Popular Blackjack Books – Well Worth the Read

Over the years, 100’s of books have been written on blackjack – ranging from beginners guides through to complex strategy for experienced card counters. There are two reasons you might want to enjoy these books. Firstly, for entertainment – many of the characters involved in the gambling scenes were larger than life, and their books filled with colorful stories involving their escapades. Second, selecting from this list of popular blackjack books will be an education in itself. These books can turn you from novice into card counting expert who is ready to beat the house edge in any blackjack game.

This list of the most popular blackjack books are ordered by level of experience of the reader. If you are new to blackjack strategy, I recommend you start with the books at the top of the list. These will give you a solid grounding to appreciate the more detailed information in the more advanced books.


#1 – Basic Blackjack by Stanford Wong.

This book is a solid foundation in blackjack strategy aimed squarely at the non-counter. It includes information on rule variations and how they affect your strategy. Stanford Wong wrote several more books which built of Basic Blackjack, adding information on card counting and deep layers of analysis and math. For newer players looking for a grounding on which their blackjack careers can be built – this book fits the bill perfectly.


#2 – Beat the Dealer by Edward Thorpe

This book introduced the concept of card counting way back in 1966. The system used is known as the 10-count and is really only suitable for the single-deck games which were common at that time. This blackjack book remains popular both for historical interest (Thorpe really did change the gambling landscape!) and a solid introduction to the theory behind card counting. You will also find some information on hiding the fact that you are card counting from the casino security teams.


#3 – Playing Blackjack as a Business – Lawrence Revere

Another historically interesting book, by the late and great Lawrence Revere. There are two reasons this book has maintained its popularity over the years. The first is the solid explanations of basic blackjack strategy and how to adapt your decisions when the rules change. Second it introduces two card-counting systems which were ground breaking at the time (1970’s). The Revere Plus-Minus System and Revere Point Count System both influenced many of the more complex strategies used by today’s blackjack professionals.


#4 – The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book – By Lance Humble

This book includes rules commonly used in Atlantic City and in International casinos as well as those commonly found in Vegas. This modestly titled publication also includes information on the Hi Opt 1 card counting system. By the time you get to this far down the list of popular blackjack books you will have already learned about some of the key variations in card counting strategies used by the people who beat the game for millions.


#5 – Million Dollar Blackjack – By Ken Uston

Ken Uston was one of blackjack’s legends. He left a high flying career in finance to play professionally and was soon taking casinos around the world for millions. Uston also invented some very advanced card counting variations, some of which like the Uston Advanced Point Count, still share his name. There were several books written by this author. While this is the most technical and educational one, some of the others are full of colorful and entertaining stories from this great player’s past.


#6 – Turning the Tables on Vegas – By Ian Andersen

One of the big issues faced by blackjack experts is that the casinos are actively trying to spot card counting and ban the counters from their games. After you have read the books above and gained the knowledge of how to beat the math of the game, you should check out ‘Turning the Tables on Vegas’ next. This is a very detailed account of some strategies for avoiding your card counting getting noticed.


#7 – Theory of Blackjack – By Peter Griffin

By now you should be ready for some advanced reading and a real deep-dive into the math behind the games. This book is aimed at advanced players and assumes that you already have experience in card counting (you’ll find it dry and confusing if you do not yet have this). Out of all the popular books on blackjack, none do deeper into the mathematical roots of the game.


#8 – Bringing Down The House – By Ben Mezrich

After reading all those math based books you will already be ready to hit the casinos. Why not relax with a hugely popular blackjack book which is more for entertainment than for business first. Bringing Down The House is the story of the infamous MIT Blackjack Team who took casinos for millions from the 1970’s through to the 1990’s. You’ll sometimes wonder if there are embellishments to make the stories better, but wow – what a great tale.