31 Jan 10

The casino game of black jack was introduced to the United States in the 1800’s but it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that a strategy was created to beat the casino in black jack. This material is going to take a rapid peak at the birth of that system, Card Counting.

When betting was legalized in the state of Nevada in ‘34, black jack screamed into recognition and was usually wagered on with one or two decks of cards. Roger Baldwin published a paper in 1956 which detailed how to lower the casino edge built on odds and statistics which was very bewildering for individuals who weren’t mathematicians.

In 1962, Dr. Ed Thorp used an IBM 704 computer to advance the mathematical strategy in Baldwin’s dissertation and also developed the 1st card counting techniques. Dr. Ed Thorp wrote a tome called "Beat the Dealer" which outlined card counting strategies and the tactics for reducing the casino advantage.

This spawned a massive growth in chemin de fer gamblers at the US betting houses who were attempting to put into practice Dr. Ed Thorp’s techniques, much to the bewilderment of the casinos. The system was hard to comprehend and complicated to execute and therefore expanded the earnings for the casinos as more and more folks took to gambling on black jack.

However this massive growth in profits was not to continue as the players became more sophisticated and more cultivated and the system was further refined. In the 80’s a bunch of students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology made counting cards a part of the day-to-day vocabulary. Since then the casinos have brought in countless methods to counteract players who count cards including but not limited to, multiple decks, shoes, shuffle machines, and rumour has itnow complex computer programs to scrutinize actions and detect "cheaters". While not against the law being discovered counting cards will get you blocked from most brick and mortar casinos in Las Vegas.

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