Blackjack is perhaps one of the most popular card games in existence today. While not as competitive as Poker, it still requires a lot of skill and practice to be good at. In fact, players who want to be good at all the variations of the game would likely need a lifetime to do so. Thankfully, there are a lot of blackjack books now that can help players win against the dealer/casino using card counting strategies. Today, we’ll look at two of these books and why players should be reading them.
Blackjack: Play Like The Pros: A Complete Guide to BLACKJACK, Including Card Counting
This is another blackjack book that is recommended to serious blackjack players. Professional Blackjack by Stanford Wong is the ideal piece of work for those interested in the well-known and frequently used Hi-Lo card counting system. You can find strategy tables and explanations for basic strategy and explanations for different rules. This is a book that contains detailed info. Beginners should probably stay away from this book because it can only cause confusion if you are not an experienced player.
Written by John Bukofsky, Blackjack: Play Like the Pros is a no-nonsense tome on the game of Blackjack and card counting. While beginners still stand to learn a lot from this book, it should be noted that it is targeted more at players already know the basics of the game and want to take their skills to the next level.
Despite this, Bukofsky still does a great job of introducing players to beginner and advanced Blackjack concepts using easy to understand language and terminology. Topics covered in the book include (but aren’t limited to) Basic Strategy, card counting, managing expectations, camouflage, team play, and strategies for betting according to bankroll.
Not for everyone
Despite being relatively easy to understand, Blackjack: Play Like the Pros is definitely not for everyone. As the book’s title implies, it is for players who want to take their card counting skills to the next level. Case in point would be its coverage on Basic Strategy. Unlike most books, its coverage on the topic isn’t as detailed and is mainly there to provide a background for the card counting systems that it does feature.
Additionally, players might find the betting strategies presented in the book to be very conservative. While it does recommend players to go into a table with a higher bankroll, it also advises them to bet relatively small amounts (e.g. bets of $83 or $182 for a $20000 bankroll). To be fair though, Bukofsky does mention to not just rely on one reference but also check to out other books on card counting.
Modern Card Counting: Blackjack
This is another blackjack book that is recommended to serious blackjack players. Professional Blackjack by Stanford Wong is the ideal piece of work for those interested in the well-known and frequently used Hi-Lo card counting system.
}You can find strategy tables and explanations for basic strategies and explanations for different rules. This is a book that contains detailed info. Beginners should probably stay away from this book because it can only cause confusion if you are not an experienced player.
Understanding and Practicing the Red Zen Count
In Modern Card Counting: Blackjack, Patrick Lisenmeyer has crafted a thorough and engaging book that details his unique take on a system based on Zen and Red Seven: the Red Zen Count. Much like Blackjack: Play Like the Pros, this book is also relatively easy to understand thanks to the language Lisenmeyer uses to explain his system’s core concepts. Another boon for players is the author’s inclusion of e-flash cards. With this feature, players would have an easier time practicing the system’s core concepts regardless if they’re at home or they’re on the go.
Red Zen can be complicated
Unlike Zen and Hi-Lo, Red Zen as a card counting system is relatively complex. While Lisenmeyer does a great job of explaining his system’s core concepts, these might still go over most beginners’ heads the first time they read about them. With that said, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the system is bad or inefficient. When players finally understand the nuances of the system though, they’ll have a much easier time implementing these when they’re on a table. Like with any skill, players need to be prepared to sink in time and effort if they want to improve at Red Zen. Thankfully, the book can readily help them with this thanks to the e-flash cards mentioned earlier.
Considerations when choosing a blackjack book
Make no mistake about it, these aren’t the only books that players can refer to if they want to know more about Blackjack and card counting. With that said, players need to be careful of the books or resources that they do come across on their journey to getting good at the game.
Blackjack (and by extension, card counting) has been around for decades and naturally, books have been written about it. While they might have worked during the time of publication, not all of the information from these books can be considered relevant today. In the years after these books’ publication, Blackjack has also seen significant changes. There have been newer variations as well as rule changes that result in the older books losing their relevance.
So if they’re serious in wanting to get good, players would do well to limit their search for learning resources to books (or articles) published recently. While they’re not necessarily the most popular books on the topic, both Blackjack: Play Like the Pros and Modern Card Counting are relatively new (published in 2006 and 2015 respectively) and readily available. More importantly, both of these books offer sound and relevant information that players can immediately use.
Classic blackjack & card counting books
Some older but popular books were written on the subject of blackjack and some of the earlier books written on the subject.
- Blackjack for Blood by Bryce Carlson
- Professional Blackjack by Stanford Wong
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