How did Dominic O'Brien win at Blackjack?

Hi guys, I’ve read a copy of the book “How to develop a perfect memory”
and Dominic talks about how to win at blackjack from his own winning experiences, but he never really explains his technique for it, he talks about the basic card counting but for the rest of the techniques he used, he keeps it to himself.

Does anyone know or can guess what kind of system he was using?

I don’t know but most likely, he picked up a book on the topic and memorized the best thing to do statistically (such as passing, folding, asking for a card, double betting) with every possible card combinations. Adding to this, he must have learned to keep track of the good and bad cards that leave the deck with a simple counting system (for instance, if the Ten, and faces are good for the house, he will definitely stay in the game if he counts that many have passed but will quickly walk away if he knows many are remaining in the shoe.)

I can’t imagine how else he would have done it.

He probably picked up PROFESSIONAL BLACKJACK by Stanley Wong. It shows you how to count cards and gives you charts based on the current count. Use the betting strategy and memorize the charts and you become a pro blackjack player…

I know I wrote a post about this somewhere else on this site, but believe me, as a former Las Vegas resident and someone who did MUCH research and trials on the subject, it’s virtually impossible to beat the Casinos at Blackjack. Learning a system of card-counting and getting it up to speed is the easy part. The tough parts are 1) finding a table with appropriate conditions that you can actually beat (that don’t have continous shufflers, have deep penetration of the cut cards, have player-friendly rules), and then 2) getting away with increasing your bets without drawing attention to your play. The only way you win at Blackjack is by betting big when the count is positive and betting small when the count is negative. As soon as the casino catches on to the fact that your betting is in concert with the count, they’ll bar you from playing blackjack (or in extreme cases bar you from the entire casino). Dominic O’Brien may have won some money a long time ago for a short period of time, but believe me people who claim to consistently beat the house at Blackjack are probably making more money selling their books and giving seminars on beating Blackjack.


Great answers! Thank you guys. Totally agree with you “tracym”!

To all who are interested, Mr. O’Brien will be releasing this in the near future.

It will be available online (exclusively)

Talks soon,


…and that’s basically why that whole book will be pointless. I don’t know if in Blackpool or wherever Dominic got banned they still do it old school; but in Macau and Singapore for example, it’s continuous shuffles only, so there is nothing there for you to count.


Card counting is a viable way to make a living, which is the majority of what Dominic did in his blackjack adventure. Mnemonics is virtually useless for counting besides memorizing strategy charts and holding the count between rounds or while talking, at least, not necessary.

When Dominic talks about using memory techniques to beat blackjack, he is referring to Ace Sequencing. He consulted with the leading blackjack experts, including Arnold Snyder who wrote the excellent book “The Shuffle Tracker’s Cookbook” which teaches ace sequencing, and he is also the author of the famous “Blackjack Forum” which is now online.

Sequencing involves memorizing “key cards” that are discarded on top of an ace in the discard tray, usually 3 cards, during play. This can only be done on specific weak hand shuffle blackjack games, after hours of training that specific shuffle, a speed card system, and a deep understanding of blackjack, you might be able to do it. Most games like this, don’t exist anymore.

Anyway, your key cards should appear equally spaced out during the next game, depending on the shuffle. When you know where your ace is going to land, bet big, really big.
The average card counter enjoys a 1% edge on everything they wager. The sequencer enjoys a 51% edge on everything they wager on the hand that receives a sequenced ace.

Ace sequencing is mostly a thing of the past. You couldn’t make a living solely doing it anymore, and you would be extremely lucky to get one game a year scouring the earth. A very fascinating piece of professional gambling though.

…and as you explain yourself later on that “you would be extremely lucky to get one game a year scouring the earth”, so that first is should be a was… bringing me back to my point…

…unless of course you want to read it as a history book, but then why not just watch a movie also inspired by a true story

One game per year was referring to an ace sequencing game. It is true that the MIT team has taken well over 8million using mostly card counting. I am a professional gambler, and 2020 card counting will be my main source of income. I’ve been full time for almost 2 years and do more than blackjack, most of which I won’t discuss publicly. You can make a living counting cards, it just sucks sometimes. Most cities with casinos have plenty of countable games. We do have to travel a lot, but we get it done. You don’t have to play 40 hours a week when you can make $200 an hour.

Ah, yes I agree to your point that it is just for the story. I’m excited, because most sequencers never tell their stories, so it will be a treat.

Edit: Sorry to keep adding, but maybe I didn’t distinguish enough that card counting and ace sequencing are completely separate skills/techniques. Card counting is still relevant, ace sequencing is not but it is an amazing chapter in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s.

If i’m not mistaken, he began developing his mnemonic techniques in 1987, when he saw Crichton Servello memorize a deck of 52 playing cards in less than three minutes on the BBC television program . To remember numbers, O’brien developed the Dominic mnemonic system, which is similar to the basic system.

This was the first book on the art of memory that I read. And I remember exactly that he explained his system. He adapted his author’s system of random locations for this, where the number of his hand determines the place (association of the location and the person), in this location different variants of the dealer’s hand and the final score of this alignment are placed. In total, he memorized 100,000 such combinations. The only thing I couldn’t figure out was which counting system he took. Developed his own? But it would take about ten years to develop 100,000 variations. He probably remembered someone’s ready-made system. In any case, the legendary Baldwin system is just a child’s bike against the backdrop of this monster.