Blackjack is not only one of the more fun and interesting card games at a casino but also one with an extremely high payout rate. If you want to learn and improve your ways at the table or with online games, the best blackjack books can significantly improve your tactics and knowledge of the game. There are also hundreds to choose from and many dive into the psychology of blackjack, while others focus on card counting or specific strategies. But which blackjack books should you know about?
In this article, we take a look at some of the most essential reads over the years and what books you should know about. However, before choosing a blackjack book, it’s important to know that every player has a different style and skills that may or may not suit a particular method. For example, not everyone is a mathematical genius and not everyone will want to focus entirely on card counting and this is why there are different blackjack books from which to choose. Now, let’s take a look at some of the best blackjack books in 2021 to consider for taking your game to the next level.
The Best Blackjack Books in 2021 You Should Know About
1. The Worlds Greatest Blackjack Book
The Worlds Greatest Blackjack Book is arguably one of the best-known and highest-rated blackjack books of all time. It features betting strategies and formation on the odds, while recent updates include the most recent rules for international playing. If you wish to learn card counting, that’s in here too and there’s a plethora of statistics, tables, and mathematics to back everything up. In fact, many blackjack books seem to use this gem as a benchmark and merely elaborate on the system. There are helpful tips at every turn and useful information on various casinos and some readers cite this book as being the reason why they at least break even on a bad day. This is also quite a funny read at times because the author uses wit and charm to explain many aspects of blackjack to the point where you might even find yourself laughing. That said, it’s a serious book for serious players and quite rightly one of the best-known books on blackjack!
2. Beat the Dealer
Beat the Dealer was written by Edward O. Thorp who we all know as being the “Father of card counting”. This was a revolutionary system that both professional and amateur players have been using to get ahead and it was first published way back in 1966. The fact this book is still being recommended today says everything and it really is the “Blackjack Bible” when it comes to card counting in particular. More specifically, Beat the Dealer starts out with the rule of blackjack and useful strategies that work better than others. It then dives into an overview of the point system that you can use for card counting and tables and charts that help illustrate many of the key ideas. There’s also guidance on how to spot cheating or deal with countermeasures at the casino so you can imagine this blackjack book was a revelation back in the 1960s. The author was a scientist which means you can expect to find math and theory behind every strategy and one of the best things about this book is that Thorp demonstrated the effectiveness of his methods by going out and winning at the actual casinos! Beat the Dealer started a blackjack craze back then but even now, you can find strategies that work and tips that will take your blackjack game up a notch. At the very least, knowing the foundation of this system will make sitting at a blackjack table more interesting and give you new/better insights into some of the “oldest tricks in the book”!
3. Blackjack Bluebook II
You might think of this book as a down-to-earth pocket guide on how to make gains in blackjack. The extent of strategies in this books is staggering and there’s tens of charts and illustrations that help explain different levels of blackjack. That is to say, whether you are an advanced player or a beginner, this book is still useful. There have also been developments with blackjack in recent times such as side-bets and insuring against an ace for less and the Blackjack Bluebook II addresses these concepts. But the book starts out with a basic strategy and uses color-coding to explain the game in more detail. It’s also nicely written and can feel like you are receiving some direct advice and encouragement from your own personal blackjack coach. It doesn’t delve too deeply into card counting but this is not such a bad thing because not every player wants to go down that route. Instead, this blackjack book focuses on the fundamentals and tries to help readers reduce their number of “misplayed hands”, while gaining a much better understanding of blackjack strategy. Are you familiar with any myths in blackjack? There’s even a chapter in here that breaks down these myths and identifies what you should know about them. This is like a “true or false” section about blackjack folklore but it makes sure to explain how there’s no smoke without fire and that some myths have actual meaning behind them. It might not seem as outlandish as some of these books on artificial intelligence but myths exist for a reason and it can help to know the reason why! Anyway, Blackjack Bluebook II has received some fantastic reviews over the years and the mentoring nature of this blackjack book makes it an enjoyable read and one that is sure to up your overall strategy.
4. Blackjack for Blood: The Card Counters Bible
Blackjack for Blood is a more recent strategy-based blackjack book that provides the reader with a comprehensive strategy for gaining an edge over the casinos. At the same time, this is also an entertaining read with funny stories and drama and excitement, and lots of theory to back up the strategies used by a professional blackjack player. Because Bryce Carlson is a professional gambler and very capable when it comes to explaining a Twenty-One game plan or the fundamentals that go with blackjack in general. He talks about how to bet money without losing everything in one go and how to play your hand correctly but then also things like how to deal with casino personnel and maintain control of your emotions and thinking. It’s a side of the game that most books leave or choose to ignore but is highly insightful and useful for anyone who plays regularly. You can expect a comprehensive approach to card counting in this blackjack book as this is the very core of Blackjack for Blood and reviews are largely positive in terms of the understandable and effective nature of Carlson’s techniques. Card counting might require math and a great deal of attention but the book is easy to understand and interpret at all times. There are also more than enough tips for blackjack players of any level and priceless information that will help you master card counting and largely improve your theory and techniques at the table.
5. Blackjack: Play Like the Pros
Blackjack: Play like the Pros was written by a veteran blackjack player called John Bukofsky who is also regarded as one of the most talented card counters and believe it or not, this is why many casinos in the United States decided to ban him. It’s a “How-to” book that tries to give the reader a distinct advantage and especially those who might not be so good at mathematics. Because Bukofsky wasn’t very talented in this regard either and used simple techniques to increase his chances over time. As you may know, every little helps with probabilities and this blackjack book can further those chances in what is already a game that provides better odds than any other at the casino. There are casino countermeasures in the book and camouflage techniques as well as advice on bankroll and betting. You will even find sections dedicated to common mistakes that need to be avoided. For instance, negative swings are the single most reason why players walk away from a blackjack game and the author explains how to deal with these situations so that you can stop shooting yourself in the foot!
Blackjack: Play Like the Pros covers all the basics about the game-play but then tackles advanced techniques and strategy before dissecting the topic of card counting. It’s a comprehensive blackjack book that does not skip over details and yet makes the information easy to digest and easy to understand with some care and attention. For advanced players, it might be a quick and easy read but to everyone else, Blackjack: Play Like the Pros is a real eye-opener that can guide you through basic rules and strategies all the way to becoming a competent card counter and blackjack master.
Best of luck with your blackjack strategy and by the way, if you enjoy reading books in general, here’s a list of books everyone should read at least once.