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Comic Book Blackjack Systems
|Comic Book Blackjack Systems
By Arnold Snyder
(From Blackjack Forum March 1985)
© Arnold Snyder 1985-2006
Just got my latest copy of Gambling Fool magazine. As always, it contains those familiar full-page ads telling me I can haul in mucho bucks anytime I want, that I won’t have to work for a living anymore and, in fact, I can even buy my own private jet and an island in the South Pacific if I just buy one of the advertised blackjack systems, which are so easy to use that some of the lower primates could probably learn them. It’s a good thing casinos don’t pay off in bananas.
Ads like this remind me of the comic book ads that used to catch my attention when I was a kid. I was a Superman addict. Every issue had a few pages of ads for mail order products that allowed me the fantasy of turning myself into the “Man of Steel.” Of course, there was the familiar “I-was-a-97-lb.weakling” pitch for turning my puny 12-year-old excuse for a body into something that looked like King Kong on steroids. According to the ad, I could do this in only 30 days with only 15 minutes per day of easy exercise. Or, for only a buck, I could get a secret ancient chart of the body’s “pressure points” which would immediately transform me into an invincible Master of the Oriental Fighting Arts. Muggers, thugs and NFL linebackers would gasp and tremble when I entered the room.
My favorite, however, had to be the ad for the “X-Ray Specs.” Here was a 59¢ pair of glasses that purported to give me Superman’s incredible x-ray vision — the ability to see through doors, walls, and most importantly — clothing. This ad always had a cartoon illustration of some dodo wearing the specs with his tongue falling out of his mouth while he’s gawking at a fully-clothed dish who’s striking a come-up-and-see-me-sometime pose.
For years, I read this ad and fantasized over the possibilities. Even at that age, however, my inborn cynicism told me the specs probably wouldn’t work. And 59¢ was too much to gamble to find out.
I’ll never forget that hot day in August, however, when my friend Ralph announced he had broken down and sent away for a pair of X-Ray Specs. Word spread through our neighborhood like wildfire. Every pubescent kid on the east side of Detroit had been fantasizing about owning pair of these goggles since they’d first laid eyes on a Superman comic. Now Ralph was going to realize our fantasies.
It must have been 10 weeks before the specs came in the mail. To us it seemed like an eternity of asking Ralph day after day, “Did they come yet?” We all had big plans for those wonder glasses. As soon as we saw that Ralph’s worked, we would all get some. We’d wear ‘em to school. The nuns would never suspect what we were up to. We’d go watch the girls play softball. The women of Detroit were about to become unwary exhibitionists for a gang of horny 12-year-old Catholic boys in funny glasses.
To make a long story short, the X-Ray Specs didn’t x-ray anything. They were ridiculous-looking cardboard and plastic gizmos that made the wearer look like a jerk. As Ralph described the phenomenal X-Ray power of the lenses when he slowly and reverently placed them on his eyes for the first time, “Well . . . Um . . . they just make everything look . . . Um . . . Blurry. . . .”
Alas, the women of Detroit were safe.
I haven’t read a Superman comic in quite a few years, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if X-Ray Specs are still being hawked to 12-year-old thrill seekers. Meanwhile, Gambling Fool magazine is publishing adult variations of this comic-book-mentality advertising. “Win a Million Bucks a Day Even if You’re Stupid!” I find it amusing how these ads for “incredible and amazing” gambling systems insist it doesn’t take much mental effort to get rich. That’s exactly who’s going to fall for this nonsense — people who don’t put much mental effort into anything.
If Ralph reads this ad, he’ll break down and have a check in the mail before his next mortgage payment is due. Six months later, when the bank is foreclosing on his house, if you ask him how his mail order blackjack system is working, he’ll say, “Well . . . Um . . . you see . . . Um . . . ”
Alas, the casinos of Vegas are safe. ♠
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||Winners' Testimonials Aren't Proof That a Gambling System Works
Over the short run, every gambling system, no matter how phony, will have some winners due to sheer flux (good luck). And even over longer periods, every gambling system, no matter how phony, will have a lucky someone or two who beat the odds and won. Arnold Snyder explains why winners' testimonials do not mean that a gambling system will work for the many over the long run, including for you.