6 Feb 10

The game of black jack was introduced to the United States of America in the 19th century but it was not until the middle of the 20th century that a system was developed to defeat the house in Blackjack. This material is going to grab a swift peak at the birth of that strategy, Card Counting.

When gambling was approved in the state of Nevada in 1934, twenty-one sky-rocketed into popularity and was commonly played with 1 or two decks. Roger Baldwin wrote a dissertation in ‘56 which explained how to lower the casino advantage founded on odds and stats which was very bewildering for players who weren’t mathematicians.

In ‘62, Dr. Thorp used an IBM 704 computer to advance the mathematical strategy in Baldwin’s dissertation and also created the 1st tactics for counting cards. Dr. Ed Thorp wrote a tome called "Beat the Dealer" which summarized card counting techniques and the strategies for lowering the house advantage.

This created a huge increase in twenty-one players at the US casinos who were attempting to implement Dr. Ed Thorp’s strategies, much to the consternation of the casinos. The technique was not easy to comprehend and complicated to implement and therefore improved the earnings for the casinos as more and more folks took to playing chemin de fer.

However this massive increase in profits wasn’t to continue as the players became more sophisticated and more aware and the system was further refined. In the 80’s a bunch of students from MIT made counting cards a part of the day-to-day vernacular. Since then the casinos have introduced countless measures to thwart players who count cards including but not limited to, multiple decks, shoes, shuffle machines, and speculation has it, sophisticated computer programs to read body language and identify "cheaters". While not against the law being caught counting cards will get you barred from the majority of betting houses in Las Vegas.

Filed under: Blackjack - Trackback Uri

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.