Casino Games History or How People Have Learnt to Count Cards; part 1
The dream of capoting a casino is as old as the notion “casino” itself. Every gambler wants to win. Every other invents his own “system”. Every hundredth attempts to carefully analyze the game. And only the few of millions succeed.
in the sphere of “system” game against the casino was the so called “card counting” at blackjack – mathematically based methods of game allowing to get some advantage over the casino. The casinos, surely, knows about the existence of “counters” and are trying to oppose them – from changing the rules to banning the game. Sometimes even exceeding the limits of reason and legality. In fact, all the history of the blackjack is the struggle between the gamblers and the casino which is more clever.
More than half a century passed since the first attempts of beating the casinos in blackjack, based not on the marked cards and intuition. There has been a peck of salt eaten since then, but the struggle is still going on….
Probably the first person in history who applied mathematic analysis to the game blackjack was Jess Marcum (originally Marcovitch) was born on 30th December 1919.
It happened at the turn of 1949 and 1950, when Jess, being an excellent mathematician and physicist-theorist got to Las Vegas. Then his mathematic flair prompted him that most possibly not everything depends on intuition in blackjack.
Marcum started analyzing blackjack. First, the uniqueness of his attempt is that he performed absolutely all calculations with his pen on the paper, on principle without using any technologies whatever weak they might be at that time. Second he had found the solution!
Jess manually developed what is now called basic strategy and counting systems ten years before someone else has done that. He counted that theoretically he had an advantage over the casino of about 3% -under the conditions of that time it was quite real. Moreover, Markum had been playing blackjack in all known to him casinos- both in the USA and abroad. His name appeared on the pages of the newspapers as an example of “lucky man” who managed to hit the jackpot.