Edward Thorp: The Man Who Beat Blackjack

Edward Thorp: The Man Who Beat Blackjack

Bet you thought blackjack was unbeatable, right? You’re ain’t alone; we all thought so too! But Edward Thorp thinks not! Casinos have always given proper attention to each game played. Hence, there’s virtually no way you could cheat the house. Some often described these games as “rigged,” saying it’s almost impossible to crack the code even while using certain strategies.

Every attempt to beat the house with a blackjack strategy table seemed impossible. However, after a series of research along with logical and critical thinking, Edward Thorp came up with the move that changed everything. In his book, “Beat The Dealer,” a publication that yielded the biggest blackjack win in history, Edward Thorp made it clear how possible it was to beat the house at blackjack.

Read this casino news to the end to know how Edward did it.

Edward Thorp, the Man Who Outsmarted the Deck!

Edward Thorp was born on 14th August 1932. He’s an American mathematician, hedge fund manager, and author known for his contributions to probability theory. Raised in Chicago, his father’s emphasis on education led Thorp to exceptional mathematical abilities by age seven. During his mother’s wartime factory work, he explored hobbies like chess and explosives. Edward Thorp showcased early scientific prowess, among other dependabilities, becoming a certified amateur radio operator at 12.

Despite attending a poorly rated school in California, Thorp excelled academically, winning scholarships in chemistry and physics. He shifted from UC Berkeley to UCLA, earning a master’s degree in physics in 1955 and a Ph.D. in mathematics in 1958. It was at UCLA he met his wife, Vivian, in 1956.

Thorp gained fame with his book “Beat the Dealer,” an incredible piece that showed how card counting could overcome the house advantage in blackjack. As a professor at MIT, Thorp initially believed unbeatable online casino games with real money that were based on chance existed, but a blackjack article caught his attention. Contrary to roulette, Thorp realized blackjack could be conquered through statistical analysis, marking the beginning of his influential work in the math of gambling.

Also, Edward applied effective hedge fund strategies and collaborated on creating the first wearable computer. Thorp held prominent academic positions at MIT and the University of California, Irvine. His work has left a lasting impact on mathematics, finance, and the understanding of probability. Beyond online blackjack, Edward Thorp applied hedge fund strategies and collaborated on the first wearable computer.

Edward Thorp and the Research

In the 1950s, Edward Thorp used a computer called IBM 704 and a formula called the Kelly criterion to create a blackjack strategy called the 10-count system. He teamed up with mathematician Claude Shannon to make a wearable computer that gave players an edge, but it’s now illegal. Thorp spent much time using the IBM 704 to determine the chances of winning in blackjack. His strategy was based on the Kelly criterion from a 1956 paper, and he even learned a computer language called Fortran to run the equations for his research.

With the help of the IBM 704, Thorp studied blackjack. He came up with card-counting tricks and improved his chances of winning, especially when the deck of cards wasn’t reshuffled after each round. This groundbreaking work set the stage for modern Single Deck Blackjack online tactics.

The Test

Edward Thorp took his blackjack theories from paper to practice, backed by $10,000 from Manny Kimmel. Testing his strategy in Reno and Lake Tahoe, he walked away with an $11,000 profit, convinced of its success. However, Thorp’s success led to bans from several Vegas casinos, prompting him to adopt disguises to continue his experiments. News of his victories spread, making Thorp a blackjack celebrity. In 1966, he penned “Beat the Dealer,” a casino guide to card counting, selling over 700,000 copies and earning a spot on the New York Times bestseller list.

Thorp’s success wasn’t limited to blackjack; he applied his skills to baccarat and roulette, even

developing the first wearable computer for casino play. Despite challenges and casino countermeasures, Thorp’s legacy endures, influencing modern blackjack tactics and earning him a spot in the Blackjack Hall of Fame. His pioneering work in mathematics and gambling strategies left an indelible mark on gaming.


Edward Throp’s success at blackjack proves that casino games are free and fair. Once you can determine how to win them, you are on your way to becoming a millionaire. Head on to the best online casino to kick-start your iGaming journey.

Play blackjack and different variants of the game, like the Free Bet Blackjack game, and start honing your card gaming skills so you can win the next round of 21!

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