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Blackjack Aces Series: Arnold Synder

by Craig Edwards
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Arnold Snyder

Nearly a year ago, legendary Blackjack player and writer Arnold Synder sadly passed away after a long gambling life, when he never stopped campaigning for the rights of gamblers up and down America. In that time, he became an esteemed author of Blackjack and was an original inductee into the Hall of Fame

Join us as we look into his legacy, and how it can help in your casino gaming endeavors.

How It All Began

Arnold Synder’s publication, The Blackjack Formula in 1980 sprung him into the gambling world’s psyche with his description of “deck penetration” in card counting. In the following years of 1981 and 1983 on the Blackjack forum he founded, he became the first Blackjack scholar to articulate that radical simplification of card counting would not decrease earnings.

The Blackjack Forum

Since 1981, Synder had been the editor of the Blackjack Forum, a betting quarterly publication that, in 2004, transitioned to an online publication.

They are the recognized publisher of sharp betting articles from many esteemed gamblers, some of whom we have already mentioned in this series such as Al Francesco.

Synder Passed on his mathematical genius to gamblers the world over with his ability to articulate the complicated mathematics behind card counting, and he was the first to show the mathematics behind the different types of Blackjack shuffles in an understandable analytical form for readers.

The 1987 Complete Blackjack Series

1987 saw Synder complete a five-part 64 page extremely popular series of books for the gambling community, that detailed the profitability of card counting for all the various forms of deck shuffling simply titled:

  • Beat the 1-deck game
  • Beat the 2-deck game
  • Beat the 4-deck game
  • Beat the 6-deck game
  • Beat the 8-deck game

Synder turned his mathematical attention to poker in 2006.

Back in 2006, Synder was one of the first to articulate a multi-table tournament strategy for poker tournaments. This enabled readers to make the optimal mathematical play dependent on the blind level and stack size at the time.

Interestingly, he discussed bankroll requirements for a tournament poker player and optimal strategy for rebuy tournaments.

We have talked about all the best poker players in our Poker Prodigy Series, and from a certain perspective, Synder was the first to articulate optimum strategy and a pioneer for today’s ICM (Independent Chip Model) calculations in poker.

Advocating for Change in Gambling Laws

As our readers will know, the gambling laws of America are finally coming in line with other parts of the world, particularly Europe and Asia. Throughout his lifetime, Synder fought the cause of gamblers in the law courts up and down the country.

His testimony in a Canadian trial in Windsor Ontario when Tommy Hyland was fighting the cause of team play in Blackjack was fundamental in the case being won.

Synder also took part in further legal proceedings as an expert witness in a trial centered around the rights of the hole cards.

Synder’s Final Publication Took Ten Years

Arnold Synder’s final book, Radical Blackjack was ready for publishing in 2011 but he waited for ten years until 2021.

This was because the advanced nature of the plays being articulated were still regularly used by gambling professionals up and down America and it would have exposed their integrity.

The Arnold Synder Legacy

As you can tell by now, Arnold Synder has been an extremely influential Blackjack expert for over 40 years before his passing in 2023. He has charted the fundamental part mathematics plays in winning at Blackjack at all levels of shuffle. As a respected author, he articulated the art of card counting in easy form for readers which is never the easy task that Synder made it appear.

Interestingly, his writings on poker can now be viewed as pioneering, as he introduces pure mathematics into optimum strategy, something today’s modern poker brains have built their ICM concepts around. He was a long-standing proponent of the rights of gamblers and their freedoms around Blackjack and will be sadly missed by the gambling community, but his words will carry weight for years to come!

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Craig Edwards
Craig Edwards, an online tipster in golf and snooker for over four years, boasts a track record of 7800 bets with a 28% return on investment. A snooker professional from 1988 to 1996, he was once a single-figure handicap golfer. Achieving the 282nd position in the WSOP MAIN EVENT in 2007, Craig possesses a unique insight into the psychological shifts of professional sportsmen, anticipating their mindset week by week.

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