The History of Black Jack
February 1st, 2010 by Annabella

The card game of black jack was introduced to the U.S. in the 19th century but it was not until the mid twentieth century that a strategy was created to defeat the house in black jack. This material is going to grab a quick look at the development of that strategy, Counting Cards.

When wagering was legitimized in Nevada in 1934, twenty-one screamed into universal appeal and was most commonly played with 1 or 2 decks of cards. Roger Baldwin published a paper in ‘56 which detailed how to lower the casino edge founded on probability and performance history which was very difficult to understand for individuals who weren’t math experts.

In ‘62, Dr. Ed Thorp used an IBM 704 computer to enhance the mathematical strategy in Baldwin’s dissertation and also developed the first tactics for card counting. Dr. Thorp authored a book called "Beat the Dealer" which outlined card counting techniques and the practices for lowering the house advantage.

This spawned a massive growth in chemin de fer competitors at the US casinos who were attempting to implement Dr. Ed Thorp’s strategies, much to the amazement of the casinos. The strategy was challenging to comprehend and complicated to carry through and therefore increased the profits for the betting houses as more and more people took to playing Blackjack.

However this massive growth in profits was not to last as the players became more refined and more aware and the system was further refined. In the 80’s a group of students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology made counting cards a part of the day-to-day vernacular. Since then the casinos have introduced countless methods to thwart card counters including but not limited to, more than one deck, shoes, constant shuffle machines, and rumour has it, complex computer software to scrutinize body language and detect "cheaters". While not against the law being caught counting cards will get you barred from most casinos in sin city.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

»  Substance: WordPress   »  Style: Ahren Ahimsa