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Best of Donald Catlin

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Beat Blackjack Now

2 July 2010

It is no coincidence that the title of this article is also the title of Frank Scoblete's latest book on Blackjack. Although Frank is the principle author, there is also a chapter on frequently asked questions with answers provided by Blackjack expert Henry Tamburin and Frank's colleague Dominator. In addition there is also a chapter written by the creator of Speed Count, Dan Pronovost, which addresses Speed Count simulation data. Let me, however, begin at the beginning.

A few years ago a new and revolutionary Blackjack counting system, called Speed Count, was developed by Dan Pronovost and marketed by the Golden Touch group. I first reported on this in my April 4, 2004 article entitled Blackjack Speed Count; this article is in the archives on this site. Frank's newest book Beat Blackjack Now not only explains the Speed Count system but also provides valuable advice on the best way to implement the system. The cover price is $16.95. How can you beat a deal like that?

Frank's book arrived in my hands a couple of weeks before I had scheduled a trip to Las Vegas. Although I had been playing Speed Count for the last six years I read the book from cover to cover. In doing so I learned that I had not been making the best use of the system and needed to make a few changes. I am very glad I did.

When you get Frank's book you not only get the details of the Speed Count but you also get some good advice as well. What kind of advice? Well, for example, where is the best place to sit when employing the count? When the cards are dealt and play begins when should each player's hand be counted? What are some tricks to avoid detection? In regard to this latter point, the very nature of speed count is different from conventional counting systems and that in and of itself makes Speed Count hard to detect.

In my opinion, the greatest thing about Speed Count is its simplicity. It is the easiest counting system I've ever used. There is no conversion from a running count to a true count as is the case in many of the so called "balanced" Blackjack systems. And the playing strategy is a constant strategy that is called Optimum Basic Strategy (OBS). By that I mean that the way each hand is played does not depend upon the count; each hand is played the same way independent of the count. All of which means there is less chance of error and a reduction of anxiety (for me at least).

So how was my trip to Las Vegas? Wonderful! The good hands appeared exactly when my bets were large. Frank's advice about where to sit and how to count the game were right on the money. The remarks by Henry, Dan and Dominator were helpful as well. As a result I played a relaxing as well as profitable game. I'm very glad I read Beat Blackjack Now. See you next month.


Don Catlin can be reached at 711cat@comcast.net

Donald Catlin

Don Catlin is a retired professor of mathematics and statistics from the University of Massachusetts. His original research area was in Stochastic Estimation applied to submarine navigation problems but has spent the last several years doing gaming analysis for gaming developers and writing about gaming. He is the author of The Lottery Book, The Truth Behind the Numbers published by Bonus books.

Books by Donald Catlin:

Lottery Book: The Truth Behind the Numbers
Donald Catlin
Don Catlin is a retired professor of mathematics and statistics from the University of Massachusetts. His original research area was in Stochastic Estimation applied to submarine navigation problems but has spent the last several years doing gaming analysis for gaming developers and writing about gaming. He is the author of The Lottery Book, The Truth Behind the Numbers published by Bonus books.

Books by Donald Catlin:

Lottery Book: The Truth Behind the Numbers