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Blackjack for Blood: The Card-Counters' Bible, and Complete Winning Guide Paperback – May 1, 2010

4.4 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Gamestar Pr Inc; 5th edition (May 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0935926232
  • ISBN-13: 978-0935926231
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
BLACKJACK FOR BLOOD was the first book on BJ I ever read, and only because it was personally recommended to me several years ago by a professional player in Las Vegas. In retrospect, it is the only book I'd ever have needed to master the game, and I refer to it often while training, and while planning gaming trips.
While there are other BJ books that are perhaps more comprehensive about the theory and history behind the game (Julian Braun, Edward Thorpe), or more detailed about the actual life one can lead as a card counter in a casino (God, I wish I had had the chance to meet and talk with Kenny Uston before he died!) or even more fun to read (Scoblete's books are great, as well) Carlson's book is as complete as you'll need; comprehensive in its detail of the game, and all the intricacies of playing in a casino from camoflage (critical if you're going to play as a counter) to betting stategies.
When I first started playing, I just used the Basic Strategy section. When I had mastered that, I moved on to learning his Level Two count (and contrary to other reviewers, I found it easy enough to learn and master). As my game improved in actual casino play, I moved on to varying my playing (and betting) strategies based on the count of the cards. As I said, I've referred to the book often.
I now play at casinos many times a year, am almost totally comped on all my trips, and win far more than I lose. I have no desire to play professionally--why bother? But it's a terrific and lucrative hobby. And the writers, players, and counters are right: It's not the money that's the thrill for me...it's knowing you can beat the game.
Like anything else, you get out of this book what you put into it. Learning to count cards is not difficult, but it's a skill that takes work. If you really want to guarantee you'll be a winner in virtually any casino in the world, you want BLACKJACK FOR BLOOD.
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Format: Paperback
This book has it all. It's mathematically accurate, highly informative, up-to-date, and beautifully written. In addition, Carlson's anecdotes of high-roller life in the casino fast lane make for a really fun, entertaining read. Carlson is both a mathematician and a successful high-stakes Blackjack player, and he presents the concepts behind card counting in an easy-to-understand way that is informative, practical and very entertaining. This book is just chock full of priceless information. It presents the theory of card counting, basic strategy, game selection, camouflage, casino comportment, special "commando" tactics, money management, risk of ruin, etc., etc., as well as Carlson's own Advanced Omega II System, which all the experts agree is the strongest BJ system going. AOII is a level-2 card-counting system that I've found easy to learn and easy to use. And it works! It really gets the money. K-O and Hi-Lo don't come close. This book is da bomb! If you could only have one book on BJ, this should definitely be it. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback
Blackjack for blood is a great beginner as well as advanced guide to playing blackjack. For the beginner, the description and charts on playing basic strategy are great. For the intermediate player, the book offers a basic hi/lo card counting strategy. And for the advanced player, the book introduces an advanced level two count system that is more accurate to use than the simple hi/lo system. The level two system, however, is slightly more complicated and requires the player to practice longer in order to master. The author also explains all of this in an easy to understand narrated format that makes the book quite enjoyable to read. For advanced players that want to learn the intricacies of the probability theory behind blackjack, I strongly recommend reading "Professional Blackjack" by Stanford Wong. I definitely give this book 2 Thumbs UP! Maybe the only blackjack book you'll need to succeed!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Blackjack for Blood is a great book that introduces you to a powerful card counting system as well as "basic strategy". My only complaint is the way the graphs and charts are organized leave little to be appreciated. Put aside that and the book is wonderful. But let me let YOU in on a little secret. You're hearing this from a Las Vegas local. The game of Blackjack is NOT the game it used to be and is not the game depicted in this book or any books written around this timeframe. Around mid to late 2000 things in the casinos have changed. The idea was to keep out card counters and weaken good basic strategy players. The result however is a game that will leave anyone angry and wishing they never approached the table in the first place. The game might as well not be called Blackjack anymore. I've read a lot of books on Blackjack and am quite good at card counting so let me tell you why you should virtually never hit a Blackjack table.

This book and many others assume you'll be playing in ideal conditions. Preferably a single deck or six deck game (you gotta be real good and have a lot of money before you hit a six deck). You need blackjack to pay at least 3 to 2. Also, you would wan't the dealer to stand on soft 17. Under these conditions you've got a lot of money ahead of you. But these rules are a thing of the past! Let me tell you first that if you want to card count Blackjack in Reno, DON'T. They reshuffle their decks, pay only 6 to 5 (sometimes even money), and they hit their soft 17s. Go to downtown Las Vegas and you're facing similar conditions. There's little deck penetration (bad for counters), you can only double down on 10s and 11s, their blackjacks usually only pay even money, and of course they hit their soft 17s.
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