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The Origin of Black Jack

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The game of black jack was brought to the United States of America in the 19th century but it wasn't until the mid 20th century that a technique was developed to beat the house in twenty-one. This material is going to grab a rapid look at the creation of that strategy, Counting Cards.

When betting was authorized in Nevada in 1934, chemin de fer sky-rocketed into popularity and was most commonly gambled on with 1 or two decks. Roger Baldwin published a dissertation in 1956 which described how to lower the house advantage based on probability and statistics which was quite bewildering for players 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 first card counting strategies. Dr. Ed Thorp wrote a book called "Beat the Dealer" which summarized card counting strategies and the tactics for reducing the casino edge.

This spawned a huge growth in black jack gamblers at the US betting houses who were trying to implement Dr. Ed Thorp's strategies, much to the anxiety of the casinos. The technique was not easy to understand and complicated to carry through and thusly improved the profits for the betting houses as more and more folks took to betting on black jack.

However this massive growth in profits was not to continue as the gamblers became more refined and more aware and the system was further perfected. In the 80's a bunch of students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology made card counting a part of the everyday vocabulary. Since then the casinos have brought in numerous measures to counteract card counters including but not limited to, multiple decks, shoes, shuffle machines, and speculation has it, complex computer software to observe body language and detect "cheaters". While not illegal being discovered counting cards will get you blocked from all betting houses in Las Vegas.

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