Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One by Edward O. Thorp

One of the first books to introduce blackjack players to the world of card counting, Edward O. Thorp's Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One is often touted as "the book that made Las Vegas change the rules." With over 1,000,000 copies sold, Beat the Dealer is a veritable bible for card counters and is a must read for anyone serious about winning at blackjack.

First published in 1962, Beat the Dealer was literally the first book published on card counting. Though it provides a card counting system which is more complicated than many modern blackjack counting systems, it makes for very interesting reading for anyone interested in blackjack strategy.

Thorp begins his book with a detailed explanation of the rules of blackjack. He discusses everything from betting to how hand values are determined, soft hands, hard hands, splitting pairs, doubling down, insurance, blackjack casino practices and more. He then introduces readers to basic blackjack strategy, including the most common strategic errors that players make and how to avoid them. Thorp follows with an explanation of how his own card counting strategy works, offering up evidence based on tests he did in Nevada casinos.

Thorp's book started the ball rolling when it comes to the world of blackjack card counting. Though many books on card counting have been written, and many new card counting systems have been devised since the initial publishing of Beat the Dealer, the historical significance and pure genius of this book make it a staple in the library of any serious blackjack player.