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Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  479 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The Book That Made Las Vegas Change the Rules
Over 1,000,000 Copies in Print

Edward O. Thorp is the father of card counting, and in this classic guide he shares the revolutionary point system that has been successfully used by professional and amateur card players for generations. This book provides:

o an overview of the basic rules of the game
o proven winning strategies ran
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 12th 1966 by Vintage (first published 1966)
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4.17  · 
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 ·  479 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Aug 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 52-in-2009
Beat the Dealer by Edward O Thorp (pp. 240)

Written in 1966, this is THE original gambling book. It started the blackjack craze in the 60s. Thorp was the scientist/math geek behind finding the best and most winning strategy for blackjack. He also backed up his theories by playing in the casinos and winning.

Considering the book is almost 50 years old, its information still holds. Thorp focuses mostly on single deck blackjack and card counting as a strategy to gain a positive edge against the casin
Jack W Perry
Nov 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
If you play blackjack, you must read this book. The author, E.O. Thorp invented the 'basic system' that every good blackjack player memorizes. Thorp invented and perfected card counting and the odds. Thorp actually was so effective, he changed the way casinos deal and manage blackjack.

This is the original book on blackjack. All the others are derivatives of this one.

The book settings are dated (would love to see an updated version) but the guidelines of beating blackjack are here. Thorp was the
Eric Bauman
May 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2014
When this book was published in the mid-sixties, I'm sure it created quite a storm. I don't think it's applicable now for one simple reason: the book's system assumes there is only one deck in play. Unless you're ultra-rich, I doubt you'll find a single-deck table anywhere. It was an interesting artifact, but I think I will need to read a more modern book to deal with the multi-deck shoe games that are extant now.
Scott Williams
Jan 21, 2016 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris Esposo
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good introduction to the basic analysis of blackjack, the so-called "basic strategy", which involves no need for card counting. This book is what put Edward Thorpe on the map, from obscure mathematics professor to the father of modern analysis of gambling. Much of the basic strategy is visualized as a type of automata, that explains when a player should stand, draw, or double. After going through the details of this strategy, Thorpe also goes through other strategies, which may include variati ...more
Charlie Devlin
Sep 18, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting explanation of the basics of card counting and blackjack and a well told story of the authors personal experiences in the world of gambling and how casinos make sure the players are always at a disadvantage
Tengisbold Khurelbaatar
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Still lost some money on gambling haha. Definitely helped me to understand about casino and how to play black jack.
Michael Burns
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've pretty much finished reading the book a while ago, but there's still reference type study with it. I can consider it finished and get it off the current read list now..
Mike Carpenter
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
An absolute classic, that even prompted legal battles between players and casinos.
Michael Lawrence
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: blackjack players
Recommended to Michael by: a blackjack player
Shelves: gambling
A must read for any blackjack player. This book was the center of a lot of drama over counting cards and what is to be considered cheating the game or casino. Like I said, a must read for all blackjack players.
Bethany Green
Nov 29, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: finished
I had to read it for a Math class in college -- we were analyzing Black Jack.
Apr 11, 2009 rated it liked it
Very outdated these days, but a good ref. point fo beginners
Alvin Chan
Jan 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Not an easy read. Very technical and you will need to use sets of cards to experiment with the theory.
Bambo Worbis
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Frank Posada
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Nov 22, 2018
Mike Sipos
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David Taylor
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Dave Greene
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Matt Thornton
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Tony Seruga
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Maxim Drygin
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Jul 12, 2018
Colin Kemmis
Fascinating 40 years later.
rated it really liked it
Aug 20, 2013
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Edward Oakley "Ed" Thorp (born 14 August 1932) is an American mathematics professor, author, hedge fund manager, and blackjack player best known as the "father of the wearable computer" after inventing the world's first wearable computer in 1961. He was a pioneer in modern applications of probability theory, including the harnessing of very small correlations for reliable financial gain[citation n ...more