by reading books. Blackjack is a math-oriented, technical game. Personally, I don’t learn this type of information well from books, but instead from videos and pictures. Not everyone learns the same way. So a book may or may not be useful to you, depending on how you learn best.
Books are biased. A couple of the books in our list above have exaggerations in them. The author isn’t necessarily lying, but not everything they say may be the truth either, or a common experience that everyone reading the book will have.