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The card game of twenty-one was introduced to the US in the 1800’s but it was not until the mid 20th century that a strategy was developed to defeat the casino in Blackjack. This article is going to take a swift peak at the creation of that strategy, Counting Cards.

When gambling was made legal in Nevada in ‘34, black jack screamed into universal appeal and was most commonly played with 1 or 2 decks of cards. Roger Baldwin published a dissertation in 1956 which explained how to reduce the casino edge based on probability and statistics which was very complicated for those who weren’t math experts.

In 1962, Dr. Edward O. Thorp utilized an IBM 704 computer to advance the mathematical strategy in Baldwin’s paper and also created the first card counting tactics. Dr. Thorp wrote a book called "Beat the Dealer" which outlined card counting strategies and the strategies for lowering the casino advantage.

This spawned a large increase in twenty-one competitors at the US casinos who were attempting to put into practice Dr. Thorp’s tactics, much to the amazement of the casinos. The system was challenging to understand and difficult to put into practice and therefore elevated the profits for the casinos as more and more folks took to gambling on chemin de fer.

However this large increase in earnings was not to continue as the gamblers became more sophisticated and more cultivated and the system was further refined. In the 1980’s a bunch of students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology made counting cards a part of the everyday vocabulary. Since then the casinos have brought in numerous measures to thwart card counters including, multiple decks, shoes, constant shuffle machines, and gossip has it, complex computer software to analyze actions and detect "cheaters". While not prohibited being discovered counting cards will get you blocked from the majority of brick and mortar casinos in Las Vegas.