Pub. Date:
Springer New York
Risk and Reward: The Science of Casino Blackjack

Risk and Reward: The Science of Casino Blackjack

by N. Richard WerthamerN. Richard Werthamer


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For decades, casino gaming has been steadily increasing in popularity worldwide. Blackjack is among the most popular of the casino table games, one where astute choices of playing strategy can create an advantage for the player.

RISK AND REWARD analyzes the game in depth, pinpointing not just its optimal strategies but also its financial performance, in terms of both expected cash flow and associated risk.

The book begins by describing the strategies and their performance in a clear, straightforward style. The presentation is self-contained, non-mathematical, and accessible to readers at all levels of playing skill, from the novice to the blackjack expert. Careful attention is also given to simplified, but still nearly optimal strategies that are easier to use in a casino. Unlike other books in the literature the author then derives each aspect of the strategy mathematically, to justify its claim to optimality. The derivations mostly use algebra and calculus, although some require more advanced analysis detailed in supporting appendices. For easy comprehension, formulae are translated into tables and graphs through extensive computation.

This book will appeal to everyone interested in blackjack: those with mathematical training intrigued by its application to this popular game as well as all players seeking to improve their performance.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

From the reviews:

“As the title suggests, Risk and Reward: The Science of Casino Blackjack is a book about strategies for increasing your chances of winning the game of Blackjack. … The author makes the book accessible to a variety of audiences by presenting the strategies separately from the mathematical analysis. … It is well organized, flows nicely and cites previous works. … Overall, the book is an entertaining and stimulating read for both mathematicians and casino goers.” (Michael Rowell, The Mathematical Association of America, December, 2009)

“This book, based on the author’s own research as well as that of many others, describes current knowledge. Although aimed at serious Blackjack players, it begins with a full description of the game, including common variants, followed by an outline of the Basic Strategy, with hints of why some of these recommendations are made.” (John Haigh, The Mathematical Gazette, Vol. 94 (531), November, 2010)

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781489983848
Publisher: Springer New York
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Edition description: 2009
Pages: 131
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Customer Reviews