The blackjack MIT team was a group formed by students from the world’s top universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard University and Harvard Business School. This group specialized in creating and implementing card counting or card reading techniques. The team then used these techniques to take advantage in the game of blackjack at the casinos throughout the world. MIT team and its successors dominated the gambling scenario from 1979 till the start of 2000.
Even today there are many societies and groups which are following the trend set up by the MIT team. The most important and foremost aim of these groups is to find ways to beat the undue advantage shared by the casinos all over the world.
First Blackjack MIT Team
In the late winter of 1979, J.P. Massar, who at that time was providing the blackjack course, was contacted by a professional gambler to create a group of card counting students. The main objective behind the conception of this team was to take advantage of the new law passed by New Jersey Casino Control Commission which prohibited the casinos under its jurisdiction to ban card counters. Under this new ruling, casinos were allowed only to ban card counters individually.
In the due course of time, a group comprising of four card readers, a professional player and a financier formed the original team. This team then selected Atlantic City as their operating area and started recruiting more students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology to execute their operations. This team worked on the casinos of the Atlantic City for a year and was able to create a fourfold increase in their basic bankroll.
Post 90s Blackjack MIT Team
By the start of 90s, this team became unbeatable with more members included into the original team. The members of this team became regular visitors at Las Vegas casinos. It is also stated that this team was so successful that they mopped more than $400,000 in just one weekend. The team used card counting in order to predict the outcome of the game. The players were trained to read cards and to memorize those cards which have been dealt along with the ones which remained in the shoe. They used their memory to work out how many high cards could be dealt in their favour thus increasing the chances of their win.
The Modus Operandi
This team visited Las Vegas casinos on every weekend. After selecting a particular casino, a card counter was deployed to sit on the blackjack table to count the cards. Once he or she was assured that the high cards are to be dealt by the dealer, a signal was given to the other players of the team to join in the game. The other players acted as high rollers and wagered with big amount of monies. These big bettors kept on wagering till the card counter signalled them to get out of the game.
End of Good Times
The Blackjack MIT team successfully used their techniques to win millions of dollars from the casinos for a period of time. It was a matter of time that the casinos became suspicious of their activities. Investigation agencies also got involved in this case and they started tracking the MIT kids. Soon their modus operandi was out in the open and the members of the team got blacklisted from the casinos.
What can be more entertaining and thrilling then taking risks in your favorite game? Probably nothing, but overindulgence in anything can be dangerous for health and the financial status of a person. Gambling can be a fun factor in your life, but sometimes it turns into a problem when over obsession and greed to win more overtakes the fun part associated with such games. Apart from players, the stakeholders in the gambling industry are also responsible for offering a safe gaming environment and protection of their clients from negative impacts of online gaming.
In general instances, majority of the players participate in their favourite gambling options for recreational purposes, but in some cases players tend to get overboard and opt for these games to generate income. In the case of normal players, they play with a bankroll which they can afford but the persons suffering from obsessive gambling it becomes very difficult to draw a line with regards to their finances.
The other major concern which relates to responsible gambling is prevention of underage gambling. It is the duty of the online casino operators to make sure that only people with legal age must be allowed to participate in gambling. It is also the duty of the casino to ensure that all the laws protecting the minors from gambling should be followed as per the jurisdiction of the area where they are operating.
In order to comply by these rules and regulations, casinos should follow a transparent registration process for all players and complete verification should be done before allowing any of the players to access the gaming portal.
Along with the online gaming operators, it is also the duty of the parents and guardians of minors to make sure that their wards do not have unbridled usage of internet and access of gaming sites. Parents are advised to take appropriate steps such as blocking access of gambling sites by using different apps available in the market along with strict vigilance.
Recommendations for Responsible Gambling
Even though the stakeholders in gaming industry are responsible for providing ethical gaming activities to their clients, but it is also the duty of the players to adhere to responsible gambling. It should be kept in mind that gambling like any other entertainment activity is a way to have a relaxing time rather than creating stress in your life. The following recommendations are provided to help the gamblers/players for responsible gambling.
- Gambling activity is for fun and entertainment purpose only; never confuse it with a way to earn money for your day to day activities.
- Online gaming should never be considered as an easy way to create a fortune.
- Never overstep your bankroll limits. In order to be safe, always create limits and avoid losing too much money which can have straight affect on your personal life.
- Never gamble with money kept for family projects or provisions.
- Always opt for website mechanisms which allow the players to set a limit on money to be wagered in a particular period of time.
- Always keep a full account of your wins and losses.
- Study and learn bankroll management before participating in gambling activities.
Being one of the most popular casino games, Blackjack is played by millions of people both in land based and online casinos. The most attractive thing about this game is that a player is required to take instant decision for each hand dealt. This is only possible if you are a skilful player otherwise your decisions can have negative impact on the outcome of the game. So it will be not wrong if we perceive that blackjack requires more skill and strategies as compared to other forms of card games including poker.
In blackjack nobody else except for the player, including the dealer, can take decisions which can sway the game to one side. It is the player who can make decisions that can be either positive or negative for his or her game. All the advanced and sensible players opt to follow the blackjack strategy which is also known as “Basic Strategy”. There are many other strategies and theories related for getting advantage in the game of blackjack, but in reality most of these cannot provide real edge except for the one which requires card counting. Some of the strategies which can be used by a player to increase chances of hitting more wins involve the following.
Learning Blackjack Basic Strategy
The first step for being a successful blackjack player starts with learning how to play the game itself. Most of the players are overconfident of their skills and believe that there is nothing more to learn from the basic strategy. Even the experienced players sometimes scoff at the idea of learning about such strategy. Basically the basic strategy is nothing but a set of rules which helps the player to play an optimal hand. So learning about this stuff can help you to maximize the size of your wins while minimizing the losses.
Splitting the Aces
Majority of the professional blackjack players prefer to split their aces. After the split, the player will get only one more card, even then it makes more sense as 11 is a very strong number to start with. In same way you can also split 8-8. While implementing this strategy, one must keep in mind the fact that the number of decks used in the game also guides the splitting strategy. The other thing is the playing rules of the casino. If a casino is liberal with double after split you can opt for splitting more hands as compared to a situation where casino rules states no double after split.
Avoiding the Insurance
Buying insurance for life and property is a good decision but in case of blackjack it should be avoided. The reason behind this strategy is the fact that losing your initial stake in the game is more worthwhile for a long run rather than protecting it by betting more money by buying insurance. The Blackjack insurance is not insurance but a side bet which does not decrease or increase the chances of hitting a win. When a player takes the insurance he is betting on the assumption that dealer got a ten or a picture card.
Opting for Surrender
Even though the word ‘surrender’ gives out negative connotation but in the game of blackjack it can be quite positive for a player. In other words properly using the surrender option can be a smart bet in cases where hitting or standing can result in a loss. After considering the two card hand and the dealer’s card you can opt for this option to ensure that you only lose half the amount of your initial wager rather than parting with the whole amount.