[Editor’s Note: We continue to receive tributes to blackjack expert, writer extraordinaire, and friend of many Arnold Snyder, who passed away after succumbing to an infection in early June. This one is from Rick Blaine, author of our book Blackjack Blueprint.]
After receiving the sad news that Arnold Snyder passed away, I’m reflecting on the friendship we had since the 1990s. Those of us who’ve acquired the skills of playing a winning game and extracting money from casinos worldwide owe much to The Bishop, as he was known in this circle. The wisdom he shared in his books and Blackjack Forum publication has catapulted numerous budding blackjack players to higher skill levels as far back as 1981.
Arnold’s analytical expertise was universally recognized, especially when he developed two card-counting systems, Red Seven and Zen. He wasn’t all about numbers, though. Arnold knew how to stay under the radar and was able to play high-stakes blackjack without getting picked off by casino surveillance. He was clever enough to outsmart them and stay several steps ahead of the technology casinos used.
When casinos eventually learned how to quickly identify card counters, Arnold found other ways to win at blackjack. He learned that most casinos had a uniform and predictable method of shuffling decks that could be exploited for profit. He studied this intensely and devised methods of tracking specific shuffles that totally baffled casino surveillance. Generous as he was in sharing his knowledge, he published The Shuffle Tracker’s Cookbook, the most comprehensive book for learning this skill.
Under his RGE Publishing label, Arnold authored and published several books, with one of his most popular being Blackbelt in Blackjack. After exiting the publishing business, he continued to write, analyze games, and play high-stakes blackjack while staying under the radar.
A true legend of the game, Arnold Snyder was one of the seven inductees named to the Blackjack Hall of Fame in its first year.
The words here are merely the tip of the iceberg of what can be said of The Bishop. There is much more that many of us can say of the accomplishments of this talented, trustworthy, and most interesting individual. I feel blessed to have had him as a mentor, teammate, confidante, and friend. I certainly miss him.