But all that was before them still remains a legend. The four statisticians performed their calculations merely using the help of hand calculator. Encouraged by popularity of the article in the magazine, replicated and learnt by heart by many players, the originators printed a book “Winning Blackjack”. Today this publication is a rare variant and it enriches the house library of several professional gamblers.
Thorp says that blackjack differs from roulette, craps and other games of luck, the consequence of each hand in blackjack is determined by the last dealing – it really matters which cards drew back form the game and which stayed in the pack. Most of the things computed by Thorp is still precise, but all the serious modern gamblers should read this novel only for historical interest.
It was extremely problematic for learning, so many of the gamblers gave it up. However, Nevada’s casinos limited some rules, for example, doubling down merely on 11 points. The media told the whole world about it, and Thorp together with his novel became known all over the world as well as the casinos that revealed themselves to disadvantage needed to return former rules. Recognizing that under such conditions bunches card counters would be attempting to win against the house, operators of gambling houses introduced two procedures – shuffling after withdrawal of the trimming card and multi-filled games.
Thorp’s systems was very challenging to work with in practice. However, for the computer convention in Las Vegas in 1963, the match would stay on precisely the same amount. On a whim, the seminar organizers chose to add a Panel Session on “Using Computers in Games of Chance and Skill.” It was just a whim of the organizers to incorporate a section “Using computers in games of chance and skill”. Thorp was designated as Chairman of the Panel and pros on the various casino games, including blackjack, roulette and baccarat. The room filled up and overflowed with computer gamblers. Numerous conference attendees were pushing and shoving to enter the space.
The bunch, of course, were attracted by Thorp. They were anticipating disclosures on the game and expected using his imparted wisdom immediately after the session to make a killing at the blackjack tables.
After one or two more presentations that largely corrected and changed Thorp’s system, Harvey Dubner was introduced. He described the approach. He called the result the High Low Ratio. His presentation was enthusiastically received by the standing room only crowd and he was given a round of applause at its decision. Here at last, many were saying, is a method that’s practical, that can actually be found in the real world of casino play. Thorp integrated “high low” system to the next edition of Beat the Dealer printed in 1966 and since then over 100 professional publications on blackjack, team games, concealed computers, shuffle tracking and sleepless nights for casino securities all around the globe.