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Edward Thorp - The Man Who Invented Card Counting Edward Thorp - The Man Who Invented Card Counting

Edward Thorp – The Man Who Invented Card Counting

Edward O. Thorp., a math professor who later became a genius of the stock market, was the founding father of card counting and beyond that, the pioneer of advantage player. His work is detailed in his book called ‘Beat the Dealer’ in 1962 which sold in millions and was on best-selling lists for quite some time. Anyone who takes a seat at Blackjack playing with a set of cards and winning while at it should be grateful to the man who invented card counting.

Edward Thorp - The Man Who Invented Card Counting

Before he published Beat the Dealer, he was constantly picking his brain on the possible ways of beating the house at card counting. To sign off his genius, was the creation of the first basic strategy card. Strategy cards are small rectangular cards that can easily fit in your card that inform blackjack players of the correct gameplay.

In 1958, Thorp took to Las Vegas with his wife to play blackjack. The time was ripe for the two. They needed to put his ideas to the test. It was a time when the game was keen to unearth players who have minimal to low prospects of winning over the long haul. Such players had more chances to lose cash because they played intuitively and at random, as opposed to employing pragmatic strategies. But Thorp was knowledgeable both in arithmetic and was let in on an efficient strategy.

The Basic Strategy

The basic strategy in card counting implements a given set of rules that dictate how players play. The rules are created from a mathematical analysis that is influenced by the knowledge of only the dealer’s up-card and the hand you are dealth with.

Thorp had planned to spend $10. He knew exactly how to play any card against his dealer’s up-card. When he quit, he only had $8.5. He became the laughing stock of other players who were with him at the table. However, this strengthened his resolve to inventing his way of playing card counting. Thorp, for example, played an 18 over the dealer’s 9. At the time, it was an unusual move. However, the same move is now recognised as a signature move.

He further explained this in his book by stating, “The atmosphere of ignorance and superstition surrounding the blackjack table that night had convinced me that even good players didn’t understand the mathematics underlying the game. I returned home intending to find a way to win.”

The Invention of Card Counting

Edward Thorp spent most of his days, seeking a solution in UCLA’s math departed library. He even turned down an offer to become a math professor at MIT. His efforts were not wasted. He made a breakthrough conclusion: blackjack is dependent on the only cards left to be dealt with. He taught himself how to program on the institution’s mainframe and developed a software that tracked dealt cards. He then placed higher bets when it was beneficial to the players and lower when not. This was a contradiction to the basic strategy of card counting, but it was still informed by mathematical calculations.

The results were so outstanding that various card counters use his card counting techniques to this day. Shortly after that, he teamed up with businessmen to test his findings. He spread upwards of $50 to $500 in a game that went right down to the wire. Casino owners did not appreciate his win rate and asked their dealers to shuffle cards often. Naturally, casino owners were enraged with his win rates and eventually forbade him from playing

He goes on to write in his book, “The casino had barred us from play,” he writes. “I asked the floor manager what this was all about. He explained, in a friendly and courteous manner, that they had seen me playing the day before and were puzzled at my steady winning at a rate that was large for my bet sizes. He said that they decided that a system was involved.”

Thorp resorted to disguising himself to avoid being spotted by casino owners who had beefed up security to keep him from entering their premises. He now teaches at the University of New Mexico.  Even with his success, bookstores couldn’t stock his books and for obvious reasons. With everything against him, including other strategies such as the Big Player Strategy, he made a further move to financial markets at Wall Street. He also made a fortune there.

Edward Thorp – The Man Who Invented Card Counting
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Post Name : Edward Thorp – The Man Who Invented Card Counting

Posted On : 13/05/2019

Author : Cameron Riddell