The Origin of Blackjack

[ English ]

The casino game of chemin de fer was introduced to the United States of America in the 1800’s but it was not until the middle of the twentieth century that a strategy was created to beat the house in twenty-one. This article is going to take a rapid peak at the birth of that technique, Counting Cards.

When betting was made legal in the state of Nevada in 1934, black jack screamed into universal appeal and was commonly gambled on with 1 or 2 decks. Roger Baldwin wrote a paper in 1956 which described how to lower the casino advantage built on probability and stats which was quite confusing for gamblers who weren’t mathematicians.

In ‘62, Dr. Ed Thorp used an IBM 704 computer to advance the mathematical strategy in Baldwin’s paper and also developed the 1st card counting strategies. Dr. Ed Thorp wrote a tome called "Beat the Dealer" which outlined card counting techniques and the strategies for reducing the house edge.

This created a huge growth in chemin de fer players at the US casinos who were attempting to implement Dr. Thorp’s strategies, much to the alarm of the casinos. The system was hard to comprehend and difficult to implement and thusly expanded the earnings for the casinos as more and more people took to wagering on Blackjack.

However this large increase in earnings was not to last as the gamblers became more highly developed and more accomplished and the system was further refined. In the 80’s a bunch of students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology made card counting a part of the day-to-day vocabulary. Since then the casinos have introduced numerous methods to thwart card counters including but not limited to, multiple decks, shoes, shuffle machines, and rumor has itnow complex computer programs to read actions and identify "cheaters". While not against the law being discovered counting cards will get you blocked from the majority of casinos in sin city.

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