Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

February 25, 2010
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You walk down the brightly lit casino floor; the stench of secondhand smoke mixed with cheap perfume attacks your nostrils. You scan the floor and finally see a table that looks good. You stumble over just like any rich, drunken college kid. But you're not. In fact, you are as alert as possible, tracking the cards as they are dealt, betting big every time. You're winning more than a normal blackjack player should, but the dealer isn't suspicious yet. You leave with an enormous amount of winnings. Why did you win? You won because you are a professional card counter.

Bringing Down the House is the true story of six students from M.I.T. who became the ideal card counters. Card counting is a form of tracking the cards dealt out of a blackjack shoe and calculating the odds that a high card, such as a queen or an ace, will emerge. These students spent their weekdays as average college kids and their weekends as big-time blackjack players in Las Vegas.

Ben Mezrich chronicles the story of Kevin Lewis, a M.I.T. student who is chosen for the team. At first, things seem to be going great. Kevin is getting rich and doesn't even have to work at it. Then, the casinos start to wise up, and the students realize the lies they were living. How will they resolve the problem? Will they find a solution?

This book is a gripping read. The story is intricately woven between present-day interviews with those involved and the past story of the card counters. However, Bringing Down the House is not just about blackjack; it is also about developing security systems for casinos and the lengths they go to eradicate cheating. The movie “21” was based on this book. This is a five-star read that I recommend to anyone looking for a good true story.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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fictitious-quandary said...
Nov. 10, 2012 at 10:11 pm
 Great review. I love this book. Ben Mezrich is terrific. Rigged is probably my favorite of his books. 
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