Though there are many different strategies for all kinds of casino games, one of the most famous and successful strategies are card-counting. This Blackjack strategy requires a lot of skill, concentration and subtlety. When it is used properly, the player can take away huge amounts of money, something the house doesn’t take kindly too. Many gamblers have been escorted out of casinos because they’ve been caught counting cards. But there are still some very famous gamblers who have made exorbitant amounts of cash due to their skills in counting Blackjack cards.
The art of this strategy was originally invented by Edward Thorp, the “Father” of card counting. This brilliant mathematics professor developed the system in the early 60s. For years he knew almost nothing about gambling, but was soon introduced to the sport by his friend Claude Shannon who took him to Las Vegas. Thorp played Blackjack which he was fascinated by, and it wasn’t long before he was certain that there was a mathematical way for the player to increase his chances of winning. He delved into his studies of the game, creating a huge computer where he invented simulations of Blackjack played billions of times on the screen. It became clear that the lower cards were better for the dealer, and larger cards were better for the player. So he soon concluded that, as lower cards leave the deck, the larger cards remain giving an advantage to the player, and vice versa with the larger cards leaving the deck. As Shannon and Thorp headed to the casinos to test out their findings, they started earning $70,000 on an average weekend. The clueless casinos tried frantically to catch the men cheating but found nothing wrong. Many times the duo was kicked out, but the casinos still had no idea what was going on. It wasn’t until Thorp published his book “Beat the Dealer” which explained the strategy of card counting that the casinos were finally able to start spotting and preventing it.
Since Edward Thorp first developed the system, many other famous gamblers and expert card counters have emerged. Lawrence Revere, casino pit boss and Blackjack player, wrote a book called Playing Blackjack as a Business which goes over several different types of card counting, ranging from simple to complex. Tommy Hyland has been playing since 1979, being influenced by the writings of Revere, and is the manager of the longest running blackjack team in the world, a team adept at ace sequencing and shuffle tracking. Peter Griffin was less of a player and more of a researcher, but he wrote several books on the game, including The Theory of Blackjack and The Complete Card Counter’s Guide to the Casino Game of 21. James Grosjean was famous for winning several verdicts over casinos that tried to accuse him of cheating, and his legal victories made him a hero in the eyes of gamblers everywhere.
These are only a few of the famous gamblers who have made card counting an art and a sport. When used subtly and cleverly, this revered technique is one of the most proclaimed strategies for sure winning in Blackjack.