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Biography of Arnold Snyder

Arnold Snyder has made his name through both practice and theory: a professional blackjack gambler turned gambling author, Arnold Snyder champions the rights of the gamblers whilst educating them in the ways of the gambling world.

Arnold Snyder’s books have been gracing the bookshelves since the early 1980s when, in the first year of that decade, he published The blackjack Formula. The factor that set Snyder’s approach apart from others’ - both then and now - is his strictly mathematical reasoning. Snyder does not believe in chance or luck, he sees blackjack as a game of mathematics and therefore one of formulas. In his debut publication, Arnold Snyder altered the perception of the blackjack world by dealing for the first time, in an in-depth manner, the importance of deck penetration and card counting.

Since 1980, Arnold Snyder has published several books, but arguably his greatest contribution to the blackjack world has been the Blackjack Forum which he has run and edited since 1981. The idea behind the Blackjack Forum was originally to provide a blackjack outlet that Arnold himself wanted to read as he was dissatisfied with the blackjack publications available. Today, the forum is on line rather than in print and is updated somewhat regularly; it still operates to the highest of standards with contributions from gamblers, industry people and mathematicians with, of course, Arnold Snyder still as editor.

Snyder’s books over the years have shaped the look of professional gambling. His concentration has been mostly on blackjack, but in recent years he has diversified his influence, for example with the 2001 publication of The Poker tournament formula which deals with strategy, bankrolls and re-buys in multi-table poker tournaments, all from Snyder’s characteristic mathematical perspective.

Arnold Snyder’s blackjack books are concerned in general with the communication of professional gambling techniques. For example, in his Blackbelt in Blackjack Snyder introduces the reader to professional tips for winning, whilst The Blackjack Shuffle Trackers Cookbook helps in understanding the tracking of casino shuffles and updating one’s techniques to the newest shufflers.

Arnold Snyder doesn’t just deal with the tactics and the math though; he is also interested in the people behind the game. His publication The Big Book of Blackjack gives an excellent history of the game itself as well as providing information regarding some of the landmark figures that have shone through the games history and indeed influenced the game significantly. Furthermore, Arnold Snyder has appeared in a number of cases as an expert witness, and gave testimony in the trial of Tommy Hyland, the result of whose case contributed to the continued playing of team blackjack in North America.

It is a combination of all of these contributions and triumphs that have earned Arnold Snyder his reputation, and got him popularly elected by fellow professional blackjack players into the blackjack hall of fame where he stood as one of the original seven members.

Andrew Sanders - Managing Editor