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Brief History of Card Counting

The birth of the most famous gambling blackjack strategy Card counting is believed to be a merit by Ed Thorp. He was the author of all the modern methods of how to count cards but he was not actually the first one to use this method. It goes without saying that he was the one who described this method fully and precisely for the first time and made it available for each and every casino player, still there have always been those, who counted cards. Moreover, we even can find notes on some card counting strategies which appeared long before Ed Thorp published his book on card counting.

Pre-Pre-Ed Thorp

The first book in the history of blackjack was the one by the name ‘Playing Blackjack to Win’, written in 1957. It contained 16 strategy tips that formed and began the history of card counting. However, this card-counting method did not include tips on varying and adjusting the size of the bet to increase players’’ edge. Nevertheless, this was the first step to make card counting more available for random players, who did not spend all the times trying to reveal secrets of blackjack.

Pre-Ed Thorp

In 1949 Jess Marcum, a nuclear physicist that worked for the Rand Corporation, created a counting method that helped him to quit his job one year later and become a professional player. Strategy that he developed made him one of the best players and he decided to share it with other players.

The book ‘I Want to Quit Winners’ by Harold Smith Sr. was published in 1961. In this book the author suggested to bet more when the deck had lots of Aces. Is this strategy good for gambling? Probably, some players will find it interesting, while others will not be satisfied with its results. To decide whether it suits you or not, just try it out. Harold Smith Sr. was the owner and operator of a Reno casino Smith's Club in the 1930's.

Ed Thorp

The book Beat the Dealer by Ed Thorp was the first one where mathematically proven card-counting system for beating online and traditional blackjack was described. Strategy, developed by Ed Thorp, gave blackjack players amazing confidence and even bigger chance to beat the casino. However, Ed Thorp was not accepted and supported at once, not all players and game theorists approved and believed this method. Nevertheless, today his strategy is considered to be the best one for professional blackjack game.

“Son, we are sorry about the tuition funds...your mother and I did not know you are not supposed to split tens...”

Letters home from people visiting Reno.