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The Theory of Blackjack: The Compleat Card Counter's Guide to the Casino Game of 21 (6th Edition, Indexed) Paperback – March 1, 1999
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It is not an introduction to blackjack. It's assumed you already know how to play the game.
It is not an introduction to card counting. The author assumes you already know a card counting system, or at least have a basic understanding of what one entails.
It is PROBABLY not going to make you a better player. It's not really a "how to" guide for the game as much as it's a guide to show you how to effectively ANALYZE the game.
As the title suggests this book is a fairly comprehensive review of the theory of blackjack. While a traditional counting book will tell you the HOW of card counting, this book will show you WHY it works, how card counting systems are derived, how to compare the power of different card counting systems (the so-called "efficiences") and contrast them to an (linearly) ideal system. You will also learn how to calculate exact probabilities (well, really how to write a program to do this) that could be used to determine the values (in terms of expected return) of different hands or to design a tool that will give you the optimal play in any situation that may arrise in blackjack. This tool isn't to be confused with "basic strategy", which only gives you the optimal play off the top of a freshly shuffled shoe.
This book is ideal for someone who is comfortable with playing blackjack in a casino environment, has a basic understanding of the difficulties faced by card counters, and is comfortable with mathematical formulas and their derivations (although a lot of concepts can be understood without a strong background in math, you'll get a lot more out of the book if you can follow its derivations).Read more ›
This may sound too advanced for many folks, but frankly the math is fairly easy to understand (it mostly uses basic statistics that you probably learned and forgot in high school).
If you are serious about card counting, the information in this book will help you evaluate BJ counting systems (or even systems you invent). It will also help you subtly modify your play for changes in rules at different casinos.
Do you need to be a computer programmer to use this book? No, but it wouldn't hurt. Is this book useful for writing BJ simulators? Yes, but it's also great for really understanding what it takes to be a really good card counter.
Personally, this book convinced me that I don't have the patience (or time) to become a good card counter. But at least now I know why.
Even for those who are mathematically inclined, this book is very heavy reading. I've completed university level statistics courses and much of this text is still beyond my grasp. Griffin often does not explain why particular statistical methods are appropriate presumably he assumes familiarity with the underlying mathematics.
Why does the other review insist on calling him Miller?
Also, this book mostly covers 1 deck blackjack which is not played in any casino in the world these days. Most casinos use 6-8 decks, but the theoretical aspect of the book holds true regardless on how many decks are used.
For anybody who wishes to develop, innovate or understand blackjack systems this is an essential purchase.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
must to have book for BJ player. recommend to buyers doing BJ research, and practitioner as well. very happy with this buy.Published on May 14, 2014 by Jim
This book was purchased as a gift; it was not needed/wanted after having purchased/obtained it because the person has this product information.Published on March 21, 2013 by Ms. Clazzy
griffin, himself, though, says that he would recommend starting with a different, easier book if you are weak in the math department. Read morePublished on January 6, 2013 by Mark Phillips
Book was in great condition, I haven't yet to read the full book yet. Just skimmed over parts, but would find it useful when learning the mathmatics of BJ.Published on May 7, 2012 by Amy V
This is an excellent book on the theory of blackjack as the title of the book suggests : this is a book to excite an academic, remember Peter A. Read morePublished on June 5, 2010 by M. Mariba
"The Theory of Blackjack" is a mathematical tour de force. This is Peter Griffin's Magnum Opus.
"The Theory of Blackjack" lays out the mathematical substrate underlying... Read more
Who knew a mathematician could be so funny? In this well written, enormously entertaining and enlightening book, the late Peter Griffin tackles the questions of why blackjack can... Read morePublished on March 1, 2007 by Frank Scoblete author of Confessions of a Wayward Catholic