Blackjack is a card game for intellectuals, mathematicians, and anyone who likes to try their luck. Over the years, it has experienced ups and downs. However, it has become one of the most striking examples of how the attitude towards the game can change it. Blackjack began to be played in the middle of the 18th century. Like many other gambling games, it originated in France. The Americans later gave it a slightly different form. Therefore, it is in this form that we see the game in modern realities. In this article, we will tell you how the rules of blackjack changed over time.
History of the game
For two hundred years, blackjack has been the “reserve player” in casinos. In the 1950s, the most popular entertainment in Las Vegas casinos was dice. It was a social game: if the dice were supportive and the player won, they would throw a party, if he lost, they would be sad together. On the other hand, blackjack distanced one player from another and placed them on opposite sides of the barricades. In 1956, a quartet of mathematicians of the United States Armed Forces published an article in the journal of the American Statistical Association. The material described for the first time a mathematically correct set of actions for the game. Later, this approach became better known as the basic strategy.
Then, in 1962, Ed Thorpe published Beat the Dealer, the best-selling paperback book, which explained to the general public that by counting the cards, players can have a statistical advantage over the casino in the face of the dealer. Following this, smart and disciplined gamblers became casino regulars. Blackjack quickly became the most popular gambling game. The initial panic of casino managers softened to apprehension as they realized that not all gamblers were as smart as they would have liked.
The popularity of blackjack since the 1960s is instructive: nothing about the game itself has changed. The casinos, for their part, did not try to popularize it; new strategies for one hundred percent winning did not appear. However, blackjack evolved as players realized that it was possible to win, albeit occasionally. For decades, blackjack has been the king of the tables. However, nothing lasts forever under the moon. Many casino managers who have always been concerned about the potential of blackjack for players have deviated a bit from the rules to make the game more profitable.
How the rules of blackjack changed over time: Jess Markum
Physicist and mathematician Jess Markum (real name Markovitch) is considered the first player who managed to apply his scientific knowledge in blackjack and achieve significant success in this field. He was born in 1919 and at about the age of thirty found himself in a casino in Las Vegas. After observing the game of blackjack for a while, he concluded that one cannot rely only on intuition in it. Therefore, he decided to start developing his strategy. Lacking access to expensive and rare computer technology at that time, Jess armed himself with a pencil and a piece of paper. Fortunately for you, today you can learn How Blackjack Calculator Works in online casinos in the USA.
So he laid the foundations for what was later called the basic strategy and came up with a card counting system. Indeed, it gave him a roughly three percent advantage over the casino. Not limiting himself to theory, he began to use the technique in practice. With her help, he smashed gambling houses in the United States and other countries. However, the casino security services suspected Markum of a sharper. Anyway, he did not resort to any of the tricks that they knew.
Nevertheless, after a while, Jess was no longer allowed in all Las Vegas establishments. Later, the same story was repeated in other American states. Therefore, he went for foreign casinos, but soon he was blacklisted even in the Bahamas and Cuba. Also, it is believed that Markum did not pass on the secrets of the system he invented to anyone. Besides, he never revealed how much money he won. When thousands of players began to count cards, he gave up this occupation.
Edward Thorpe: Level Up Blackjack
In the early sixties, the book “Beat the Dealer” was published. It turned out to be perhaps the most significant work in developing a professional approach to the game. Edward Thorpe was its author being one of the most influential experts in blackjack. It all started when Edward became interested in the aforementioned studies of The Four Horsemen of Aberdeen. He decided to check their calculations and try to extract practical benefits from them. Thorp was able to work on an IBM computer and wrote several programs that allowed him to create a more accurate basic strategy and card counting system. The Intertops Casino is one of the best platforms to practice your blackjack skills.
The book “Beat the Dealer”, in which Edward described his method in detail, was a huge success and became the basis for many subsequent developments. Indeed, ordinary players have realized that they can beat the casino. Naturally, the owners of the establishments also realized this and immediately tightened the rules, fearing the mass appearance of counters. It got to the point that people, dissatisfied with unfavorable conditions, simply stopped playing blackjack. Therefore, the casino owners had to make significant concessions and this was how the rules of blackjack changed over time. Thorpe’s accomplishments have been marked by his induction into the Blackjack Hall of Fame.
How the rules of blackjack changed over time: Julian Brown simplified the system
In addition to its many advantages, the card counting system introduced by Edward Thorpe had a significant disadvantage. It was quite complex, which did not allow the average player to actively use it in real conditions of the game. It was clear that it needed to be simplified. This was done by mathematician and programmer Julian Brown. He was not a professional gambler. However, he was fascinated by the idea of obtaining a mathematical advantage over the casino, and he decided to make Thorp’s method available to every client.
Brown formulated the main principles of the Hi-Lo system and wrote the book “How to Play Winning Blackjack”. However, it did not become one of the masterpieces and did not enjoy great popularity. Reprints of Thorpe’s book already included an explanation of Hi-Lo, which made them even more in demand. Julian’s calculations, performed on the most powerful computers at that time, were later used by other experts. Some people still use these tips in online gambling sites in the USA.
Further simplification of card counting
Later, systems for obtaining a mathematical advantage over casinos became more and more simple and accessible. Additionally, the players gained access to computer technology, thanks to which previously impossible calculations became elementary. In the years that followed, new simple card-counting techniques were introduced by Lawrence Revere, Stanford Wong, and other professionals. Previously existing techniques have undergone significant changes and improvements. In the late seventies, Al Francesco created the first truly successful blackjack team, which bombarded numerous casinos, using the best practices of their predecessors and their inventions. This was how the rules of blackjack changed over time.
One of the members of his group was Ken Aston. He became famous for several interesting books on blackjack and won a lawsuit against Resorts International Casino in New Jersey. His victory over an establishment that prohibited card counting legalized the activity of counters, but led to stricter rules in the state. He also began to actively use microchips hidden in clothes, which helped his team members exchange signals and beat the casino. When they caught several of them, it turned out that they did not violate any of the provisions of the law. Therefore, it was impossible to bring them to justice. And only after that, the US Supreme Court passed a law prohibiting the involvement of computer devices in the game process. For more information have Online Blackjack Tournaments Explained.
How the rules of blackjack changed over time: Conclusion
The struggle between card counters and gambling operators continues to this day. Although the spread of online casinos in the USA has somewhat lowered the degree of confrontation. The tricks of professional gamblers and cheaters are becoming more sophisticated. Therefore, the establishments have to spend more and more money on the maintenance of a large staff of security personnel. However, personally, for you, we have prepared a Live Casino Blackjack Guide. We hope that our tips will help you make real money in the Intertops Casino