The Big Player: How a Team of Blackjack Players Made a Million Dollars by Ken Uston is one of the best blackjack books during the good old days when all the games where only simple single or double-deck games! The legendary Ken Uston is the first blackjack player to describe card clumping in detail without recognizing what it all entails in full : He had a very high count in newly introduced shoe while playing in Caesers caasino, making huge bets but small cards continuing to come, losing heavily & eventually tens coming out in a large clump with a resultant push with the dealer & the count coming back to zero! He described new cards being devastating to a card counter in the first hour or two after introduction. Ken Uston was a very bright fellow with an IQ of 165!
"Casino Gambling" by Jerry Patterson makes it very clear : Blackjack games have changed (casinos finally came to realize the effectiveness of counting cards, they changed the games completly in their favour) with introduction of multiple decks, changing basic rules & shuffling machines (they hired their own Mathematicians to help them do these). Learning table selection (TARGET by Jerry Patterson Blackjack Clinic is recommended) or do Blackjack Masters' Course by the same clinic for the mordern games. Alternatively you can learn card clumping techniques offered as Precision Blackjack (PBJ) and this is available in the internet. Card counting works only when cards are relatively random, this casinos have countered by introducing multiple decks, new hand shuffles & shuffling machine. The idea is to have cards grouped in patterns called clumping. There are six different clumps described by professor Ellis Cliffton Davies. Blackjack Masters' Course or Precision Blackjack covers the game in detail indicating changes in the games, why so & how to counter these changes (card clumping). The games are difficult to beat without card clumping techniques, game playing curtailed as bad games predominate & is the reason there are fewer BJ books written today as compared to 80s (including a little known book : Blackjack by Black Jack)! But casinos still need winners to attract the masses, be on the winning side (but hide that this is so).
For single & double deck games that are still available and are rapidly growing in Las Vegas, Reno & other casinos, one need to evaluate the favourability of the game using tools and techniques that are available in Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One. Card Counting combined with table selection is a very viable strategy in these games.
07/06/2010 I'll be in Las Vegas next two weeks & will report on the current status of the game during & after my excursion, experts report that the games are deteriorating! Las Vegas Blackjack Diary, is a good account on counting in modern games. Still evaluating casinos, just too many, games however much similar!
07/19/2010 I agree that the games have deteriorated on day 14 in Las Vegas playing three casinos per day, TARGET by Jerry Patterson combined with UCP & clumping theory very essential in today's games! In general Downtown Casinos (Las Vegas) offer lower table minimums & more games with single/double deck games than those in the Las Vegas strip, therefore better games are in Downtown Casinos! You may however easily be noticed as a winner in these smaller casinos than in the strip with a strong possibility of being barred! However, you will from time to time get dumping tables even in large casinos!!!