Radical Blackjack — The Blackjack Book I Always Wanted to Write

by Arnold Snyder

With Vegas locked down for the past year, I needed something to do. My career as an adult entertainment critic on my ToplessVegas blog had come to an abrupt halt. So, I decided to write another blackjack book.

I had made my living for more than 25 years from blackjack, primarily by writing about it, but also by playing the game to formulate and test theories, while making money in the process.  But I haven’t written a book about blackjack since The Big Book of Blackjack, which was published in 2006.

Technically, a good portion of Radical Blackjack was written almost ten years ago and it was even offered for sale on Amazon in 2013. But I decided to hold off on publishing it, partly because I felt some of the material was too sensitive, and partly because I needed to do a lot of analyses on the rebate material and I didn’t have access to the software I needed to do it.

Radical Blackjack contains a lot of my personal gambling secrets, plus secrets I learned from other pro gamblers. The version of this book that was almost published in 2013 was a much different book from this 2021 version. In fact, the prior unpublished manuscript was a lot less radical. In that version, I used pseudonyms for most of the characters—many of whom are well-known pro players, authors, and experts in the Blackjack Hall of Fame. I was also very careful in that 2013 version of this book not to reveal too much about the actual plays and strategies, many of which had never been published, or at least, not in any great detail. I did write in detail about my own discoveries and experiences, especially with regards to shuffle tracking, loss rebate plays, and online gambling, But I left a lot of details out on plays I was involved in, but had mostly learned from other pros.

But my Huntington Press publisher and longtime friend, Anthony Curtis, encouraged me to go ahead and use the real names of the characters in the stories I told because it would make the book better. He said we could just run everything by those whose names were revealed to make sure we weren’t stepping on anybody’s toes. So, I started changing pseudonyms to real names, and once I started doing that, I figured what the hell, since we’re going to run the whole thing by these guys anyway, I might as well tell a whole lot more of the story, since they would be offered the right to veto anything about them or their strategies they didn’t want in print.

It didn’t surprise me that some players wanted to remain anonymous, requesting pseudonyms. So, you will find some unrecognizable names in this book. But what really surprised me was that the players who were vetting this book requested very few cuts regarding the details of the tactics and strategies that we used, many of which have never been exposed in print. So, Radical Blackjack should prove to be one hell of a revelation for many serious students of the game.

Rather than attempt to describe the contents of Radical Blackjack, I’ll just post a version of the Table of Contents here. I put this together by listing the chapter titles, headings and subheadings. Information on purchasing the book follows this list.

1 Shuffle Tracking

Does Shuffle Tracking Work in Today’s Casinos?
What Is Shuffle Tracking?
Shuffle-Hopping at the Calgary Stampede
One Good Slug
Hammering the Lakeside Inn
Playing for the Camera at the Atlantis in Reno
Outrageous Favors at John Ascuaga’s Nugget
Winning Big and Getting the Boot at Palace Station
Tracking with the Dealer’s Help at the Tropicana in Atlantic City
Dodging the Cutoff Plugs at Paris
Going South
Short-Shoed at a Sawdust Joint

2 Radical Camouflage

Beating High-Tech Surveillance
The Griffin Snitches
Hot Game Reports
Ambush Warning for the Greeks
Cellini: The Ultimate Double Agent
Back to Beating Blackjack Survey Voice
The Insurance Flaw in the Survey Voice Software
The Double-Down Flaw in the Survey Voice Software
Keep Track of Your Camo Costs
Will These Techniques Work Today?

3 Playing with a Partner

Pillaging Aladdin’s London Club
Enter the Rainbow People
Playing Multiple Simultaneous Hands
Using a Partner to Explain Your Nutty Logic
Radical Misplay Camouflage
Let’s Change the Order of the Cards

4 Milking Loss Rebates

The Legend of Don Johnson
The $140,000 Shoe
The Insane Super Bowl Comp
The Comp to Beat All Comps
How to Win by Losing
Rebate Theory (Oversimplified)
Overall Value of Loss Rebates to a Winning Player
The Camouflage Value of Loss Rebates
The Best Rebate Strategy to Maximize Dollar Wins
The Time Factor
The Terrible’s Loss Rebate for Low-Rollers
The Aladdin Rebate Deal
The MGM Grand’s Loss Rebate
The Real World Chart
The Paris Casino’s Two-Tier Loss Rebate
Like Tarzan Swinging from Vine to Vine
Bet-Sizing and Bankroll Requirements for Loss-Rebate Games
Getting a Rebate on a Win at Stratosphere
Loss Rebates at Other Games for Low(er) Rollers

5 Playing on Other People’s Money

Max Sends Me to Play the Tribal Casinos in California
“Mr. F” Backs Me to Attack the Big Rebate Games
The Blackjack Forum Dream Team
Avery Cardoza Backs Me in WSOP Tournaments

6 Hole-Card Play

Illegal Hole Card Strategies
Obsolete Hole-Card Strategies Worth Knowing About
Spooking
Tell Play
Einbinder and Dalben
Steve Forte’s Last Big Play
Playing Warps
Steering Strategies
Legal and Still Viable Hole-card Strategies
Can Hole Carding Be Learned?
“The Turn”—a Legal Hole-Card and Steering Strategy
A Bit of History
Tips on the Turn
Is the Turn Legal at Blackjack?
The Easiest Hole-Card Play of All

7 Beating the Online Casinos

A Better Kind of Loss Rebate Play

8 Off-the-Wall Outtakes, Tangents, and Gossip

How Jesse Morgan Became James Grosjean
Everyone Knows Munchkin
How Henry Tamburin Saved Tommy Hyland’s Teammates from Prison Whatever Happened to Keith Taft’s Computer Shoes?
Jack Newton’s Story About a Big-Money Roulette Play
Why Lawrence Revere Tricked His Students into Returning for More Lessons Wheelin’ and Dealin’ with Ken Uston
The Night Al Francesco Showed Up at My Apartment
Stanford Wong’s Secret Advantage Play on Lodging in Vegas
An Unauthorized Review by Peter Griffin
Bill Benter’s Book Gets Trashed on Amazon
My Dinner with Julian Braun
The Mysterious Ian Andersen
Bob Loeb and the FBI
and more.

List price: $39.95, now available on a prepublication sale for $29.96 if purchased direct through the publisher here.

My shuffle-tracking partner and wife, Radar O’Reilly, and I did an interview with John Reeder about the experiences I cover in the book.  You can find it here on his website or here on Apple: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/what-are-the-odds/id1527018692?i=1000538389104

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Snyder’s Back with Radical Blackjack!

A Professional Blackjack Memoir

My Favorite of All My Gambling Books

Radical Blackjack is a professional gambling memoir unlike any other book on how to make money gambling. These are the methods I used personally to win money in the casinos while keeping casino managers friendly.

Most books on professional blackjack focus on how to count cards, how much to bet, and when to alter playing decisions based on the count.  I’ve already written about that stuff.  That’s not this book.

Instead, Radical Blackjack focuses on professional techniques and tactics and how they actually work in real life, at real blackjack tables, even when you’re playing for high stakes and you know you’re being watched closely.

I talk about shuffle-tracking and hole-carding tricks and plays like edge-sorting you may never have heard of.  I tell real-life stories of playing with partners and teams of the best professional gamblers in the world.

I also provide a comprehensive treatment of the value of loss rebates for high-stakes and moderate-stakes players, including in online casinos, the secrets behind some of the most famous gambling stories in history, and lots more.  This is the stuff I never wrote about before because I was using these methods personally.

In this book, you will see how the most valuable techniques in professional gambling work in real life – when they’re going right and when they’re going so badly the casino is ready to have you arrested.

Learning to count cards is just the start. If you’re serious about making money in the casinos, let this book teach you to think like a professional gambler.  Of all the gambling books I’ve written, this is my personal favorite.

List price: $39.95, now available on a prepublication sale for $29.96 if purchased direct through the publisher here. (Scheduled to be in print by February 1, 2021)

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RISK OF RUIN Now Available at Amazon

Risk of Ruin by Arnold SnyderMy novel, Risk of Ruin, is now available at Amazon. It’s the story of a blackjack player/biker/tattoo artist who becomes obsessed with a stripper who thinks she’s God.

If you live in Las Vegas, you can also pick up a copy at the Gambler’s Book Club at 5473 S. Eastern or at the offices of Huntington Press/Las Vegas Advisor at 3665 Procyon Street.

I’ll be talking about the book with Bob Dancer and Mike Shackleford today (Thursday, Nov. 8) at 7 p.m. in Las Vegas on their “Gambling With An Edge” radio show. Last time I was on they had to bleep me. Details:

Live Air-Time is: 7 PM Thursday nights on KLAV Talk-Radio 1230am in Las Vegas. You can listen live at http://www.klav1230am.com/. They take callers and give away weekly prizes, but if you can’t listen to the live show they archive all shows.

To CALL in LIVE during the show the Numbers are: (702) 731-1230 & 1-(866) 820-5528

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Don’t Vote! Make Me Prez!

Only Apathy Can Solve Our Nation’s Problems

Once again, I find myself running for president of this country on the Apathy ticket. And, according to Apathy Party bylaws, any eligible voter who does not vote will count as a vote for me.

Needless to say, the polls show me winning by a landslide. But first, let’s look at the issues. Continue reading Don’t Vote! Make Me Prez!

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DESPERATELY SEEKING PALADIN . . .

Paladin, the Berkeley Biker-Poet:
Every Damn Body Was Born to Die

What the hell was this guy doing on stage at a poetry reading? He appeared to be an outlaw biker. He’d been introduced simply as “Paladin,” grabbed the microphone as soon as he hit the stage, and started strutting back and forth, loudly clomping his boot heels on the wooden platform, shooting confrontational glances at anyone who was talking, until he’d shut the whole place up—which was not an easy task.

The Starry Plough was a rowdy Irish pub on the south side of Berkeley and the poets who read on open mic night generally had to put up with the less-than-polite din of the drinking crowd. Decked out in traditional biker garb—very grungy leathers, a dirty bandana tying back his greasy-looking black hair—and displaying a shut-the-fuck-up attitude that was highly abnormal on poetry night—Paladin finally stopped strutting when the crowd quieted down. Then he launched into a loud, abrasive, rhyming poem that went something like this: Continue reading DESPERATELY SEEKING PALADIN . . .

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Announcing Vegas Lit: Seeking Fiction Manuscripts

After almost twenty years of doing absolutely nothing and getting paid handsomely for it since quitting my post office job in 1993, I have taken a position with Huntington Press, or more specifically, with Vegas Lit, the new Huntington Press fiction line that will be launched on September 30. I am the Executive Editor, Managing Editor, Senior Editor, Editor-in-Chief, Editorial Assistant, and Assistant to the Editorial Assistant for the Vegas Lit imprint. Which is to say, I’m the only one working there. I would have included Office Manager among my many titles, except I don’t have an office. I’m working out of my garage. Continue reading Announcing Vegas Lit: Seeking Fiction Manuscripts

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