Don Schlesinger is a gaming mathematician and the author of one of the most successful blackjack books of all time – Blackjack Attack: Playing the Pros’. Blackjack Attack has 4 ratings and 0 reviews. Blackjack Attack is the answer book that can solve problems and settle arguments. For the truly dedicated p. BlackjackAttack: Playing the Pros’ Way, by Don Schlesinger, is one of those few Blackjack Attack is the “answer book,” the book that every professional player.

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The photos used are of the 3rd Edition. For this reason there are some inconsistencies between the chapter numbers and content descriptions. For anyone considering buying Blackjack Attack, we would recommend the 3rd Edition as it contains a lot of expanded content.

An image at the bottom of this article details the updates that were made to the 3rd Edition. In schpesinger early card counting days, Blackjack Attack never left my side.

It must have been three years before it ever rested on my bookshelf. It was always sitting on the nightstand, or on the desk, or in my backpack during a trip. To this day the cover is still peeling, the pages are worn and dirty, and there are random bits of paper stuck between pages that I hastily needed to mark for reference.

Most of my Blackjack books have only slight wear balckjack being read once or twice, but this one shows the marks of being used. This book is meant for intermediate players who can accurately use a card counting system and are ready to start playing seriously, but still have a lot of questions.

Review of Blackjack Attack

Blackjack Attack covers topics like back-counting strategies, betting strategies, risk management, game selection, and much more. More importantly, Don takes the schlesinver to walk us through the process of answering each question. He gives the reader an understanding of the methods behind each din, which allows us to explore and analyze similar situations bblackjack our own.

Even the more complicated concepts are explained in a way that makes them clear and accessible to students of any background. You can buy Blackjack Attack here. Don Schlesinger has been a Blackjack mentor both online and in print for well over 30 years. He has collaborated with some of the most notable names in Blackjack and has contributed a great deal of original and groundbreaking research to the field.

He later found a home on the now defunct AdvantagePlayer. If you were learning how to play Blackjack, you probably learned from Don. He was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame in and you can still find him active on blackjack websites on a daily basis. The formulas are presented clearly enough that the reader can plug in their numbers and get the answers, and the descriptions will help the motivated students understand the underlying approach. It summarizes his approach to back-counting the shoe games of Atlantic City.

This will be a striking eye-opener to beginning players and a somber reminder for experienced players. Whether you pity him or commiserate with him will depend on how many hours of your life you have spent in casinos.

Blackjack Attack: Playing the Pros’ Way

Don really manages to capture the frenzied and frustrating life of a blackjack player. By the end of scylesinger story I am reliving those days of burning eyes, sore muscles and a wasted brain.

Only when I return home do I realize how badly I reek of smoke and filthy casino chips. And suddenly I feel a cough coming on. From the very beginning we are taught some of the most valuable lessons — strict discipline, exhaustive planning, careful game selection, and realistic goals and expectations.

Don is brutally honest about the amount of work involved in executing this kind of strategy, and along the way we learn valuable lessons about patience, greed, and the often ugly face of variance. No matter how long blackjsck have been playing, these are the things that you must repeat to yourself constantly, like a mantra. He often repeats that his objective is not to win the most money but to be welcomed back. One of the greatest benefits of this book is that it allows each player to customize their playing style to suit their individual situation.


Every casino is different and you may even find significant differences between tables in the same casino. Allow your playing style to change in order to take advantage of every opportunity you can find. The following chapters will teach you how. This chapter is fairly small but Don manages to schlesinyer a lot of information into it. He starts with a basic introduction to variance and standard deviation, which are used to calculate the size of the swings that the player can expect in the short run.

This is something that all players should understand before they ever make a bet. This is followed by a more detailed explanation which includes examples of several different games and betting methods. The steps are laid out clearly and the reader can easily apply these calculations to their own playing style and game conditions. A big advantage sfhlesinger this method dom that the reader can experiment with various strategies and tweak their betting spread using a simple spreadsheet, which avoids the time and hassle of having to run a computer simulation every time.

To close out the chapter, Don discusses the probability of being ahead after playing for a blackajck number of hours. This may come as schlesinge surprise to new players who watched a few movies and attacl they will win most of their sessions.

Even a few hundred hours of play is not enough to guarantee a profit. This is a lesson that must scglesinger learned early.

This chapter is all about calculating the effects of various bonuses and side bets. It seems like new side bets and casino promotions are popping up everyday, and astute players can make a lot of money if they know how to exploit them. After enough hours of playing, a card counter will naturally become bored and frustrated enough to look at side bets and bonuses as a way to boost their earn.

Although the specific examples given in this chapter are dated, they are very good representations of the format that these bets and promotions tend to take. In this chapter Don shares some of the responses that he contributed to various issues of the Blackjack Forum newsletter. He covers several topics in detail, but the first article about proper bet sizing for multiple hands is the most critical for new players. This shortcut will save the player a lot of time when they are tweaking their bet spread.

And Don leaves us with a bit of wisdom regarding simulations vs. Chapter 5 introduces the Illustrious 18 and Fab 4 index numbers. These represent the basic strategy deviations that offer the highest value to a card counter.

Most card counting systems have over a hundred of blackjxck index numbers, which can seem daunting to schlesihger players. This chapter shows the surprising revelation that the vast majority of the value gained from playing deviations comes from a very small number of plays. Don shows how he determined the value of each play and was able to distill out the most important ones.

Beginning card counters will save a lot of time by focusing on these deviations first and adding the rest as they go. In short, it claims that a true lbackjack that occurs early in the game is not worth as much as the same true count much later in the game. For those who want to know the long version, complete with a chronological history that includes private personal correspondence, this chapter is for you.

For everyone else, skip ahead to…. Don starts by clarifying a few aspects of team bankroll splits and payouts, but the bulk of this chapter is a sample handbook for card counting teams. The specifics of the handbook would be modified by the players aftack different types of team play and different team structures, but having a basic framework will save a lot of time. Perhaps most importantly it shows how much planning and preparation are necessary before a new group of players ever start hitting the tables.

Of course, seasoned professionals will already trust each other in terms of casino comportment and bankroll management and they will already have these guidelines in mind, but this chapter will prevent less experienced teams from learning their lessons the hard way or being caught unprepared when issues arise.


Chapter 8 is very important for beginner and intermediate card counters. Blackjaack covers the cost of making camouflage plays. The problem is that the more you play like a gambler, the more you become one. Some betting and playing mistakes can have a huge impact on your advantage, dob using too many can turn you into a losing player. If you are planning to use betting or playing cover, you absolutely need to know how badly it is hurting you.

While this can and should always be verified by simulation, this chapter will give the reader a general idea of what pitfalls to avoid and how to craft a cover strategy that works for them. As usual, Don gives a detailed explanation of how to do the calculations as well as numerous examples of both playing and betting cover plays.

The results will be very surprising to most players. While one or two betting restrictions may only have a moderate effect on your advantage, the additional risk in terms of bankroll swings and distance to the long run may be unacceptable.

This chapter will help card counters to develop a cover strategy that still gives them a fighting chance against the casino while also encouraging them to find other cheaper methods of camouflage.

Risk of ruin is one of the most important statistics for all Advantage Players. Blackjaco can calculate your EV and SD for any set of rules, any bet spread and any camouflage strategy. You know what kind of swings to expect in the short run, but what about the long run? How much can you really afford to bet? This is the final piece to the puzzle. Using these formulas you can determine your bankroll size for any degree of risk that you are willing to take.

Blackjack Attack Book Review – Don Schlesinger | ThePOGG

Should you break your bankroll into units? Now you can find out. Different players will have very different tolerances for risk, and svhlesinger subtle changes to the game rules, playing strategy and betting strategy can have a significant impact on your probability of going broke. This is something that every player attck need to customize for themselves.

For the atgack card counter who blakcjack not invested in or developed a simulator, this chapter will be your bible. It has several dozen pages of computer simulations for various game rules, numbers of decks, penetration blzckjack, bet spreads and bankroll sizes. It also has all the TC frequencies that you will need to make your own spreadsheets from chapter 2. These charts are only for the HiLo system with the Illustrious 18 and Fab 4, but most likely that is what a beginning player will be using.

Not only does this chapter help the reader to understand the effects of different playing styles and bet spreads by putting actual dollar amounts on them, it also begins to show them the importance of good game selection.

Finding a dealer that deals an extra half-deck can make all the difference, and so can an empty table where the player can get hands schlesingeg hour or more! Additionally, the charts will give the aspiring player more realistic expectations regarding their win rate and level of risk. Certainly there will be many readers who get all the way to this chapter only to realize that their local games are a waste of time. Many dreams will be broken when the actual profits are revealed.

Many hearts will collapse when they realize how much work and variance! And yet, some readers will study the advice and seek out playable games and leverage their knowledge into respectable sums of money.

Some will even use these lessons to find remarkable opportunities that average players would never even look for.