Readers' Reviews

Play Blackjack Like the Pros

    Being a card counter is like being a gunfighter, you walk where very few people have the guts to go, and the casinos are always looking to shoot you down. The fact that Kevin Blackwood has been one of the most successful card counters of his generation is testament to his knowledge, tenacity, and daring. In the gunfight between card counter and casino, the good guys have the edge! This book will add powerful bullets to your gun!

    Frank Scoblete, #1 best-selling gambling writer

    This is the most comprehensive book on card counting I have ever read.

    MIT Mike, 2004 World Series of Blackjack champion, cofounder of

    Las Vegas has changed a lot over the years, and so has the game of blackjack. Many of the best books on the game were written years ago when conditions in the casinos were very different than they are today. Enter Kevin Blackwood and his fascinating new book, Play Blackjack Like the Pros. Blackwood has been a high-stakes blackjack pro for many years, and in Play Blackjack Like the Pros he reveals all his hard-won knowledge of what it takes to be a winner in today's modern game. Play Blackjack Like the Pros is not only a highly enjoyable read, it is also a true blueprint for success at the blackjack tables, as well. I highly recommend it.

    Bryce Carlson, author of Blackjack for Blood

    From the basics to the professional level, with steps in between, Blackwood takes you down the road toward getting an edge on the house at blackjack. Beyond card counting, his advice on camouflage, tournament play and money management is invaluable.

    John Grochowski, syndicated columnist and author of the Casino Answer Book series

    Blackwood knows his stuff and he won a million bucks to prove it. Take my advice and don't play another hand of blackjack until you read this book.

    Henry Tamburin, author of Blackjack: Take The Money & Run and publisher of Blackjack Insider Newsletter

    While covering every aspect of winning blackjack, Play Blackjack Like the Pros also relates the amazing stories behind the scenes of life as a full-time card counter.

    Ken Smith, Tournament Expert and host of

    With an easy to read and humorous style, Blackwood openly shares his extensive knowledge and experience in a way that is sure to make the average player into a winner.

    Eliot Jacobson, author of The Blackjack Zone, host of

    A great read. Having played blackjack for more than half a century, I thought I knew it all. Your book has opened my eyes. The information in Play Blackjack Like the Pros will without doubt help me win even more. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Ed Rhoades, Million Dollar winner of the first Las Vegas Hilton blackjack tournament

The Counter

    Engrossing is the only word to describe this fast-paced thriller that depicts the fascinating existence of a high-rolling blackjack card counter. No other author comes close to succeeding as Blackwood has in conveying the essence of this unique profession. The Counter is a genuine page-turner that you won't want to put down. I enjoyed it thoroughly, especially the surprise ending. And, although The Counter is a work of fiction, Blackwood is to be commended for his splendid attention to detail. The reality jumps off every page.

    Don Schlesinger, Author of Blackjack Attack

    Skillful storytellers are rare, but when you combine one with a truly good story, the opportunity exists to be transported to a different place in your mind. Kevin Blackwood’s novel, The Counter, offered me a rare peek behind the scenes in Vegas. I discovered a unique world that I otherwise never knew existed as viewed through the eyes of a brilliant gambler whose passion for the game conflicted with his spiritual upbringing. The resulting struggle and unexpected turns of events kept me flipping the pages. I highly recommend this book.

    Greg Davis, San Jose, CA

    Rare behind-the-scenes peek at a unique profession. I gave a copy to my parents. My mother loved it and couldn't put it down. My father then read it in one sitting (I chained him to the chair). The Counter is a very thought provoking work and delivers its message in spades!

    Mitchel Lichtman, Noted Gambling Expert, Las Vegas, NV

    Kevin Blackwood takes readers on a fascinating ride through the inside world of a professional gambler. From fleeing casino security guards to cool as ice wagers that would reduce most mortals to mush, Raven Townsend leads a life that few could imagine.

    The book moves quickly as a young man searches for his way in life. The clarity of following God becomes increasingly muddled as Raven detours from his chosen path to try and make a million dollars playing blackjack. His pursuit of this goal brings the ultimate dilemma in his life, as he has to choose between gambling and his girl friend.

    If you ever have wondered about the challenge, excitement and temptation of professional card counting, this is the story from one who has been there. If you ever have dreamed of getting rich quick or winning a cool million, this story will carry you to a different world.

    The Counter is the story of a man relentlessly pursuing his dream at the risk of his own soul, his life and his relationships all being played out against the glitter and lights of a Vegas backdrop.

    Mark Salley, 2000 Voices Columnist Denver Post, Arvada, CO

    The Counter is an engrossing look at the life of a professional blackjack player. Read how his chosen profession conflicts with his upbringing and his morals. Read about the conflicts in his personal life, and see how he responds to them. You will be flashing back to the turning points in your own life, and thinking about what you would be doing now had you taken a different path at some point.

    Stanford Wong, Leading Blackjack Author, La Jolla, CA

    I consider The Counter a must-read for anyone interested in card counting. From starting with almost nothing to becoming a blackjack pro, the conflicts within teams, and the ethical dilemmas involved with the job all resonated with me. Whether you are already a winning blackjack player or are just getting in the world of card counting, The Counter will provide both entertainment and sound card counting advice.

    Colin Jones,

    I absolutely loved The Counter! It never lagged and at one point I had to walk away from the book just to calm myself down. The conflict between conscience and compromise is developed with insight and candor. More than a good story – more than the usual conflict between good and evil – The Counter affirms that there is something that ultimately matters.

    Tom Alderman, Attorney & Politican, Eugene, OR

    Speaking as one who has read hundreds of bestsellers, I found The Counter kept me flipping pages until its exciting finish.

    I had just recently returned from Las Vegas when I read this book and the casino descriptions were right on the money. I only wish I had read this book first, or better still, taken it with me. I am not a gambler, but after reading The Counter, I feel I have some insight into the mind of a professional blackjack player.

    Don’t get me wrong; this novel is not just about the fast paced world of the casinos. If it were, I would’ve been lost immediately. No the story touches on many universal themes such as relationships, redemption, and regrets. I’ve read everything from romance to horror and I highly recommend you buy this book.

    Cheryl Smejkal, Eugene, OR

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