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Edward Thorp

Edward O Thorp

The founder of blackjack card counting techniques was Edward Thorp, a mathematics professor. Edward was born in 1932 in Chicago. He earned a M.A. in physics and a Ph.d in Mathematics. He worked as a math professor at MIT, UCLA, and UC Irvine.

Beat the Dealer

Thorp is sometimes called the father of card counting, which is a technique of keeping track of which cards have been played and which are still left in the deck. He had began playing blackjack while at MIT, and began to experiment and test his theories. He had even designed a portable computer to aid in analyzing the game. When he started testing his theory in casinos he found it to be very effective, he was even thrown out of  casinos because of his success at the tables.

It was a this time in 1962 that he wrote the book Beat The Dealer, which was a big success selling over 700,000 copies and making the New York Times best seller list. Beat the Dealer laid out the methods of counting cards successfully. It was so effective in fact that some casinos tried to change the rules of the game to make Thorps system ineffective. But players refused to play with the new rules so the casinos changed their methods of shuffling, in an effort to prevent card counting.

To his credit he also wrote a revised addition of Beat The Dealer in 1966.In 1967 he wrote Beat The Market, which was for the stock market, and hedge funds. He also wrote the book Elementary Probability, and The Mathematics of Gambling. He also wrote for the Gambling Times magazine. Thorp was a member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame as well.

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