Casino-ology by Bill Zender

In Casino-ology: The Art of Managing Casino Games Bill Zender reveals in what ways managing a casino really is an art. For a live-gaming player who wants to know more about the workings of casinos and the theory underlying the practice of running one, this is a compelling book. While the aim of the book is to show how improvements to the player’s experience can systematically earn a casino more money, it also offers the player insight into the logic behind the decisions a casino makes regarding the stakes, payouts, and other house rules.

The first section will most likely be of the greatest interest. In this section Zender – whose 30 years of experience on both sides of the table in the gaming industry include casino management, experience as an advantage player as well as a control board enforcement agent – tackles the management of live blackjack. If you think casinos and advantage players are always at odds when it comes to profits and gaming pleasure, think again. Zender actually argues convincingly against protective measures such as excessive vigilance against card-counters and rules prohibiting mid-shoe entry. He is repulsed by the suggestion that 6 to 5 payouts will benefit anyone. Zender objectively investigates the level of skill among card counters, and when and how to protect casino games such as blackjack. Although this book is written for gaming executives, the tactics suggested to counter skilled advantage players and where to set the limits of vigilance may be of interest to advantage players wishing to gain insight into the logic of the application of a casino’s protective strategies.