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Edward Thorp - Blackjack Writer

23 Oct 2008

One of the most important and noticeable men in the history of Blackjack was Dr. Edward Oakley Thorp. This American professor of mathematics, the author of numerous Blackjack books, and successful blackjack player. Doctor Thorp is widely known for being the author of the famous 1962 book Beat the Dealer. In this book the professor published the first successful card counting strategy. The technique explained there decreased the house edge to the maximum of 5%.

Born in August 14, 1932, Chicago, Edward Thorp got his Ph.D. in 1958 from the University of California, Los Angeles, and had been working at the M.I.T. from 1959 to 1961. At the University of California, Irvine he worked as the professor of mathematics and a professor of mathematics and finance.

Computer Blackjack Research

With the help of the IBM 704, Ed Thorp investigated the odds while working on his blackjack theory. The card counting schemes he designed were used to improve the odds and analyze the game. In order to test the newly developed theory he went to practice in Reno, Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe. The theory proved to be true and Ed Thorp started his carrier as one of the most successful gamblers. Soon he was noticed and recognized by many casinos that did not wish to give him the money, that is why Thorp used different methods of disguise like false beards and glasses.

As the theory became popular, the casinos started using the preventative measures like constant shuffling and so on. Due to the popularity of his methods larger amounts of players were eager to get to know his strategy and so in 1962 he published the book Beat the Dealer. The book sold over 700,000 copies and was included in the New York Times list of bestsellers.

The research of Ed Thorp proved to be the first gambling study made with the help of computer technologies.

The achievements of Ed Thorp in Blackjack, Baccarat and Roulette made him the member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame.

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