Las Vegas Blackjack Diary
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What are the must-read blackjack books?
He is not going to go hungry next day. On the contrary, the casino will do everything to gratify the high roller's slightest whim, to keep him playing.
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- Las Vegas Blackjack Diary;
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This is the essence of the curiously ambivalent relationship casinos have with big players. It is a small group, of probably not more than a few score players throughout the world, who really play high. All are men, most of them come from the Orient, now that the petro-dollar boom is over - Chinese, Japanese, Malaysians and other plungers from the Pacific Rim.
The top casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and elsewhere go to extraordinary lengths to attract such players. They will, as a matter of course, fly them into town by private jet, accommodate them in splendid suites, gratify their slightest wish - for example, maintaining a favourite chef on duty night and day.
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They will offer expensive gifts to wives and mistresses on their birthdays hopefully not at the same time - there have been mix- ups ; and lay on every kind of sport or entertainment. Special "hosts" are appointed whose sole duty is to keep the players happy. Anything he wants, to keep him here. In their sober moments which is most of the time , Las Vegas managers insist that they would never risk their gaming licences by breaking the strict prohibition against prostitution. For those who want them, there are licensed brothels, a couple of hours' drive outside the city limits.
Besides, the casinos do not want their prize players, known as "whales", beached by some expensive ladies relieving them of their wallets. A whale is a very big player at baccarat. If the casino can land him, it has hit the jackpot. The prize whale was the celebrated player Akio Kashiwagi, who was even bigger in his day than Packer. Trump got so nervous that when the house was a few million ahead, he called the joust off.
Unfortunately, Kashiwagi, who went by the nickname of "the Warrior" and modelled himself on the Samurai tradition, came to a sticky end. He was found murdered back home in Tokyo, amid rumours of heavy debts to unsavoury elements in the Japanese underworld. Of course, the high rollers understand that all the flattery and free hospitality is, in a sense, false, based on the casino's desire to beat them out of their bankroll.
At the same time, the relationship is often based on genuine respect.
Las Vegas Blackjack Diary
Both sides are trying to win; so each appreciates the other. In London, the casinos are not allowed to offer any inducement to play. This was why, some 15 years ago, Ladbroke's - now back on the green baize - ran into trouble. It is a sore point at the elegant casinos around Park Lane that despite the foreign currency they earn and the high taxes they pay, they cannot do more than offer players dinner or a visit to the races.
Players such as the business tycoon Adnan Khashoggi, Saudi middle-man Hassan Anani, who reportedly dropped pounds 7m in the Ritz casino in Cannes, or the scions of Oriental potentates play over here because they enjoy being in London. Until now, the Gaming Board, which once suggested pens and diaries as suitable gifts for gamblers, has refused to soften its animus against casinos proffering air fares or hotel rooms.
Some restrictions on casinos are being eased - the number of permitted slot machines in a casino is about to be raised from two to six - but clubs still cannot advertise, serve drink after 11pm, or allow gamblers to drink at gaming tables. Now that the summer season is coming, the high rollers are back in town. The Derby, Ascot, Henley, Wimbledon all beckon.
London's most successful group, London Clubs International, which runs the Ritz and Les Ambassadeurs clubs, reported record profits of pounds 30m last week. And Packer, the victor in Vegas, will be back. The casinos will be ready for him, they will welcome him. But they will tremble. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. Want to discuss real-world problems, be involved in the most engaging discussions and hear from the journalists? Try Independent Premium free for 1 month.
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There are plenty of interesting stories to tell, from a car breakdown on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere to the death of the writer's father. Compared to Las Vegas Blackjack Diary the reading is lighter and more entertaining. This seems to be because the endeavor in Blackjack Autumn was mainly for the purpose of the book, while that of Las Vegas Blackjack Diary was a serious attempt at making money and the book an afterthought.
If you want an enjoyable read get this book, if you want a more realistic depiction of card counting get Las Vegas Blackjack Diary. This book looks at almost every angle you can use in blackjack including basic strategy, card counting, tournaments, shuffle tracking, team play, and cheating. The writing is non-technical and well spoken. There is something in here for everybody, but the intermediate player will probably benefit the most. There is nobody who I respect more on the subject of blackjack and gambling in general than Stanford Wong.
In Blackjack Secrets he packs plenty of information into pages. The basics are there for the beginner as well as fresh material for experienced players. This book is a collection of magazine articles by Synder. Fun and interesting reading for the reader with a solid blackjack background. No charts or math heavy analysis, just stories and talk about blackjack.
A good bedside book. Based on the story of the MIT blackteam, that successfully won millions card counting. Many of the details are embellished, but still an enjoyable read. In the 20 years since that book blackjack has changed and Andersen has a lot more advice to offer on player camouflage. At pages this book packs lots of information from topics varying from how to change your name to Chinese herbs that can sharpen your play. If you find yourself betting backed off or barred playing blackjack this book may be just what you need.
Published in , this is the first new significant blackjack book in years. This book has something for everybody. It goes from the rules of the game to the fine points of card counting. The main thing it adds to the collective literature on the game is the Dynamic Matrix Pro Count. The book features a lot of tables from my site in the chapter on basic strategy, used with permission. The analysis of the Pro Count is by Norm Wattenberger, and there is nobody I would trust more for that. At pages and a small font, this book is not light summer reading. In all fairness, much of the content is in the form of tables, for a host of different blackjack rules, that are safely glossed over.
I'd recommend this book for the serious student of the game, especially those interested in progressing to something stronger than a level-1 count. Golden Touch Blackjack introduces the Speed Count, an easy to use strategy, designed to bridge the gap between basic strategy and card counting. There are no negative-value cards, true-count conversions, or tables of index numbers. It is unlikely that you will ever encounter a negative count.
Fred Renzy says the advantage is between 0. One of these days I hope to simulate it myself. This is certainly a very unique kind of blackjack book. This book takes an irreverant look at various different facets of blackjack by arguably the cockiest known blackjack player. The advice given is mathematically sound, targeted to the beginning level counter. That, in my opinion, is an unforgivable act against his fellow man. Dave, the bad karma will come back to you some day. I can't recommend this book because the basic strategy is incorrect. Where Patrick differs with the conventional basic strategy is to avoid doubling and splitting against strong dealer cards.
Following his strategy will result is losing more over the long run, but also less short term bankroll volatility. Not much technical information but an enjoyable read. This book presents the Knock-Out count. It is a unbalanced counting system in which no running count to true count conversion is required. I respect the system and know many legitimate counters use it. This book follows the ups and downs of an eight week campaign of a card counter against the city.
Session by session the author takes you through both the financial and emotional ups and downs. This book is full of practical advice for survival as a card counter as well as being an enjoyable read.