The History of Chemin de Fer

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Posted by Landyn | Posted in Blackjack | Posted on 28-01-2010

The game of twenty-one was brought to the U.S. in the 1800’s but it wasn’t until the middle of the 20th century that a technique was created to beat the casino in black jack. This material is going to grab a swift peak at the development of that strategy, Counting Cards.

When casino gambling was legitimized in Nevada in 1934, black jack screamed into recognition and was commonly played with one or two decks. Roger Baldwin published a dissertation in 1956 which detailed how to lower the house edge based on probability and performance history which was quite bewildering for gamblers who weren’t math experts.

In 1962, Dr. Edward O. Thorp utilized an IBM 704 computer to refine the mathematical strategy in Baldwin’s paper and also developed the 1st card counting tactics. Dr. Thorp authored a book called "Beat the Dealer" which summarized card counting techniques and the strategies for reducing the casino edge.

This spawned a massive growth in black jack players at the US betting houses who were attempting to put into practice Dr. Thorp’s tactics, much to the bewilderment of the casinos. The strategy was hard to understand and complicated to carry through and thusly elevated the earnings for the casinos as more and more people took to betting on Blackjack.

However this massive increase in profits wasn’t to continue as the gamblers became more refined and more accomplished and the system was further perfected. In the 1980’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 introduced numerous methods to counteract players who count cards including, more than one deck, shoes, shuffle machines, and gossip has it, complex computer software to scrutinize actions and identify "cheaters". While not illegal being discovered counting cards will get you barred from most if not all betting houses in Las Vegas.

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