Famous casino winners

Edward Thorp

Edward Thorp is considered as the card-counting father. He wasn't just successful putting it to use in actual situations, either; he actually invented the whole system itself. A teacher who had a physics master's and doctorate degree in math, he was definitely far more intelligent than others.

By 1962, Thorp had published a book Beat the Dealer, where his system of card-counting was explained in detail and which became a hit and a classic - fast. With the sales from that book, he became quite rich. He wrote the second edition of the same book in 1966, which spoke of the system's intricacies even more. It would be interesting to mention that this sudden card-counting explosion worked for casinos because people tried to pull the whole thing off, but they simply weren't as effective as Thorp with it. Still, his methods and findings became the basis overall for any system of card-counting after that, including the one used by MIT.

Thanks to his exploits on gambling, Thorp used his genius in mathematical at the famous stock market, making a massive fortune in hedge funds and securities. Because of how he dominated revolutionary thinking and casinos, Thorp became included in the Blackjack Hall of Fame.

Keith Taft

In 1969, after one particular vacation, Keith got addicted to blackjack and remembered Edward Thorp's claim that blackjack could be beaten through math. He tried counting cards, but didn't succeed, so he decided to use computers in order to win an advantage over the casinos instead.

He first constructed a computer that weighed 15 pounds and which he called George. George was made to help him count cards as he controlled the computer underneath his clothes with the help of his toes. Since the computer was too bulky, a lighter device was created afterwards, which he called David and which was shockingly far too advanced for that time. With David, he ended up making $40,000 on its very first week of use.

After that, Taft basically spit at casinos and sold his small computer at $10,000 each while training people on its use. Eventually, he got detained at one casino that found his computer. However, because the FBI and casino had no idea how it was used, they couldn't prove that it was a cheating device and Taft was released without consequences.

By 1985, it became illegal to put electronic devices to use in Nevada that helped with gambling and the punishment stood at 10 years jail-time. Taft had already won a lot of money since then, though. For his tears, sweat, and blood - plus his pioneering work with computers - he was placed to the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2004.

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