The Origin of Black Jack

The casino game of Blackjack was brought to the United States in the 1800’s but it was not until the mid twentieth century that a system was developed to beat the house in black jack. This article is going to take a swift look at the creation of that system, Card Counting.

When casino gambling was legalized in the state of Nevada in ‘34, chemin de fer screamed into popularity and was usually bet on with one or two decks of cards. Roger Baldwin wrote a dissertation in 1956 which detailed how to lower the casino edge founded on probability and performance history which was quite confusing for gamblers who weren’t mathematicians.

In 1962, Dr. Edward O. Thorp used an IBM 704 computer to refine the mathematical strategy in Baldwin’s paper and also developed the 1st strategies for counting cards. Dr. Ed Thorp wrote a tome called "Beat the Dealer" which detailed card counting techniques and the tactics for reducing the house edge.

This created a huge growth in Blackjack competitors at the US betting houses who were trying to implement Dr. Ed Thorp’s techniques, much to the amazement of the casinos. The system was difficult to comprehend and difficult to execute and thusly improved the earnings for the betting houses as more and more folks took to betting on Blackjack.

However this huge growth in earnings was not to continue as the gamblers became more highly developed and more educated and the system was further perfected. 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 developed countless measures to counteract card counters including but not limited to, multiple decks, shoes, shuffle machines, and gossip has it, sophisticated computer programs to scrutinize actions and detect "cheaters". While not against the law being discovered counting cards will get you banned from most if not all casinos in sin city.

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