Beat The Dealer - A Pivotal Book in the Casino World

Beat The Dealer - A Pivotal Book in the Casino World

08 Oct 2009 | 10:10 Author: Alejandro López

If there’s one book that every professional Blackjack player has heard of, it’s “Beat the Dealer” by Edward O. Thorp. It’s not only served to give hope to millions of Blackjack enthusiasts around the globe, but it’s also been a cause for concern amongst casino owners in Vegas and around the world. Here’s a bit about the book below! 

Want to learn how to beat the dealer? Read Thorp’s Book! 

beat the dealer book

As stated by Dr.Edward O.Thorp in his book, ‘The game of blackjack, or twenty-one, is one of the world’s most widely played gambling games…’ the world over. And it’s perhaps because of how Thorp viewed the game’s popularity as well as his own keen interest in learning how to overcome the odds in Blackjack that fueled the research, writing and publishing of this book.

Now if you’ve only just started to play the game or perhaps have just stuck to online strategy over the course of time you’ve played Blackjack, you probably don’t know much about the book. Luckily, our experts have read it and can give you a brief overview about it!

  What is Beat the Dealer? 


  •   Beat the Dealer is THE book for Blackjack players and aspiring card counters; 
  •   The book provides an overview of the table game’s rules, basic Blackjack strategy, Thorp’s own winning strategy and card counting. 
  •   Dr. Thorp’s book is the first book that has managed to prove that the house advantage can be overcome by card counting.

A Summary of Thorp’s Beat The Dealer Book

Dr. Edward O. Thorp’s gambling book ,which was published in 1962, appeals to audience of gamblers with a keen interest in the table game, Blackjack. On reading it, we noticed that the book covers a wide variety of subjects that Blackjack players can benefit from learning about. These include the game’s rules, basic Blackjack strategy, what Thorp describes as winning strategies, card counting and even tricks to overcome cheating at casinos. In each section of the book, you’ll be able to find charts and figures which explain strategy and certain mathematically based concepts better.

About Edward O. Thorp

Dr. Edward O. Thorp is a well-known figure in the gambling world who many regard as the father of cad counting. The New York’s best-selling author, who possesses a master’s degree in Physics and a P.h.d in Mathematics has spent most of his life teaching and writing (and in some cases co-authoring) many books which have required mathematical calculations and research. Apart from Beat the Dealer, Thorp has also written The Mathematics of Gambling (1984), Beat the Market: A Scientific Market System (1967) and Elementary Probability (1977). As for books he’s co-authored, the list includes: The Kelly Capital Growth Investment Criterion: Theory and Practice, Fortune’s Formula: The Untold Story of the Scientific Betting System That Beat the Casinos and Wall Street.


Players flocked to casinos to try Thorp's Blackjack stategy. In the short run, this was to the casino's benefit as many players understood the book poorly and misapplied the concepts, or deviated from the system. However eventually, a new group of professional card counters began to emerge. These card counters not only used Thorp's system correctly, but also improved upon it, adding ideas like "Wonging" watching a game without actually playing, then jumping in when the count was favorable, and team play, using a group of counters in concert to beat the blackjack tables.

The Effects Of the Blackjack Book on Casinos

how to beat the dealer

Once casinos realized the book could actually be used to beat their game, they changed the rules. Blackjack shoes went from containing two or four decks to containing six or eight decks. Instead of dealing down to the last card, casinos had their dealers reshuffle about three quarters of the way through.

Essentially, this change came about because casinos dealers caught onto the fact that card counters were seen to have profited mostly when the dealer was deep in the deck time and time again. Yet, even with the changes in the way dealers shuffle, young and aspiring blackjack pros still show up all the time both in Blackjack online  casinos and live establishments, confident that they can defeat the dealer at his own game.

Why Our Experts at CasinoTop10 Recommend the Read

Over the years, there have been many gambling enthusiasts who’ve taken their passion for casino games to a whole new level by writing a book of their own. And despite the fact that the canon of casino books is indeed quite large, there are few books that are worth a mention. Now although the 1962 book ‘Beat the Dealer’ may seem a little outdated due to being published in the 60s, our experts at CasinoTop10 think that it’s definitely worth a read. Much of what Thorp has written in this book is definitely applicable to today’s Blackjack games. His work contains valuable information on strategy and was pivotal in the creation of the card counting strategies developed over the years.

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