Blackjack Card Counting – The MIT Team That Beat the Odds
There’s a common saying among casino fans that “the house always wins”. However, here’s the story of the blackjack card counting team that defied the odds.
You’ve probably heard about or seen the movie based on the blackjack card counting team of MIT math whizzes. Who spent over decade counting cards and leaving casinos with exorbitant amounts of cash. Proving that blackjack can be a game of skill and yes, it is possible to beat the house.
The Most Famous Blackjack Card Counting Team
It was the MIT math professor Edward Thorp who came up with the idea and subsequent system for blackjack card counting. Back in the 1950s, he put together a team of bright students to work together at beating casinos across the country.
They were so successful, for such a long time, that these brilliant card counters inspired the 2008 film 21. As well as a best-selling novel Bringing Down the House.
Card Counting Drawbacks
We would never condone any form of cheating at the w88 Taiwan Casino Games. But luckily, card counting is not technically illegal. However, the catch is that you must keep your counting in your head and use no physical help or tools to accomplish it. It’s basically your secret and no one can know.
There aren’t any casinos that allow the aid of any electronic equipment to assist in card counting. Whereas the use of blackjack strategy cards is totally fine.
Although learning blackjack card counting is not an easy task, it is possible to do it if you have great math skills. That’s because blackjack is a game that has a mathematical formula for playing correctly.
Lastly, ensure that you don’t give yourself away if you do attempt to count cards. Because while it’s not actually illegal, it can still get you banned from the casino if they find out.
The MIT Technique
The technique used by the MIT team for counting cards is the hi-lo method. This means they counted the high and low cards already played since the last shuffle.
For instance, by keeping track of the following:
- All face cards, like jack, queen, king, and ace would be counted as minus 1
- Low cards are 2 to 6 and they count as plus 1
- All other cards are zero
Then, as the game goes on, and you receive cards with a positive value, you bet big as this time. In short, card counting in blackjack is about correctly ascertaining the likelihood of you winning by memorizing the previous card values.
A Roster of Different Players
You might think of the MIT card counters as a small, select team of players. However, it was actually a rotating roster of players that traveled to different cities in different groups counting cards.
They kept this up until the 80s and even set up an investment company for the winnings. By that point, there were over 75 different players that participated in card counting for the same ring. Running it like a business, this team managed to win millions of dollars working together in teams of three players each time.
Eventually, some casinos realized what was going on and hired private detectives to take the team down. They continued attempting different strategies, but ultimately failed and disassembled by 2000.