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 Edward Thorpe - the Father of Card Counting in Blackjack

Edward Thorpe - the Father of Card Counting in Blackjack

Edward O.Torp considered the father of the technique of card counting at blackjack. This mathematics professor from America was the first, who proved mathematically that players can systematically outperform casino using card counting technique in the game of blackjack. Counting cards is a method for players to track which cards have been played and which are still in the deck. The basic idea of card counting in blackjack is that the more high cards (tens and aces) is still in the deck, the more likely a player to be a winner, or even get a combination of blackjack. Thorpe describes his technique developed in his popular book "Beat the Dealer" which was first published in 1962.

Who is Edward O.Thorp?

Edward O.Thorp began his career in the field of physics, received a master's degree from the University of California at Los Angeles. After that, he obtained a doctorate in mathematics, and received the title of professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Thorp always considered myself a fan of the game, but the decision to devote his time to the study of blackjack he accepted only when he came across an article in a statistical journal devoted to the basics of blackjack math. He was immediately seized the idea of studying blackjack in terms of statistics, which gave rise to his own study of the game.

In his work Thorp used an IBM 704 - the first mass-produced computer, which supported the arithmetic operations with floating point - it become a major tool for the study of probabilities of winning at blackjack. It was the first time in the history of computing, when the computer is used as an aid in gambling.

The scientist has made a series of equations to simulate the game from a purely mathematical point of view, and his work was not in vain. Thorp came to the conclusion that, if used in a game counting cards, you can eliminate the dealer advantage of five percent and turn it into a one percent advantage player. For example, if the average rate of the player is $100, 1% advantage means that the distribution of it on average will win $1. This advantage becomes average won 50 dollars per hour, provided that during this hour was 50 player hand.

Thorpe's success in the casinos of Las Vegas

But Thorp was not enough. He decided to test his theory in practice. Known gangster Manny Kimmel provided his financial support, and Thorp flew to the Las Vegas with $10,000 in his pocket. For one weekend, Thorp won $11000, and it drew the attention of the casino guards. After this incident, all the casinos refused to accept it.

"Beat the Dealer" - what could be better?

When the news of his successful experiment became available to the general public, among the players there was a huge demand for a written description of the new method. Soon Thorp wrote his book "Beat the Dealer" - and the book became an instant bestseller. In just a few weeks, it was sold over 700 thousand copies, and the book hit the bestseller list of the United States. This book was the first in this genre, and is still considered the "bible of card counting." All subsequent books on the subject will inevitably use Thorpe's method as a basis for their own systems.


In the book, Thorp opened widely known "decimal system of counting" - step by step guide that describes how a player can gain an advantage over the casino using a simple counting cards. It also presents the different betting strategies for optimal blackjack. In 1965, the second edition, and the technique has become more user-friendly. It is understood that the second edition was also a huge success.

Despite the fact that Thorp betting strategies continue to be purely mathematical, some of them use no longer possible. Casinos banned counting cards, dealers shuffle cards instead of one deck is used six. Use method Thorp's has become much more complicated, and there are many other methods, buyout are more profitable.

Unfortunately, Thorp's method categorically can not be used in the online casino. But for this there are many other strategies that can be found on our website. Play Blackjack, we recommend only proven online casino, in which you will not be deceived, and you will not have problems with the withdrawal of your money. It is Planet7 casino, Bgo casino, Eurogrand casino, Bovada casino.

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