Arnold “the Bishop” Snyder is well known in Blackjack circles as one of the game’s most entertaining, prolific, and knowledgeable authors. This book is a collection of much of his writing for various gambling periodicals that may not have received a wide audience. While his writing from Card Player since 1989 is most heavily represented, articles are also present from Casino Player and the short lived Poker World, along with a few articles from Snyder’s Blackjack Forum. Several of the articles which did appear previously in other periodicals appear here in expanded or in a slightly different form.
The articles are divided into twelve sections, although the distinctions aren’t very hard and fast. Even though most of these articles haven’t received as wide a Blackjack audience as much of his other work, many of these ideas have become famous in their own right, such as Snyder’s Bachelor of Counting Series. The book serves as an excellent compendium of Snyder’s non-Blackjack Forum work.
Most of these magazines were aimed at a much broader audience than, for example, Blackjack ligaz11 Forum or Michael Daulton’s Blackjack Review. Two of the magazines these articles were drawn from were primarily aimed at a poker playing audience. Consequently, most of these articles are extremely basic, and a lot of ground is covered more than once. This is inevitable, if a bit distracting, in a collection like this. The real problem, though, is that it leaves the book somewhat insubstantive.
Snyder is his usual entertaining self, and the book delivers on this point. I get the sense that he’s least serious when his writing seems most deep, and that he’s at his most honest and perceptive when he seems to be just clowning around. What I admire most about Snyder is his integrity. He is one of the very few Blackjack authors that has always taken the high road and has been both intellectually honest in stating his opinions, while he hasn’t been afraid to publically admit his own mistakes and shortcomings. Although he may not be as personally well versed in playing professional blackjack, I’ll always value his opinions highly because of his honest approach.
Because of the necessary lightness of most of these articles, this book probably won’t improve your Blackjack game much. It is, however entertaining, although I find it more interesting as an insight into what drives Arnold Snyder than as an exploration of the game of Blackjack.
This book is an aggregation of many of Arnold Snyder’s less widely read columns on the game of Blackjack. While his insights are good and his opinions are honest, the book weighs in a little light in terms of its advancement of the game. If you find good Blackjack books entertaining, or are a fan of Snyder’s writing, I recommend this book. If you have an urge to improve your Blackjack game, make sure you read (or reread!) Don Schlesinger’s Blackjack Attack first.