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 In fact, the prior unpublished manuscript was a lot less radical.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
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
Einbinder and Dalben
Steve Forte’s Last Big Play
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 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
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