moses
moses 
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April 4th, 2021 at 1:25:33 PM permalink
The first scientific and mathematically sound attempt to devise an optimal blackjack playing strategy was revealed in September 1956. Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel and James McDermott published a paper titled The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack in the Journal of the American Statistical Association.[10] This paper would become the foundation of future sound efforts to beat the game of blackjack. Ed Thorp would use Baldwin's hand calculations to verify the basic strategy and later publish (in 1963) his famous book Beat the Dealer.

Was there more than one deck even offered in the 50's and 60's?

When was the double deck game offered in casino play?

multi deck?
Last edited by: moses on Apr 4, 2021
EdCollins
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April 4th, 2021 at 3:13:07 PM permalink
Scarne was often proclaimed by experts, magicians and editors of the time as the greatest card manipulator of all time. In fact, he served as a technical advisor in the 1973 motion picture The Sting, and doubled for actor Paul Newman's hands during scenes that involved card manipulations and deck switching.

But he was happiest when inventing (and marketing, through his company John Scarne Games, Inc.) new games, which he did quite a bit. And he was especially proud of one called Teeko, which he invented in 1945 (version withdrawn), re-invented in 1952 and modified in the 1960s. I'm a proud owner a copy of Teeko, which I understand is hard to find. He was so proud of the game that he named his son John Teeko Scarne.

Teeko quickly spread around the world. Even Orson Welles was reported to have been playing Teeko. But he never made a profit on the game mainly due to water damage in the warehouse which eliminated the entire stock in one day. Today Teeko is virtually unknown.

I also own a hardbound copy of his 1966 autobiography, "The Odds Against Me." It's a good read.
EdCollins
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April 4th, 2021 at 3:18:36 PM permalink
Hunterhill
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April 4th, 2021 at 4:32:32 PM permalink
Quote: moses

The first scientific and mathematically sound attempt to devise an optimal blackjack playing strategy was revealed in September 1956. Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel and James McDermott published a paper titled The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack in the Journal of the American Statistical Association.[10] This paper would become the foundation of future sound efforts to beat the game of blackjack. Ed Thorp would use Baldwin's hand calculations to verify the basic strategy and later publish (in 1963) his famous book Beat the Dealer.

Was there more than one deck even offered in the 50's and 60's?

When was the double deck game offered in casino play?

multi deck?


Roger Baldwin recently passed away he was the last of the group still living.
I had the pleasure of meeting him and two others back in 2009. Baldwin made occasional trips to Foxwoods.
The mountain is tall but grass grows on top of the mountain.
billryan
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April 4th, 2021 at 4:36:35 PM permalink
Am I the only one bothered by one guy being damned for supposedly using some technique to cheat by seeing people's hole cards and the other guy is being praised for being the best mechanic of all time?
How many of you would sit down at a table Scarne was dealing at? Do you think the greatest mechanic of all time might have taught his casino buddies a few tricks they passed on to their dealers?
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction is supposed to make sense.
kewlj
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April 4th, 2021 at 7:56:21 PM permalink
Scarne was before my time. I don't think I ever read anything by him. Sounds like he was from back in the Single deck days. When I started my career, I only had access to shoe games, so I am pretty much a student of Schlesinger and Wong in that order, Their books and concepts still work even today on multideck shoe games, although some of Wong's betting ramp advice is becoming outdated. You have to ramp up a little quicker than he recommends.

Some of these guys from back in the day, Scarne, Revere, a few other seem to have that look of the old riverboat /wild west gambler, where the line between advantage play and cheating may have gotten blurred. I take pride in keeping that line distinct.
Mission146
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unJon
April 5th, 2021 at 5:30:49 AM permalink
Quote: billryan

Am I the only one bothered by one guy being damned for supposedly using some technique to cheat by seeing people's hole cards and the other guy is being praised for being the best mechanic of all time?
How many of you would sit down at a table Scarne was dealing at? Do you think the greatest mechanic of all time might have taught his casino buddies a few tricks they passed on to their dealers?



I doubt it. I tend to think he was mostly, if not entirely, about fair play. Many of his published works had to with publicly exposing how various operations (such as carnivals) gaffed their games as well as how card games could be gaffed. One of the early experiences that got him into that was kids in the army getting cheated at poker.

Besides, he died in 1985 and isn't here to defend himself, obviously. I guess my point is that there's no evidence that he was about anything except fair play. Is it possible that he violated that? Anything is possible.
https://wizardofvegas.com/forum/off-topic/gripes/11182-pet-peeves/120/#post815219
Wizard
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April 5th, 2021 at 6:42:35 AM permalink
As has been said, Scarne's work was mostly correct. He can be forgiven for some borderline mistakes in blackjack because he analyzed it before computers were easily available. I have two of his books on my shelf, but rarely refer to them. Only if I need information on an obscure game from the past.

He was the authority on the gamut of gambling for decades. I read one of his books as a kid and I'm sure it influenced my choices that led me here. I have a lot of respect for his work, but there is no reason to buy his books today unless you have a strong interest in gambling history. Perhaps the same will be said of me long after I'm gone.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.

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