Arnold Snyder had made many significant contributions to the blackjack community. Not only is Snyder a highly respected author of books on the art of successful blackjack and also the creator of numerous card counting methods, he has also become one of blackjack’s most important statesmen by advocating for the rights of blackjack players everywhere.
Any discussion of Arnold Snyder must begin with the blackjack books he has authored. Each one of them offers its own in-depth look at specific nuances of the game. Perhaps the book with which most blackjack players are familiar is Blackbelt In Blackjack or another such as Radical blackjack.
Blackbelt In Blackjack was published by Arnold Snyder in 1983 and revised in 1998. Using a martial arts theme, Snyder crafted the book in three parts which are designed to turn the beginning blackjack player into a powerful professional. Part I provides all of the basic information about blackjack. It covers the rules of the game, basic strategy, and examines the actual mechanics of the game in live play. In Part II the reader is introduced to two of Snyder’s most popular card counting methods. The Hi-Lo Lite Count and the Zen Count are fully explained. Part III was written for the advanced card counter and it contains information on setting up blackjack teams and tracking profit.
The subject of blackjack teams, as discussed in Part III of Blackbelt In Blackjack, has been an important one in the life of Arnold Snyder. A blackjack team is a group of card counters who work together to reap huge profits from blackjack. These individuals combine their skills and share the winnings they accumulate. Perhaps the most famous blackjack team to ever work the casinos was the one assembled at MIT. These MIT students used a variation of one of Arnold Snyder’s counting methods.
The pitfalls of team card counting became evident when Tommy Hyland, a blackjack professional and friend of Arnold Snyder, found himself arrested by Canadian authorities in Windsor for cheating. Hyland was the manager of a powerful blackjack team. At Hyland’s trial, Arnold Snyder testified on behalf of his friend. Snyder has remained active in advocating the legal rights of blackjack teams ever since.
Arnold Snyder is also credited with being one of the first blackjack players to stress the importance of deck penetration. His very first book, The Blackjack Formula, deals almost exclusively with this subject. Deck penetration refers to how deep the deck is dealt before it is reshuffled. Snyder was the first one to show that a card counter’s win rate was significantly impacted by deck penetration. Deck penetration was expressed by Snyder in a fractional percentage which estimated how much of the deck remained in play. This study of deck penetration ultimately led to the use of the true count in card counting and increased the overall efficiency of card counting systems.
An amazing thing to note in regards to Snyder’s deck penetration theories is that almost all of them have been confirmed by independent computer simulations. This gave the credibility of Arnold Snyder’s methods a gigantic boost.
Shuffle tracking was another concept which was pioneered by Arnold Snyder. He wrote an entire book about this subject as well in 2003.This book was less popular than some of the other ones written by Snyder, most likely because shuffle tracking is a very advanced technique and it is very difficult to master. There is, however, the possibility of huge profits to be made from shuffle tracking and many serious blackjack professionals use the concepts developed by Arnold Snyder.
All of Arnold Snyder’s blackjack knowledge and expertise was summed up in the 2006 with the publication of Snyder’s The Big Book Of Blackjack. This book could rightly be called the blackjack bible. It is a comprehensive tome which includes material on all aspects of the game. In this book, Snyder distills a lifetime of blackjack knowledge by covering each topic in detail. There is even a detailed history of the game of blackjack, something rarely found in other books. Blackjack strategy and card counting methods are fully explained. This book will undoubtedly go down in blackjack history as Arnold Snyder’s greatest legacy. It is the culmination of a life’s work in blackjack and card counting.
One of the greatest honors a card counter or blackjack player can receive is to be honored by his fellow players for the contributions he has made to the game. The seven inaugural inductees of the Blackjack Hall of Fame included Arnold Snyder. This was a validation of Snyder’s contribution to the understanding of blackjack. Snyder is still very active in the blackjack community through his Blackjack Forum which he created in 1981 and still publishes on a quarterly basis. This trade journal is now found exclusively online and contains articles from blackjack players, mathematicians, and attorneys on various aspects of blackjack and card counting. Visit his site here