Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions
Like other casino games...more
It's not often that I find a nonfiction book that reads like a thriller, but I couldn't put this one down. The story is about the MIT blackjack team, a group of college students who worked together to win millions of dollars gambling in Las Vegas and elsewhere in the 90s. Like other casino games, blackjack odds usually favor the house. But blackjack is unique in that the odds shift back and forth between players and the house depending on prior cards. The MIT group used a low betting "spotter" to count the cards, who would then signal a "big player" to come in and make huge bets only when the odds favored the players. The casinos don't like losing, and their tactics for dealing with the students provide most of the story's drama. Money, gambling, math nerds, strippers and vegas thugs - makes for a great story.
This book is the inspiration behind the movie, "21." The film, dumbs it up and the real thing is more spectacular than you can imagine.