Top Blackjack Books and Stories

Nathan Bennett
Nathan Bennett
8 Min Read

One of the great leisure times when we are not dealing with life is reading. Players who love Blackjack will be happy to hear that there are a lot of great books about the hobby. The neat thing is that these Blackjack books cover material both for beginners and veterans alike. They are written by enthusiasts of the game who like a good narrative when number crunching win percentages. Playing Blackjack has become an art and these books explore this science further.

The topics in these books range from how to play Blackjack to advanced and complex strategies for maximum victory potential.

Whether you aim to improve your Blackjack strategy or simply love immersing yourself in a good text, here are some great Blackjack books for you to read.

Modern Blackjack – Norman Wattenberger

We begin with one of the most popular Blackjack web-books that is amazingly completely free for you to read. This 540-page marvel consists of basic gameplay loops, as well as adept moves for any player. It is full of tried and tested strategies like shuffle tracking.

Advanced topics like hole-card play and team game plans are in here as well. Sections like Beat the Dealer and Theory of Blackjack bring an insightful analysis of the inner-workings of Blackjack. Reading this book not only provides the player with a few new moves but generally improves his perception of the game. Wattenberger provides us not only with a great book but a comprehensive research of the game.

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Additionally, Blackjack handouts are even present. Readers can find printable card counting charts which you can take to your next casino game. The book is quite searchable and well structured so you can find each piece of content you are looking for easily. The great thing is, it is almost like an episodic tv series due to its topics being wholly contained within their respective chapters. So you can theoretically just read the chapters you are interested in. However, we recommend reading the book from beginning to end as it is a complete pleasure for anyone interested in the hobby.

The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book – Ken Cooper and Lance Humble

We continue to the self-proclaimed Blackjack player’s bible, it’s right on the cover. Unlike our last entry, this is a paperback book, but similar to an e-book it is easy to access anywhere due to its portable size.

The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book is not entirely an overambitious title. Cooper and Humble worked hard to provide the reader with a thorough and comprehensive strategy guide for card counting. The method they use to explain this strategy is Hi-Op I and Hi-Op II. These are one of the most popular card counting systems which have been around for over 50 years.

Furthermore, the fact that other Blackjack authors like Edward O. Thorpe recommended this

book for both beginners and experts says something about its value. Cooper and Humble’s work features an excellent and surprisingly simple method. Learning it allows players to gain a quick advantage over the house. Besides discussing the mathematical element of Blackjack, the authors go into detail about crucial reading-the-situation strategies.

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If you have heard of card counting and are looking to learn both the basics of it and advanced versions, look no further than The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book.

Beat the Dealer – Edward Oakley Thorp

Finally, we finish off with Edward Oakley Thorp, who we mentioned earlier, and his statistical wonder of a book. For Thorp, Blackjack is a science with rules and patterns to be exploited. The author is a well-known mathematical savant and investment advisor and he channeled his extensive knowledge in statistics into this book.

Beat the Dealer tackles how a player can best gain an advantage over the casino using simple math. Thorp thoroughly explains a theory, which was previously only discussed, that creates the highest percentage plays for each situation. The author explains this method using probability theory for crafting a nigh-unbeatable Kelly strategy. Learning these methods, players will almost be able to perfectly read the outcomes of the Blackjack shoe and the dealer.

Keep in mind that the author does not simply boast, Thorp proved his theory in actual Blackjack games long before he wrote Beat the Dealer. Though sometimes this book is considered to be for experts, Thorp’s narrative style makes it more than manageable for beginners to learn this strategy. We also recommend this book to anyone looking to learn the in-depth mechanics of Blackjack.

Moreover, it is no small thing to say that this book was a New York Times Bestseller at one point.

Short Stories – Miguel de Cervantes – Honorable Mention

Though not a strategy guide, we feel like you will enjoy an interesting story about the origins of Blackjack. Miguel de Cervantes is a renowned author known for Don Quixote and many other short stories. One of those stories is called Rinconete and Cortadillo, which is historically the first known record of Blackjack that we know today. The story features two young boys who are the titular characters.

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This dastardly pair makes their living by playing a game whose name you might recognize, Veintiuna or Spanish for Twenty-One. From what we read about the game, it is very similar to contemporary Blackjack except that it has the 10’s removed from the deck. Have you already guessed which game this is referring to today? That’s right, it is almost like Spanish 21. This goes in accordance with the author’s origin. It is truly an entertaining read for any history lover or general fan of Miguel de Cervantes.

Final Remarks

For those interested in further reading, there are many more well-written Blackjack books. We simply could not name them all in one list but these are some of our favorites. You can check out more Blackjack authors to both improve your understanding of Blackjack and learn advanced Blackjack strategies. We hope you enjoyed our list and that the honorable mention was interesting to hear.


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