9 Feb 10

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The card game of Blackjack was introduced to the United States of America in the 19th century but it was not until the middle of the twentieth century that a system was created to beat the casino in chemin de fer. This material is going to grab a rapid peak at the development of that strategy, Card Counting.

When casino gambling was legitimized in the state of Nevada in ‘34, black jack screamed into universal appeal and was most commonly bet on with one or 2 decks. Roger Baldwin wrote a dissertation in 1956 which described how to reduce the casino advantage based on odds and stats which was really confusing for gamblers who were not math experts.

In 1962, Dr. Thorp used an IBM 704 computer to advance the mathematical strategy in Baldwin’s paper and also developed the 1st techniques for counting cards. Dr. Thorp wrote a tome called "Beat the Dealer" which illustrated card counting techniques and the tactics for lowering the house advantage.

This created a large growth in black jack players at the US casinos who were attempting to implement Dr. Ed Thorp’s strategies, much to the consternation of the casinos. The system was not easy to understand and hard to implement and thusly elevated the profits for the betting houses as more and more folks took to wagering on black jack.

However this huge increase in earnings was not to last as the players became more sophisticated and more aware and the system was further perfected. In the 1980’s a group of students from MIT made counting cards a part of the regular vernacular. Since then the casinos have developed countless methods to thwart card counters including but not limited to, multiple decks, shoes, constant shuffle machines, and speculation has it, complex computer software to analyze body language and identify "cheaters". While not prohibited being discovered counting cards will get you blocked from many betting houses in sin city.

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