Jerry Patterson responds to Arnold Snyder's criticism of the blackjack shuffle tracking system in   Break the Dealer.
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Best Internet casino software review

Best Casino Bonuses Online

By Jerry Patterson
(From Blackjack Forum VII #1, March 1987)
© 1987 Blackjack Forum

Patterson's Remarks:

Arnold Snyder reviewed Break the Dealer the new book coauthored by me and Eddie Olsen in his latest blackjack newsletter (Blackjack Forum Vl #4). And he totally missed the major point the most valuable piece of data in the entire book game control techniques employed by the casinos and how much an understanding of them will work to the player's advantage. It doesn't matter whether or not he agrees with this data, he owed it to his readers to at least bring it to their attention.

You don't need arithmetical proof that these techniques exist; all you need to do is open your eyes and observe what is going on at the blackjack tables. Further observation will tell you if the casino's game control policies have any effect on your chances of winning or losing. This data will show you how to avoid casinos where your chances of winning are lessened, regardless of the strategies you use.

Snyder probably chose not to comment on these techniques because they can be verified without any complicated mathmetical (sic) formulas or computer simulation. Any ideas that cannot be neatly fit into a formula or a computer are, apparently, of no interest to him. Ninety percent of his comments were directed to the chapter on shuffle-tracking. Most of his criticism of this chapter boiled down to our ideas about cutting aces and low cards out of play to create more dealer breaking activity. He claimed that the ace is more useful to the player because of it's (sic) impact on player blackjacks - which occur about once every 20 or 21 hands. Snyder does not accept the notion of a dealer breaking table. If he did, he would recognize the tremendous profit making power of a shoe where the dealer keeps breaking hand after hand and the players keep winning hand after hand. Who cares about getting blackjacks in a shoe like this - with a player advantage of 100% or more - a shoe where you start with $1000 and can leave with $2000 or more?

I've played in dealer breaking tables where I've bought in for $500 and left, 2-3 shoes later, with $5000 or more. And I didn't Ret one blackjack during this entire duration! Few of the other players did either because the aces were not in play.

Snyder will argue that these are isolated events and not predictable, that luck is involved in being at these tables when the heavy winning action is occurring (sic). Not true! They are predictable. And their detection and prediction is the essence of the TARGET Method developed by Eddie Olsen and made available by me for over five years. Snyder has criticized this method since it's inception because it doesn't meet his preconceived notions of what a blackjack game is - a random shuffle dealing tens of millions of hands on a computer. Snyder keeps hoping that TARGET will go away, that if he keeps knocking it that somehow blackjack players will quit using it. There is a very simple reason why TARGET will not go away Arnold, and that is because it is a method that works for recreational players and serious players alike. There is no way that I could offer TARGET for sale to those blackjack players who seek me out if it didn't work. I have been selling TARGET for five years and have always given a 21 day unconditional guarantee with every sale. And if the buyer wants more time to validate TARGET in the casino, I give it to him - no problem.

In your recent "sermon" (Blackjack Forum IV #4) you criticized "East Coast System Sellers" for marketing untested systems with no mathmetical (sic) basis and no computer verification. You, Arnold, are the one who is misleading the public (or at least your 1000 readers) with your apotheosis of card counting. The fact of the matter is, Arnold, that card counting just doesn't work for the majority of card counters. They don't understand standard deviation and what a statistical swing can mean to their bankroll with an advantage of little more that 1%. They know nothing and could care less about betting with the Kelly criterion. Long run? What's that? To the majority of players it's tonight's session with maybe a few hundred bucks at most in their pockets. You and your other self appointed watchdogs are writing mainly to and for each other and to a small number of "blackjack freaks" who spend hundreds of hours at home practicing their "numbers" for every one hour they spend playing in the casinos.

To your other readers who hear about you through your advertising campaigns, you are giving them false hopes because your methods just don't meet their needs in today's world.

I am much more in tune with the needs of blackjack players in today's environment than you will ever be. We get calls from hundreds of players over the course of a year. Many become TARGET Users. We follow up with these players in joint playing sessions in the casino, in periodic seminars, and in annual conventions - all at no additional cost. And outside of all of this follow-up, I get three or four calls a week from students who want to schedule a joint session. More often than not I do it. I enjoy doing this not only because it keeps my game sharp but also because it keeps me in tune with my students needs and up to date on how they're doing.

A question for your readers: In his recent issue Arnold Snyder stated that he had 1000 readers and noted how hard he had worked over the last five years to build his subscription up to this level. Have you ever wondered why he publishes a newsletter? He charges $24 per year so his gross income is just $24,000. Subtract off his expenses and what does he make. $12,000? No more than $15,000. Why does he do it? The reason comes from page 5 of his last issue. "I'd like to thank all of my readers who continue to barrage me with letters, information, criticism, applause, etc. Believe me I'm a mail junkie and this feedback keeps me going." Arnold Snyder is on an EGO trip. And his little mag satisfies his huge ego.

Eddie and I don't work in Snyder's random world; we work in the real world. And we play blackjack. We spend time in the casinos winning with our own methods. If Arnold Snyder was a winning player, would he spend as much time as he does on an ego trip? Why can't he make 15 grand a year using his own methods? Either he's a loser or his ego is even bigger than I think it is. ♠


[Note: For Arnold Snyder's Response to Patterson, see the link at the left. Also, you should be aware that Eddie Olsen, after receiving mathematical proof that the system was phony, dissociated himself from the TARGET system not long after this letter from Patterson was published. Olsen is now the publisher of the reputable newsletter, Blackjack Confidential, which focuses on blackjack tournament news.]

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  Jerry Patterson responds to criticism of the blackjack shuffle tracking methods in Break the Dealer.