Home Casino Blackjack Aces Series: Edward Thorp

Blackjack Aces Series: Edward Thorp

by Craig Edwards
0 comment
Edward Thorp

This installment of Joe Wager’s Blackjack Prodigy Series investigates the esteemed professor and mathematician, Edward Thorp. 

Beat the Dealer brought Edward Thorp fame

In our Stanford Wong article, we cited the book Beat the Dealer (1962), which Wong used to further his legendary Blackjack career. That book was authored by Dr Edward Thorp in 1962 and immediately made Thorp a celebrity in the gambling community.

The book was the first literature to make a reference to the art of card counting that has been used for profit in Blackjack for decades and made the Chicago-born professor a bestselling author.

The New York Times acknowledged how brilliantly it performed with over 700,000 sales given the niche subject, and the publication earned a place on their bestseller list.

Thorp’s Accomplice

There was a legendary character in betting circles who was the money behind Thorp’s success in Blackjack, and that was Emmanuel “Manny” Kimmel, a bookmaker and notable underworld figure.

Kimmel was a shrewd businessman who went on to form Warner Communications –now Warner Bros–. Kimmel, who wanted his part kept secret, was referred to as “Mr. X” in Beat the Dealer much to his annoyance, having been the backer and a player in the coups around casinos during the years previous.

Thorp and Kimmel Made Hay!

For several years prior to publishing Beat the Dealer, the two trialed the system under Kimmel’s bankroll, which supplied the venture capital needed for the project.

Famously, they visited Lake Tahoe and Reno to road-test the theory, leaving $11,000 richer, and more importantly, Thorp’s theory had passed the test.

A Master of Disguise

Being a pioneering gambler and bettor can be hard, as the betting houses would chase them out of town as Thorp’s reputation grew. To counteract this, Thorp became a master of disguise as he regularly changed his appearance using false beards and different styles of glasses.

Developing the Winning System

As you’re gathering, Edward Thorp has been a groundbreaking mathematician all his working life.

For wagering, there is such a thing as the “Kelly Criterion” and Thorp combined this with something called the “IBM 704”, which was invented in 1954 to apply what we now know as the digital point. This was then run in simulations with the game theory behind Blackjack using “probability theory”, which was the field that Thorp specialized in, and for which he produced many academic papers.

We have described in all our installments of the Blackjack Prodigy Series the card counting practice in Blackjack that Thorp developed. The method reaches its optimum when the pack is not reshuffled after every deal, which results in the closer to the end of the card decks the deal, the more reliable and profitable the method of predicting the cards due becomes.

Keeping It in the Family

Interestingly, in his many forays that followed to Las Vegas, Thorp kept those profitable journeys within his academic peers as he partnered up with the famous Claude Shannon and his wife Betty over many weekends in Sin City.

Not only did they fleece the house in Blackjack, but they also founded a roulette system when utilizing a wearable computer in the casinos, something that is now illegal.

Bringing Huge Hedge Fund Gains

It is little wonder that Thorp’s shrewd Blackjack brain has been fundamental to other industries that rely on applied mathematics.

His techniques have been applied to many hedge funds over the years and as of the turn of the Millennium, Thorp himself traded them for what is said to be a net profit of $800 million after remarkably trading over $100 billion in hedge funds during his career.

Edward Thorp

The year 2002 saw Edward Thorp inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame and after reading this installment of the Blackjack Prodigy Series there is little wonder why.

If there was an edge, Thorp found and exploited it throughout his career. In many ways, Thorp is the ultimate pioneer in gambling with his brilliant mathematical brain utilizing his specialized subject of probability for profit.

Those methods were the first to make a literature breakthrough with the best seller Beat the Dealer in 1962 and his methods of accruing annuities are the hallmark of profitable hedge fund trading still 60 years on!

author avatar
Craig Edwards
Craig Edwards, an online tipster in golf and snooker for over four years, boasts a track record of 7800 bets with a 28% return on investment. A snooker professional from 1988 to 1996, he was once a single-figure handicap golfer. Achieving the 282nd position in the WSOP MAIN EVENT in 2007, Craig possesses a unique insight into the psychological shifts of professional sportsmen, anticipating their mindset week by week.

You may also like

JoeWager is your leading source for trending topics relevant to offshore gamblers, including betting resources, sports & casino guides, entertainment topics, politics and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest Articles

Copyright 2023 – All Right Reserved.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More