Reading well-written books on the subject of blackjack and card counting can only make you a better player and increase your profitability at the blackjack tables. If you seriously thinking about playing blackjack full-time or even looking to make yourself a better recreational player, building a good blackjack library is something you should get started on right away. If still not convinced, read Why You Should Read Blackjack Books!
Begin with the classics
The first blackjack books you should add to your library are the classic books that helped to define card counting and playing the game with a serious mindset. Among these, Beat the Dealer by Edwin O. Thorp stands tall as a book every blackjack player should read.
Beat the Dealer was the first book to mathematically prove that the house edge in blackjack could be reduced by the proper knowledge and implementation of card counting measures. Thorp is considered by many to be the father of modern card counting and his book is still valuable today even though it was originally published in 1962. The reason you should have this book in your blackjack library is because the core principles of card counting as defined by Thorp haven’t really changed. It will be helpful for you to understand why card counting works and the mathematical principles behind it.
Basic Blackjack by Stanford Wong and the Big Book of Blackjack by Arnold Snyder are also classics that most serious players have a passing familiarity with. It always helps to have at least a passing understanding of the literature on the subject when you engage in discussions with other blackjack players.
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Add some strategy
The second type of books you will want to add to your blackjack library are books on strategy. These books are where authors take the basic principles of card counting as laid out by Thorp and others and weave those principles into their own unique system. Many successful blackjack players have modified basic card counting and explain how to duplicate their winning formula in a book.
Burning the Tables in Las Vegas by Ian Andersen is not only a book of blackjack strategy but a great book on life strategy in general. After writing his popular book Turning the Tables on Las Vegas, Ian Andersen pretty much disappeared from the gambling scene. In this book he explains his absence and the life lessons he learned from the game he loves—blackjack. Andersen takes basic strategy and counting and expands them into his own personal system that he spent years perfecting.
There are almost as many blackjack strategy books on the market as there are professional blackjack players. It seems like every successful player wants to write and sell a book so choose your titles wisely. Counting Edge recommends that you check out some of the best blackjack books ever written if you really want to take your game to the next level.
Just for fun
You should also have a few blackjack books in your blackjack library that are there just to inspire you and make you enjoy reading about the game of blackjack. Of these books, Bringing Down the House is a fun and entertaining account of six M.I.T. students that took Vegas for millions at blackjack. The book was made into a popular movie titled 21 featuring Kevin Spacey and Lawrence Fishburne.
Sometimes reading about the exploits of other blackjack players can light a fire in you to go out to the tables yourself, but don’t try to replicate the success of the students in this book unless you are a skilled card counter. Even they did not evade casino security for long and were eventually discovered. Sometimes it is best to live vicariously through others than to attempt things yourself.