Edward Thorp is considered to be the father of blackjack card-counting. Dr. Edward Oakley Thorp is not only one of the best professional blackjack players of all time, but also the researcher and author of an amazing quantity of Blackjack books. The first card-counting strategy was published in Thorp's book "Beat the Dealer" (1962). This system decreased the house edge to almost 5% and proved to be one of the most successful systems of the era.
His talents and success at Blackjack can be attributed to his mathematical talent. After he received a Ph.D. at the University of California in 1958, Thorp worked as the professor of mathematics and finance at M.I.T. from 1959-1961.
He developed the strategy with the help of a series of computer research programs and investigations. This was the first time a computer was used to make a gambling theory.
Thorp used the IBM 704 to calculate the game odds and use the system to increase the advantage for the player. The theory was tested at Casinos in Las Vegas, Reno, and Lake Tahoe. This system turned out to be highly successful one and Thorp became one of the most well-known blackjack players.
His fame led to disappointment for Thorpe as most of the casinos recognized and banned him from playing there. To continue playing he had to use disguises.
The strategy created by Edward Thorp was the most popular reading for most players. Therefore, the casinos decided to take measures to prevent them from winning. One of the new methods was constant shuffling. Thorp's strategy became more and more popular and he decided to publish a book. The book was called "Beat the Dealer" and it was published in 1962. The book is considered to be one of the most popular gambling theories and it is included in the New York Times list of bestsellers with over 700,000 copies sold.
Edward Thorp became one of the seven original members of Blackjack Hall of Fame due to his great achievements in gambling.