• The Origin of Black Jack

    [ English ]

    The game of chemin de fer was introduced to the United States in the 19th century but it wasn’t until the mid twentieth century that a strategy was created to beat the casino in chemin de fer. This material is going to take a quick peak at the creation of that technique, Card Counting.

    When casino gambling was legalized in the state of Nevada in ‘34, black jack screamed into universal appeal and was usually bet on with 1 or 2 decks. Roger Baldwin published a paper in ‘56 which described how to lower the casino advantage founded on probability and stats which was quite complicated for individuals who were not math experts.

    In 1962, Dr. Ed Thorp utilized an IBM 704 computer to enhance the mathematical strategy in Baldwin’s dissertation and also developed the 1st card counting techniques. Dr. Ed Thorp wrote a book called "Beat the Dealer" which illustrated card counting techniques and the practices for reducing the casino edge.

    This spawned a huge increase in black jack gamblers at the US betting houses who were trying to put into practice Dr. Thorp’s techniques, much to the awe of the casinos. The system was difficult to understand and complicated to carry through and therefore heightened the earnings for the casinos as more and more people took to playing Blackjack.

    However this large increase in earnings wasn’t to last as the players became more sophisticated and more educated and the system was further perfected. 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 developed numerous measures to thwart players who count cards including (but not limited to), more than one deck, shoes, shuffle machines, and speculation has itnow sophisticated computer software to analyze actions and detect "cheaters". While not against the law being discovered counting cards will get you blocked from many betting houses in Las Vegas.

     January 30th, 2010  Caleb   No comments

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