“…There are many ways to count cards – none of which a novice attending the Blackjack Ball could pick up right away.
But in its simplest form, the theory is this: when there are a lot of low-numbered cards in the deck, you bet small;
– when most of the low cards have been played – and there are a lot of high cards left in the deck – you bet high.
The result will net you a statistical advantage over time.
Thorp first got the idea that blackjack could be beaten in 1958 when he stumbled across an article about basic strategy – a blackjack theory developed in 1953 by four men in the Army.
One of the men, Wilbert Cantey, was black – and because his friends couldn’t go out with him to bars in Maryland — the state was still segregated —
– the four played blackjack in the barracks.
In the process they figured the odds of every combination of hand –
– using adding machines…”
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