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History Of Casino Games or How People Learned to Count Cards

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It was from Thorp.

If you don’t know, we are now living in the 43rd year of the Thorp era. That person had such a big influence on blackjack and the entire gaming industry, that I seriously consider it worthwhile to build a monument while alive, by the way, at the expense of the casino.

As a young scientist, Edward O. Thorp regularly read mathematical newspapers. When he was a student, he was pressured for money. The idea of ​​outperforming the casino based on calculations appealed to Thorp and he decided to check the results of the “excellent four” and see what would come out of it. The result of its activity was a phenomenal Beat The Dealer book, now its sales are approaching millions of samples.

Thorp chose the other way – he did not do analytical calculations, but with the powerful IBM computer of the time (they were also called the mainframe), he wrote several programs on Fortran, creating very original methods for the 60s. By the way, Thorp, along with his research instructor Claude Elwood Shannon, a great scientist, was also involved in solving the problem sports betting sites “how to overcome roulette?”

According to his calculations, Thorp understood that the dead cards had a considerable effect on the player’s chances this way or that. Its main idea was to memorize the dead cards in a somewhat simplified way and, when the situation is beneficial for the player, place high bets. By the way, this system still remains the basis of any blackjack counting methods and systems.

The counting system introduced by Thorp was quite complicated for use in real casinos, requiring great concentration and a great deal of mental arithmetic. However, with good training, there was nothing impossible in its application.

Thorp’s book immediately became a hit and best seller. Everyone understood that with very simple actions, you can get an advantage. Every reader dreamed of huge prizes. However, casinos also knew the score.

Panic washed over them. And in 1962, after Thorp’s book, all Las Vegas casinos, without exception, changed their rules, fearing the massive influx of “system players”. The quality of the rules has deteriorated enormously and no counting system could help him win. Although the effect of the casino was quite unpredictable and reversed – people stopped playing blackjack. And for several months, all casinos had to revert to the previous rules for their own survival.

Another interesting effect caused by Thorp’s book – the incredible popularity of blackjack, surpassing the favorite American craps. Many people, after reading the book, considered themselves potential winners and rushed to the blackjack tables. However, most of them had a poor understanding of the mathematical principles of the game, they did not become winners, but vice versa. Therefore, the casino has more customers and loses customers. Since then, their number is only increasing.

The system presented in the first edition of Thorp’s book was quite difficult, even for professionals, and only a few could apply it under the conditions of a real game. Something must be simplified.

The power behind the throne.

Julian Braun is a very unique personality. He had almost never made a deal in real blackjack. But he threw millions and maybe even billions of deals on the computer. Braun was a good mathematician and programmer and took an interest in Thorp’s idea and offered him cooperation in the sphere of calculations and programming.

Braun became the person who invented the Hi-Lo counting system. He was behind the development of all modern systems owned by Revere, Humble, Wong and Uston. He wrote the only book How to Play Blackjack Winner, but what a book!

Braun updated the Thorp system on FORTRAN and made considerable changes, and the second edition of the Thorp book also contained the Hi-Lo system in its modern form. It was quite a revolution in the game world. Braun worked at the IBM corporation and had access to probably the most powerful computers at the time. This fact helped to build a simple and efficient tool in the fight with the casino.

Using Braun’s calculations, the player known mainly as Lawrence Revere developed his own counting system and presented his results in the form of convenient tables, applied at most counters in the world. Lance Humble based its HiOpt systems on Braun’s experience.
Regardless of the fact that Julian was probably never at the casino, he became a power behind the blackjack throne and all the mathematical modeling of the game fell on him.

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