Casino Games History Or How People Have Learnt To Count Cards

The fantasy of capoting a casino is as old as the opinion “casino” itself. Every gambler wants to win. Every other devises his own “system”. Every hundredth attempts to attentively analyze the game. And just the few of millions triumph.

The casinos, certainly, understands concerning the existence of “counters” and want to oppose them – from altering the rules to ban the game. Sometimes even exceeding the limits of reason and legality. In fact, all of the history of the blackjack is the battle involving the gamblers as well as the casino which is more apt.

A lot more than half a century passed since the first efforts of conquering the casinos in blackjack, based not on the marked cards and intuition. There really has been a peck of salt eaten since then, but the fight continues to be going on…


Likely the first person in history who employed mathematic analysis to the game blackjack was Jess Marcum (originally Marcovitch) was created on 30th December 1919.

It occurred in the turn of 1949 and 1950, when Jess, being an excellent mathematician and physicist-theorist got to Las Vegas. Afterward his mathematic dash prompted him that most possibly not everything depends on instinct in blackjack.

Marcum began examining blackjack. First, the singularity of his effort is that he performed entirely all computations together 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 currently called fundamental strategy and counting strategies 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. Additionally, Markum had been playing blackjack in all known to him casinos- both in the USA and abroad.

Jess Markum also went down to history as probably the very first man thrown out from the casino due to cards. Though at that time casinos did not realize that such system existed. Jess lived in Vegas for about a year. The casino owners exchanged the advice when they gathered at the general meeting. After that Markum was not disclosed at all Vegas casinos. The exact same narrative- in half per year after unbelievable “chance” the casino owners started making inquiries concerning the incredible gambler. Subsequently other states and cities. Subsequently Cuba, the Bahamas. Nobody knows how much cash he’s won during that time.

He failed to share his calculations with anyone, and totally gave up playing against casino after a wide public publication of blackjack systems by other authors. Jess Markum died in 1992, in the age of 72.

The four of Neanderthals. {Another effort of great impact on the blackjack math was produced in 1956 from the group of four mathematicians- Roger Baldwin, Wilbert E. Cantey, Herbert Maisel and James McDermott.

{These individuals had never played in casino before, having spent a fantastic variety of m/hr, they created basic strategy of playing blackjack according to the most used at that time rules and published it together with the calculation methods in the specialized math journal for statisticians – Journal of the American Statistical Association entitled “The Optimum Strategy In Blackjack”.

They made several little mistakes in computations which is nothing serious taking into consideration their tremendous contribution. A year later they issued a small book Playing Blackjack to Win, which is now a bibliography rarity.

In fact their publication and also the post didn’t start much furor, and remained practically without focus no matter their advanced strategy. However, the word almost turned out to be the key for each of the gambling industry, as someone did paid close attention to the research of the excellent four.