The movie 21 is not as popular as other casino movies, but it has popularised the true story of the MIT blackjack team. A team of extraordinary players, but they were not the only ones. Team card counting appeared many years before the MIT team.
What is a blackjack card counting team?
The card counting technique has always been a big nightmare for casinos. Basically it is not an illegal technique at all unless machines or other tools are used to make counting easier.
In reality, skilled players who are able to use card counting are very few because this technique requires excellent mathematical skills and top-level concentration. In addition, casinos nowadays use various forms of procedure that prevent card counting and if they suspect that someone is counting cards they will immediately expel him or her from the blackjack room.
If you too are a blackjack fan and would like to learn this technique from the experts of the game you can read our post on this blog dedicated to the topic of card counting. If you are a beginner who wants to learn how to play blackjack we can help you in finding the game that best suits you because we provide you with many blackjack reviews with all the rules of each variant that is available on the Spanish market.
The MIT team members did not know the game at the beginning either and thanks to their mathematical skills they became experts in card counting. At that time, casinos did not have the same technological tools as today to quickly detect card counters. The big difference was the fact that those who won money by counting cards lost it just as easily by making big bets.
Things changed in the mid-seventies of the 20th century, when a guy named Ken Uston managed to consolidate his activity by leading well-organised groups to beat casinos all over the world. It turns out that these ‘blackjack scientists’ didn’t stay at the same level throughout and developed new strategies. Uston even published a book in which he described his great success by showing card counting in plain sight as the perfect technique for the game of blackjack.
“Counting is everything.”Bill Kaplan
In order to do card counting you need several people for a few simple reasons. The dealer shuffles a lot of cards quickly, he can also use an automatic shuffling machine, and therefore one person is needed on the team to be the ‘spotter’ of the cards and to do the counting. Therefore the observer only bets small amounts of money in order to be able to observe the table.
On the other hand, one person in the team must be the ‘big player’ who will bet at the right time. The aim of the team is to determine the moment when the cards are profitable and the big bet should be made. This moment is indicated by the observer to the big player so that the other player can make a bigger bet, which can even be an outrageous sum. This division of roles between the members of the group is also used in another technique called edge sorting.
Four ace cards with the letters T, E, A, M which stands for ‘Team
For maximum profits blackjack teams also use ‘investors’. However, the investors are never really strangers to the team members and in most cases are their family members or friends.
It is very likely that some of them succeeded without bragging or telling their stories to anyone else, while others failed and threw in the towel. The MIT guys, however, were very different.