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Blackjack the Smart Way - Richard Harvey

Posted By: Alan
Date: 23 Sep 01, 6:04 pm

I've been reading this book, after seeing some of the reviews at, and find it surprising that it has been so well received by many reviewers. Is it my imagination that some of the things in this book are just plain incorrect?

Whilst I find that the bet management system appears to be sensible, responsible, (though conservative), and relatively good for cover, I find it amazing that card counting has been so casually dismissed as somewhat ineffective and not worth the effort, in favour of card observation and the personality of the cards (including what appears to be card clumping). Whilst basic strategy often varies slightly from book to book, here it varies considerably from much that is widely generally accepted. I have read a number of other books, by Thorpe, Revere, Carlson, Schlessinger and they all seem to concur on the important points.

I do find the chapters on what to look for to avoid being cheated extremely helpful.

The personality of the cards, or factor X, seems like black magic to me. I would have thought that this, in the absence of cheating, is merely standard deviation.

Is it possible that the premises that this book makes have not been thoroughly tested on a simulator?

I am relatively new to blackjack, but my reading has so far been fairly balanced. I have been studying the Advanced Omega II system (Bryce Carlson) for some months, running extensive comparative simulations (300 million at a time), and have found that card counting is the most logical long term solution to beating the game.

I'd like to hear from others who have read Harvey's book, including those have may have run extensive simulations based on it, so that I can arrive at a balanced and objective conclusion. Otherwise I'm likely to dismiss most of it and miss some (or many) of the good things it has to offer.

I look forward to hearing from you guys, and thanks.


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