The History of Chemin de Fer

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The casino game of Blackjack was brought to the United States of America in the 1800’s but it wasn’t until the middle of the twentieth century that a technique was developed to beat the house in chemin de fer. This material is going to take a swift peak at the development of that system, Card Counting.

When casino gambling was made legal in the state of Nevada in 1934, black jack sky-rocketed into popularity and was commonly gambled on with one or two decks. Roger Baldwin wrote a paper in 1956 which detailed how to lower the casino edge founded on probability and statistics which was quite difficult to understand for individuals who were not math experts.

In ‘62, Dr. Ed Thorp used an IBM 704 computer to refine the mathematical strategy in Baldwin’s paper and also created the first strategies for card counting. Dr. Ed Thorp authored a book called "Beat the Dealer" which illustrated card counting techniques and the strategies for reducing the house advantage.

This created a massive growth in chemin de fer competitors at the US betting houses who were trying to put into practice Dr. Thorp’s strategies, much to the bewilderment of the casinos. The system was not easy to comprehend and difficult to implement and thusly expanded the earnings for the betting houses as more and more folks took to playing twenty-one.

However this large growth in profits was not to continue as the players became more sophisticated and more accomplished and the system was further improved. In the 1980’s a bunch of students from MIT made card counting a part of the everyday vernacular. Since then the casinos have brought in countless methods to thwart card counters including but not limited to, multiple decks, shoes, constant shuffle machines, and speculation has itnow complex computer programs to observe actions and identify "cheaters". While not illegal being caught counting cards will get you banned from the majority of betting houses in Las Vegas.

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