Edward Thorp, mathematics genius and Blackjack player

Although it is not forbidden by law, most casinos are not too happy about it if you count cards during the game of Blackjack. However, this is exactly what was done by some winners of big prizes in the casino.

One of them is Edward Thorp. Does his name not ring a bell with you and would you like to know more about him? Then read through his story.

Who is Edward Thorp?

Edward Thorp is an American professor of mathematics. He managed to play himself rich at the Blackjack table. By thinking logically and intelligently and coming up with a strategy for the game, he became a multimillionaire. He even wrote a book about it entitled Beat the Dealer. He developed a special algorithm that is described and supported in his book. He assumes in the game of Blackjack that there is a home field advantage for the casino and this is true in reality. However, to beat the casino you can count cards for that and the chances of winning as a player are even higher too and you beat the dealer, or bank behind which the casino is hiding.

Development of the first portable computer

During the time when Thorp was still teaching he developed the first portable computer. He did this back in the 1960s. This computer was used during the roulette game to beat the game and thus win the game as a player. To do this, players were given a device in their shoe that was connected to a transmitter in the ear. This indicated which numbers were most likely to fall. This turned out to work and led to the necessary profit.

Playing blackjack in the casino

After this proven success, Thorp naturally wanted to try his hand at Blackjack. He needed someone to finance him and found a partner in Manny Kimmel, a professional gambler. Together they traveled to Reno and Lake Tahoe where their tactics proved to be correct and they were already winning a lot.

The next stop was Las Vegas and they also won well there until security noticed they were counting cards and they were banned from the casinos. Later, in order to confirm his theory in practice, he put together a team to make the casinos unsafe at baccarat.

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Coming out as the winner

For Thorp himself, it became somewhat difficult to get into the casino because he was quickly recognized and then politely asked to leave the occasion because the casinos feared big losses on their part if he was in the house. He therefore focused on other things but did release his famous book in 1967 which is still seen as a guide by many players and is also used to create a good strategy.

He is the one who managed to achieve the most success with it but for many players after him it is an important book that gives them more insight into Blackjack and makes it clear that the casino does not always have to be the winner and can be beaten.

Not exactly without success

Thorp has been able to prove his theory and thus earned the respect of his colleagues and that is already worth a lot to him. In addition, he has of course managed to win a lot of money in the past before they figured out that he was counting cards during the game and he still manages to reap the benefits of this. The sale of his book has not exactly done him any favors. Thorp, by the way, is also respected because he doesn’t pass up charities and supports them to the fullest. He is a widely known philanthropist.

Counting cards yourself at the casino

Have you also read Thorp’s book or do you want to do so now? Then this could be a good way to develop your own strategy for the game of blackjack. Counting cards in blackjack is not forbidden by law but it is not very appreciated by the casinos. In the worst case you will be asked to leave but you haven’t actually done anything wrong.

If it is forbidden at a particular casino then they should make this clear. As a player you can also choose to go to an online casino. Here you can’t be as easily monitored as in a land casino and you can count your cards. Just make sure you don’t let your winning get in the way, because if they notice you’re winning (a lot), they might get suspicious. Losing a round once in a while will draw less attention to you.