Blackjack Secrets Book by Stanford Wong – Book Review and Overall Impression
This book explains how to turn blackjack into an investment. It describes a powerful, yet simple, system that has been proven to work, and it does so in a straight-forward manner so that a person who has never been to a casino can learn how to win.
Chapters 1 and 2 contain the standard introduction to Blackjack and explanation of basic strategy. This has become obligatory for any book that teaches a card counting system. The great thing about Blackjack Secrets is that Wong covers this material in less than 25 pages. The information presented on these topics is up to Wong’s exacting standards of completeness and accuracy.
Chapter 3 covers the Hi-Lo card counting system, one of the simplest and most powerful available. Here he covers the count, true count adjustment, strategy variation, and gives other advice on learning counting systems. Wong covers this material more thoroughly (almost pedantically) in Professional Blackjack, but his coverage here is more than adequate.
The book would be worth the price tag with just the coverage thus far, but with Chapter 4 we really get into the meat of the book. Here we have about 50 pages of some of the best advice ever written about how to win while not getting barred. The tactics mentioned here were not all devised by Wong, many of the best known and most successful names in card counting contribute. I guarantee that nobody plays Blackjack so well and has given the game so much thought that there won’t be a lot of material here that’s new and valuable. It’s that good.
The next chapter, “Winning Faster”, is equally as good. At a game with such a small edge, anything that can increase your advantage by a few tenths of a percent can lead to a lot of money. On a similar vein, Chapter 6 covers the advantages and disadvantages of toking dealers.
Chapter 7 probably won’t win one any money, but it’s a very entertaining explanation of several specials Wong and his associates have discovered over the years. More often than one might think, a casino comes up with a new promotion that gives the savvy player a large edge. Some of these are… stunning.
Chapters 8, 9, and 10 cover comps, examine the question of whether a Blackjack player should turn pro, and possible cheating by dealers. All of these contain very good information, little of which is presented elsewhere in the literature. The last chapter covers Double Exposure Blackjack, which is rare at casinos these days, but can be a profitable game when it can be found. This information is covered in much more detail in Basic Blackjack, and I would urge folks to read that book before tackling this game, but the coverage in Blackjack Secrets is great for a refresher. At the end of the book is a list of “Selected References” which is simply outstanding as an enormous recommended reading list.
Famous quotes by Stanford Wong:
“For winning money at multiple-deck blackjack, bet variation is much more important than strategy variation.”
“The most common progression systems are either “up as you lose” systems or the exact opposite, “up as you win” progressions. They have one thing in common — they don’t work.”