The Glance at Appearence of Card Counting

The first thing to say about appearance of card counting is: if you already are a progressive blackjack player or just a person who is familiar to blackjack, this historical review on card counting is just for you. If you are just a novice dreaming to become a master, you should first read the section called counting cards in blackjack.

The beginning

It all began approximately in the first half of 20th century. Blackjack game was already rather popular and a lot of casinos offered it to their visitors. Different people happened to appear among them. Pure gambler, who played everything around - roulette, slots, blackjack and a lot of others; people desiring to relax and have fun - and thus playing more or less calm games like blackjack, tourists, businessmen and a lot of others.

And a very rare category of gamblers also existed - and participants in it were scientists. College teachers, professors and just people related to science occurred among gamblers. This way or that, and may be even they were not pioneers, but those people noticed the patterns, or natural laws, of blackjack game.

Occurrences turned out to be more than interesting. For example, when small value cards left the game, it so happened that player's victories were a bit more frequent than dealer's ones.

Of course such facts could not be left without attention of smart people. They began to explore. And the more job was done over the subject, the more interesting it appeared.


One of the first professional blackjack player in full sense of this words became Jess Marcum. In the year of 1949 he already discovered the mathematical laws which lie in the basis of card counting science. Jess's occupation was a nuclear scientist, but in 1950 he left his job to become a professional card counter and blackjack player. Later Edward O. Thorp named Jess Marcum to be a really progressive bettor.

In 1930s in Reno existed a casino called "Smith's Club", whose master was a man named Harold Smith Sr. He also used to count cards, and his recommendations were to make bigger bets when the remaining deck had a lot of Aces. Later he published a book called "I want to quit winners", 1961.


All above-mentioned people and a lot of other players made a solid contribution into the science of counting cards, sometimes even not knowing that - they just played and that was enough. But all the discovered ways of card counting were not practical and very rough and far not perfect, until came the time of Edward Thorp - the Father of card counting, who started a new era in card counting, which is described in the next section called Chronographs of card counting.