The History of Chemin de Fer


Posted by Ciara | Posted in Blackjack | Posted on 01-02-2010

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The casino game of chemin de fer was introduced to the United States of America in the 1800’s but it was not until the mid twentieth century that a technique was developed to defeat the casino in twenty-one. This article is going to grab a quick look at the creation of that system, Counting Cards.

When betting was approved in the state of Nevada in 1934, chemin de fer screamed into universal appeal and was most commonly bet on with 1 or 2 decks. Roger Baldwin published a paper in ‘56 which described how to lower the house edge based on probability and performance history which was quite difficult to understand for gamblers who weren’t math experts.

In 1962, Dr. Ed Thorp used an IBM 704 computer to advance the mathematical strategy in Baldwin’s dissertation and also developed the first card counting techniques. Dr. Thorp wrote a tome called "Beat the Dealer" which outlined card counting techniques and the strategies for lowering the casino edge.

This created a huge growth in twenty-one gamblers at the US casinos who were attempting to implement Dr. Ed Thorp’s tactics, much to the confusion of the casinos. The technique was challenging to comprehend and hard to carry through and therefore heightened the profits for the casinos as more and more folks took to playing black jack.

However this huge growth in earnings wasn’t to continue as the gamblers became more sophisticated and more aware and the system was further perfected. In the 1980’s a group of students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology made card counting a part of the everyday vocabulary. Since then the casinos have developed countless methods to counteract players who count cards including but not limited to, multiple decks, shoes, shuffle machines, and rumor has itnow complex computer programs to read body language and detect "cheaters". While not prohibited being caught counting cards will get you banned from many brick and mortar casinos in sin city.

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