In case you didn’t know, we are now living in the 43rd year of Thorp’s era. This person had a great impact on blackjack and the entire gaming industry, and I consider it very worthwhile to build a monument during his lifetime, also at the expense of the casino. As a young scientist, Edward O. Thorp often read mathematical journals. When he was a student, he was quick to make money. Thorp was fascinated by the idea of betting on the basis of calculations and decided to check the results of the “good four” and see what happened. The result of his work is the fantastic book Beat The Dealer, now its sales are approaching one million samples.
Thorp chose another path – he did not conduct research, but on powerful IBM computers at the time (they were also called mainframes) he wrote many programs in Fortran, creating the first method for the 60s. By the way, Thorp and his research teacher Claude Elwood Shannon, a great scientist, were also involved in solving the problem “how to win roulette?”
Through his calculations, Thorp found that the dead cards had a significant effect on a player’s chances one way or another. The main idea is to memorize the dead cards easily and when the situation is beneficial for the player, make a lot of money. By the way, this method still remains the basis of all blackjack counting methods and methods.
The calculation method presented by Thorp, is rather complicated for use in real casinos, requires a lot of concentration and a lot of mathematical thinking. Although training is good there is nothing impossible in its application.
Thorp’s book immediately became a hit and a bestseller. Everyone understands that with simple actions you can get profit. Every reader dreams of the big prize. However, Nuebe gaming casinos also know the sign.
They were frightened. In 1962 after Thorp’s book, all the casinos in Las Vegas without anything changed their rules due to the fear of a large influx of “system players”. The quality of the rules has been greatly reduced and there is no calculation method that will help you win. Although the effect on the casino turned out to be unexpected and the opposite – people stopped playing blackjack. And for several months, all casinos had to return to the old rules for their own survival. Another interesting effect caused by Thorp’s book is the incredible popularity of blackjack beyond the American favorite. Many people, after reading the book, see themselves as the ones who can win and run to the blackjack table. However, most of them did not understand the mathematical principles of the game, and they never became winners. Therefore, the casino gained more customers as well as lost customers. Since then, their numbers have increased.
The method presented in the first edition of Thorp’s book is difficult enough even for experts and only a few can apply it under game conditions. Things should be simplified.
The power behind the throne. Julian Braun is a very special person. He has never made a good blackjack deal. But he played millions and maybe even billions of people born on the computer. Braun was a great mathematician and programmer and liked Thorp’s ideas and gave him support in the field of computing and programming. Braun became the inventor of the Hi-Lo reading system. He is responsible for the development of the modern system whose author is Revere, Humble, Wong and Uston. He just wrote a book on how to play the game of Blackjack, but look at the book!
Braun updated Thorp’s system in FORTRAN and made significant changes and the second edition of Thorp’s book also contained the Hi-Lo system in its modern form. Braun worked at IBM and had access to the most powerful computers at the time. This fact helped to build a simple and effective tool in the fight against gambling.
Using Braun’s calculator, the most famous player such as Lawrence Revere developed his own calculation method and displayed the results in the form of a convenient table that is installed in many counters around the world. Lance Humble based his HiOpt system on Braun’s experience.
Despite the fact that Julian probably never went to the casino, he became the power behind the throne of blackjack and all the mathematical models of the game fell on him.