was legal and popular all over the Western United States but by
1910 it was outlawed in Nevada and elsewhere. Blackjack and all
the other casino games went underground.
Nevada re-legalized casino gambling where blackjack became one
of the primary games of chance offered to gamblers.
Baldwin wrote a paper in the Journal of the American Statistical
Association titled "The Optimum Strategy in
Blackjack". He used calculators, probability and statistics
theory to reduce the house advantage. His paper is ten pages
long and fairly mathematical.
Professor Edward O. Thorp
(sometimes called the Einstein of blackjack) refined Baldwin's
basic strategy and developed the first card counting techniques.
He published his results in "Beat the Dealer", a book
that became so popular that for a week in 1963 it was on the New
York Times best seller list.
This was really the first
book that claimed the casino could be beaten at blackjack and
showed the player how to do it. It was Thorp who first developed
and advocated the 'basic strategy'.
casinos were so affected by "Beat the Dealer" that
they began to change the rules of the game to make if more
difficult for the players to win. People protested by not
playing the new BlackJack. The unfavorable rules resulted in a
loss of income for the casinos. So they quickly reverted back to
the original rules. In the long run the casinos made a bundle
from the game's newly gained popularity thanks to Thorp's book
and all the media attention it generated.
Wong picked up the torch from Thorp and continued to be the guru
of modern Blackjack. His book, Professional Blackjack, distills
his extensive computer simulation work and is the bible for
beginner and expert alike.
Braun, who worked at IBM, invented a new Basic Strategy, and a
number of card counting techniques. His conclusions were used in
a 2nd edition of Beat the Dealer, and later in Lawrence Revere's
1977 book "Playing Blackjack as a Business".
Uston used five computers that were built into the shoes of
members of his playing team in 1977. They won over a hundred
thousand dollars in a very short time but one of the computers was
confiscated and sent to the FBI. The feds decided that the
computer used public information on blackjack playing and was not
a cheating device. This story about his blackjack exploits are
detailed in his book "The Big Player".
the year casino gambling was legalized in Atlantic City, New
Jersey and blackjack flourished in the glittering casinos that
soon popped up on the Atlantic coast.
1989, only two states had legalized casino gambling. Since then,
about 20 states have had a number of small time casinos sprout
up in places such as Black Hawk and Cripple Creek, Colorado and
in river boats on the Mississippi. Roughly 70 Native American
Indian reservations operate or are building casinos as well. In
addition to the United States, countries operating casinos
include France, England, Monaco (Monte Carlo of course) and
quite a few in the Caribbean islands.
blackjack in various forms is played in casinos in Canada,
Europe, the Caribbean, Australia, all over Asia, and on the