Blackjack has a colorful history. Only parts made shows. In fact, I owe blackjack the start of developing systems and books about gambling.
It all started in the 18th century. There was a French card game called “Ving-et-un” and it was the basis for today’s blackjack game. Some say that history returns to the present.
In the 1800s, America was in its attitude against gambling. The game was an underground activity. This began to change in the 1900s and in 1931 gambling was legalized in Nevada. Almost five decades later Atlantic City followed.
Everything started in the late fifties. The man was Roger Baldwin and was published in 1956 with “The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack“, which paved the way for the marriage between man and mathematics in gambling. It’s like the light is coming on. Blackjack can be beaten.
Six years later, a man named Edward O. Thorp published a book that quickly became a towering hit and it’s the book known to many blackjack players. The book was called “Beat the Dealer”.
The doors were now open, and many started looking at casinos to get rich. In fact, Lawrence Revere believed just that. He took the simple concept of winning blackjack a step further and published a book titled “Playing Blackjack as a Business”.
The wheels turned and the 70s marked the next big revolution. Computers have now been added to the mix. Enthusiasts around the world used computers to create and run simulations to find the ultimate winning strategy. In this time, the casinos have really worried.
It was a matter for a handful of people to find systems and lose real money. It was another way for a wider audience to develop and test perfected systems. The public now developed a hunger for knowledge about blackjack.
Several sets of cards
Casino operators found that single-deck blackjack is vulnerable. That’s when they invented the “shoe”. The “shoe” contained several sets of cards. When multiple decks are added to the game, the percentages change. It’s also easier to protect yourself against card counters.
In view of this, a man – Ken Uston – has earned his living by playing blackjack in casinos. He is a legend. He has so successfully destroyed the game that seven Las Vegas casinos have banned him for life.
Uston thought he might have a lawsuit, so he complained. The final judgment was made in 1987. Uston was found dead in Paris. Did the casino owners kill him? Was it a bad business? Was it just the wrong place at the wrong time?
Today, blackjack books and software programs are complete. Every year, many people go online or visit a casino in the hope of making money on the blackjack table. It is still a game that you can beat.