“If you are so smart, why are you so poor?” — this famous phrase said by the well-known American mathematician Edward Thorp inspired many people to review their approaches to gambling. During his life, this man managed to win big in the casino and then make another $800 million on Wall Street. How did his interest in gambling and math help him to become a millionaire? Let’s figure out.
The Guy Who Invented Counting Strategy for Baccarat
In 1962, Thorp’s book “Beat the Dealer” on the winning strategies in blackjack made the casino world go crazy. With the mathematician Claude Shannon, Thorpe invented the first gadget that could win at roulette. It was also Thorp who came up with a strategy for counting cards in baccarat. However, before choosing among the best online casinos USA from casinorating to implement his strategics, let’s study his pass to success.
In early childhood, Thorp mastered arithmetic: he counted in his head and calculated square and cube roots. In his graduation year, Thorp began to think about how to predict the outcome of a roulette game. He was not a gambling fan, but when his English teacher Jack Chesson came from Las Vegas and said that it was impossible to beat the casino, Thorp said that one day he would do it — and he succeeded.
One of them put a device sized of a pack of cigarettes in a shoe. The first time, he pressed the button with his toe when the roulette started, the second time — when the wheel made one circle. The computer calculated the future position of the ball and sent a radio signal to the player. After testing it in the casino, Thorp and Shannon were convinced that the system worked. However, after some trials, they stopped using it.
Thorp has been thinking about how to win in blackjack since 1958. The researcher noticed that even experienced players do not understand the mathematics of the game. He decided he could find a way to win at blackjack systematically. Thorp found out that the more nines, tens, queens, kings, jacks, and aces are in the deck, the better for the player. In 1960, he finally came up with the optimal winning strategy — counting tens.
To understand if he has an advantage, the player monitors the ratio of other cards to tens. There are 16 pictures and 36 other cards in a full deck. 36 : 16 = 2.25. If at the time of placing bets, the ratio is less than 2.25, then there are many pictures in the deck — and the player is in a winning position.