You may not know that we now live in the 43rd year of Thorp’s era. This man impacted the blackjack industry and the entire gambling industry, and I think he deserves a monument.
Edward O. Thorp was a young scientist who regularly read the mathematics journal. He was often pressed for cash as a student. Thorp was intrigued by the idea of outplaying casino games based on mathematical calculations. He tested the “excellent four” results to see what would happen. His activity resulted in a remarkable book, Beat The Dealer. Its sales now exceed a million copies.
Thorp chose to go the opposite way. He didn’t make analytic calculations, but with a powerful IBM mainframe, he wrote many programs on Fortran. These were some of his most original 60s methods. Thorp and his great scientist instructor Claude Elwood Shannon were also involved in the solution to the question “how do you outplay the roulette?”
Thorp realized that dead cards could significantly impact the chances of a gambler winning this or that game. He believed that the best way to memorize finished cards was to simplify and make large stakes if the situation was favorable for the player. This system is still the foundation of all counting and methods of blackjack.
Thorp’s counting system was quite complicated to use in real casinos. It required a lot of mental arithmetic and concentration. It was possible to apply it with little training.
The book by Thorp was immediately a bestseller and a huge success. It was easy to gain an advantage by taking simple steps. Everyone envisioned huge prizes. The casinos knew the score.
They were caught in panic. In 1962, Las Vegas Casinos changed their rules to avoid a mass influx from “system players.” The rules became more challenging to follow, and there was no way to win with a counting system. Although the effects on casinos were unpredictable and inverted, people quit playing blackjack. Eventually, the casino owners had to revert to their old rules to survive.
Thorp’s book also had another interesting effect Blackjack is now more popular than American craps. After reading the book, many people thought they were potential winners and raced to the blackjack tables. They didn’t win because they had a poor understanding of the mathematics of the game. Casino gained more clients but also lost more. Their number has stood steadily increasing since then.
Thorp’s first edition was difficult for professionals. Only a few were competent to apply the system in a real game. It is time to simplify.
The power behind the throne
Julian Braun is quite a unique personality. He had never played real blackjack. He played billions, if not trillions, of computer deals. Braun was a skilled programmer and mathematician. He became interested in Thorp’s idea and offered to help him with programming and calculations.
Braun was the first to invent the Hi-Lo counting system. Braun was the one who created the counting system Hi-Lo. He was the author of How to Play Winning Blackjack. Revere Humble, Wong, Wong, and Uston are the authors. It is a great book.
Braun updated Thorp’s FORTRAN system and made significant changes. The second edition of Thorp’s book also included the modern Hi-Lo system. It was a significant breakthrough in the gambling world. Braun worked at IBM Corporation and had access to the most powerful computers. Braun created a simple, efficient tool for fighting against casinos.
Lawrence Revere, a gambler best known for creating his counting system, used Braun’s calculations. He presented his results in convenient tables that can be applied to most counters around the globe. Braun’s experiences were the basis for Lance Humble’s HiOpt systems.
Julian was most likely not a regular visitor to the casino. However, he rose to power and took over all mathematical modeling. What would you do to make your Mini-Casino home-like? We love getting feedback from this because no one else has it. We need the highest quality furniture, tables, and poker chips. Our products should exude that “we’re the best” appeal. It is always a satisfaction to hear how much people love our Home Poker Room layout.
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