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4 Winning Blackjack Tricks Learned from Blackjack Legend Arnold Snyder

May 28, 2014

arnoldsnyder20140528Arnold Snyder

Few people on this earth have won or written as much about the game of blackjack as Arnold Snyder. Here are a few helpful tips for both blackjack beginners and seasoned veterans.

Arnold Snyder was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2002. Aside from being a highly successful gambler, he has left a lasting mark on the game by writing numerous books on how to succeed in blackjack at various levels.

One of the best things about Snyder’s work is that he has helped both blackjack beginners and seasoned professionals improve their games. From basic tips on how to practice basic strategy to deep analysis on advanced strategies like shuffle tracking, Snyder has covered it all.

Here a few lessons that can be learned from his impressive body of work, a couple for beginners, and a couple for more experienced players:

Have a creative mind

For someone who has written countless books and blogs on how to succeed at blackjack, Arnold Snyder never had too much time for people who write books and blogs on how to succeed at blackjack.

Shunning the hordes of writers and academics who make money peddling big-winning schemes to aspiring casino high-rollers, Snyder encourages players to come up with their own strategies. Actually in his mind, the only way to be truly great is to come up with someone no one else has done.

He summed this idea up in a single paragraph:

Nobody succeeds at blackjack because they are the best at doing what “authorities” tell them to do. They succeed because they are able to think on their own…Ultimately, your success will depend less on your bankroll than your decisions.

Snyder has never had much time for bullshit either. He has always told his readers with blunt honesty that blackjack is very difficult to master. Making a living off of it requires a sharp mind as well as loads of dedication. Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to exploit you.

For that reason, he’s never tried to sell his readers on simple how-to schemes for getting rich playing blackjack. It takes creativity and hard work, period.

Learn how to shuffle track

Snyder pioneered the advantage play technique of shuffle tracking. An advanced offshoot of card counting, it means watching both the shuffling and the dealing of the croupier with the purpose of finding bunches of face cards.

While counting means watching the deal to see if relatively more face cards are left in the deck, shuffle tracking takes things to a higher level. Players count, all the while looking for “clumps” of advantageous cards in a deck.

Given that the dealer shuffles at certain intervals, the tracker attempts to watch the shuffle in order to “track” the cards as they move within the deck or shoe.

The most common form of shuffle tracking is ace tracking. A skilled tracker can pick aces of a deck after they’ve been shuffled.

This is one of the most lucrative but also most difficult things to do in blackjack. You must already be a skilled counter, then be able to maintain concentration and memory to mentally transfer the position of cards from one shuffle to the next.

Learn the Over/Under Card Counting System

The Over/Under side bet became a popular part of blackjackdom during the late 1980s. Prior to the deal, players can make a wager on whether their initial two cards will add up to more or less than 13. A win pays out even money from the house.

Like other side bets, Over/Under became popular as a fun add-on to standard blackjack. Snyder decided to take it upon himself to develop a system for counting the Over/Under bet. The house edge is inherently lower when you bet over than under (6.555 percent to 10.067 percent) because of the high chance of landing a face card.

The card counting system boils down to this: the player should bet over when the true count is +3 or more and under when it is -5 or less. Anything in between, they should refrain from betting altogether.

One of the best things about counting on the Over/Under is that its an optional side bet. You can sit out until the count moves in your favor, then opt in with a large wager.

This isn’t allowed in standard blackjack hands. So even if you don’t count normally, counting the Over/Under is a good way to augment your winnings.

Hunt for the best online casinos and games

Snyder may be a hardcore casino blackjack player, but that doesn’t mean he’s too good to appreciate online blackjack. During the 1990s when the online gambling industry was still learning to walk he wrote a book called How to Beat Internet Casinos and Poker Rooms.

The basic argument was that the internet marketplace gave gamblers a unique opportunity to easily shop around for most advantageous sites and games.

Players shouldn’t just settle for the first site they found, they should find one which had great bonuses as well as games with player-friendly rules and low houses edges.

While he gets a thrill from the game itself, Snyder recognizes that leaving the table with more money than you came with is #1 priority. How to Beat Internet Casinos is a brilliant guide on how to do just that.


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