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Roger Baldwin: The Guy Who Beat Blackjack

Roger Baldwin: The Guy Who Beat Blackjack

Blackjack card game had to overcome many difficulties before becoming the casino game we have today: Just like roulette it started its way in France and came to America in the 18th century after the French Revolution, but a long time had passed till blackjack turned out to be the most popular casino game in the world. The modern age of blackjack began in the 1950s: it was Roger Baldwin who began to study the game from the mathematical side and was able to prove the fact that blackjack could be easily beaten if you knew the strategy to beat it.


Roger Baldwin had a master's degree from Columbia University, and he was an expert in mathematics. That is why when he was in the military (the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland) and played blackjack game with his friends there, Roger became interested in the rules of the game from the mathematical point of view.

He found out that a dealer had to play blackjack under strict rules which remained relevant to nowadays: he has to hit up to 16 points and always stand on 17; after discovering that, Roger supposed that the strategy to play blackjack could be explained mathematically.

With the help of his three friends - Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel, and James McDermott - Mr. Baldwin worked out some formulas by using only calculators (as far as you understand, there were no computers then - it was 1953). In a year, the four friends had developed an optimal strategy for blackjack card game and published the results in the article The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack (1956). It became the first strategy which was based on mathematics and really proved to be effective.

Playing Blackjack to Win

Playing Blackjack to Win was the book of Roger Baldwin and his three friends (they are called the Four Horsemen of Aberdeen today) where they expanded the information concerning their researches and explained blackjack strategy in a new way. It was published in 1957 but was not very popular among the general public because it was described in a way not very understandable for ordinary blackjack gamblers.

The researches of Roger Baldwin had to wait till 1962 when the book of Edward Thorp Beat the Dealer saw the light; and though Mr. Thorp is considered to be the father of card counting strategy today, it is clear that his researches were based on Roger Baldwin's knowledge.

In 2008 Mr. Baldwin and other Three Horsemen of the Aberdeen were nominated to become the members of the Blackjack Hall of Fame for their significant input into the development of blackjack game. According to the rules, only one person has a right to become a nominee of the Blackjack Hall of Fame per year, so, Four Horsemen were nominated as a group then.

Also, in 2008 the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition of the book Playing Blackjack to Win was published: Edward Thorp had written the foreword, and Arnold Snyder was the author of the introduction.

Blackjack Nowadays. Still can Beat It?

The book of Edward Thorp created a real stir among gamblers, and most of them raced to Las Vegas to try out the strategy. It appeared that nothing prevented the then-punters from filling their pockets with coins, which resulted in changing the rules of Blackjack. With the advent of the modified version of the game, the rules written in the book almost lost their value. On the other hand, it doesn’t mean that you can’t influence your chances to win in Blackjack - it’s still a game that requires good memory skills. Nowadays, online casinos that offer blackjack become more and more popular. There are so many variations of the game that it’s difficult to resist the urge to try out all of them. One of such online gambling venues is Casumo Casino, which offers about a dozen types of blackjack.

As technologies advance, new opportunities for gamblers arise. Playing blackjack with live dealers promises to transfer you into a land-based casino without leaving your whereabouts. We have reviewed many online gambling venues, but Yeti Casino has surprised us the most. With its diverse library of live blackjack titles (about 37 tables), you have an opportunity to test your strategy on every game type.

Most online casinos try to adjust to players’ capabilities, ranging the bet limits from very small to high. One of such gambling venues is Cashmio Casino, where you can play blackjack with a minimum bet of €0.5 or if you’re a high-roller, you’re welcome to place the highest bet - €5,000.


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