This is an exciting read and an interesting study of human nature, as the students organize their "club" and the winning (at first) is all about beating the house. Very quickly their dependance on the money brought in by their new venture takes the competition in a new and scary direction.
A thoroughly-entertaining real-life how-to on beating the casinos at their own game (NOTE: many of the techniques used here may no longer work -- casino owners know how to read books, too). The authors made millions all across the country, then told this tale. Wow.
Laurie G. (mummyisis) reviewed Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions on
Helpful Score: 4
The book was so much better than the movie...but aren't they always!
I highly recommend this book. It's a good read and well written. Plus, you get the tips on how to count cards....if you're daring enough to try it...
A fun read...the amazing inside story about a gambling ring of M.I.T. students who beat the system in Las Vegas...and lived to tell how! In less than three years, the students take some of the world's most dophisticated casinos for more than $3 million by playing blackjack.
Amazing how these math genius's were able to "beat" the system for as long as they did. Although a true story, it read like fiction. If you have watched the movie "21", but haven't read the book, I would suggest reading the book as there are many differences including the ending. Ben did a great job telling the story through the eyes of one student who was a Big Player.
"He knew he looked like the most arrogant pr**k in the world, but he didn't care. Hubris had no place in a card-counter's vocabulary. There was plenty of time for humility back in Boston..."
So, besides that bit, which will annoy me for the next week or so, it was a pretty good book. I didn't care for Mezrich's style so much (Crichton? Stephen King self-parody?), but the story is great. Much better than the movie.
The story of how these MIT students mastered a foolproof method for card counting got my husband into reading. Yeah! I did skim a few parts, but was enthralled at the system they developed and the extreme success they experienced for a long time.
This is a very fast read. I think I was done in less than 6 or 7 hours. It is fast paced, and is a fun look behind the scenes at a casino. If you are planning a trip to a casino, you should read this; not because it will help you "bring down the house", it won't, but I found myself looking around the casino I went to with a much more knowing eye than I would have had if I had not read the book. The downside, the characters are mostly college age kids, who aren't really very interesting. I have since read the book written by the group's much older mentor, and it is a better book about the same events.
The bottom line, if you like light, escapist heist type books, you will like this one.
If you are looking for a more serious tome, try "Busting Vega$."
Fun. A vicarious look at how a few students took some clever ideas and strategies for gaining an edge on the casinos and evolved it into a high roller lifestyle and enterprise.
The book focuses mainly on the dramatic events (big wins / losses, team turmoil, brushes with casino security) and doesn't go very deeply into the mathematical strategy the players used. I left thinking there had to be more to it than what was presented as the casinos seemed too oblivious to the brazenness of the students.
The book that inspired the movie - this is a truly unbelievable and astonishing account of the infamous MIT blackjack team (well,one of them anyway). Even if you've never gambled, after seeing the astonishing results the team achieved, you might think of researching tickets to Vegas. A very engaging story with a likable subject who lives out many people's fantasy.
I just finished reading this book. I have had it on my shelf to read for some time, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. Since the movie is now out I wanted to read the book first. I am sorry that I waited so long because I LOVED this book. It was fast-paced and exciting. I thought it was a thoroughly fun book. Kind of reminded me of Ocean's Eleven.
Robin Hood meets the Rat Pack when the best and the brightest of M.I.T.'s math students and engineers take up blackjack under the guidance of an eccentric mastermind. Tense action, high stakes, and incredibly close calls.
This tells the story of "normal" MIT kids who get rich by playing blackjack. There is backstabbing and intrigue. There is the feeling that anyone could do what these kids did. It is interesting and holds your attention.
My copy is a paperback, not a hardcover.
"The Inside Story of Six M.I.T. Students Who Took Vegas for Millions." That quote is from the front cover of the book and is a better synopsis than any I could write.
This book is non-fiction "loosely defined" - as some names have been changed and some characters are composites and some circumstances altered. Having said that, the book gives a great account of the MIT blackjack enterprise and the "attacks" on the casinos especially in Las Vegas. Also, included in the book are quite a few details re: card counting and playing blackjack in general. I found the last 1/3 of the book the most interesting - as the casinos gradually become aware of these attacks and begin countermeasures and confrontations.
All in all, an excellent read.
"The story is told through the eyes of the author, who met one of the students at a party and was so intrigued by his outrageous tale that he was compelled to put it into a book.
This is a story of a group of math whizzes, most of Asian descent, who used the art of card counting, worked as teams, and legally won as much as 4 million dollars during the few years they spent their weekends in the Vegas casinos, living the high life." amazon review
I couldn't put down Bringing Down The House. As the casinos begun to increase their security, I had to find out what happened to the card counters in the end. This book is nonfiction but it has the pace of a thrilling novel. I like how the past and present are separated into different parts. I wanted to find out about the present but only could find out by reading the past sections or reading further into the book.
These are really bold guys who know how to apply math. Working as a team, they came up before the casinos got wise and banned card counters, but had a good run for several years in the late 1990s.
The story is told in short, punchy chapters about events in Boston, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, etc. from a given time in the past to the present day. The author gets to work as 'an extension of Kevin's bankroll.' Realism!
It includes a short chapter on How To Count Cards and Beat Vegas by Kevin Lewis. "Blackjack is the only game in the casino that is beatable over an extended period of time, because blackjack is subject to continuous probability. This simply means that what you see affects what you are going to see.
Blackjack is a game with a memory."
No index, so I reduce my evaluation by one star.