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.
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.
If you have been playing blackjack for a period of time then there are more than enough chances that you may be quite familiar with common blackjack myths. Most of these misconceptions about this game are taken as Gospel’s truth by majority of the players. All of these blackjack myths are based on personal experience of some players which are now followed by all of us. These beliefs range from scientific mumbo jumbo to totally foolish notions of luck being affected by another person on the table.
The actual fact is that these myths have no whatsoever impact on your game and most of them are quite false. If you want to be a successful blackjack player then you should be able to differentiate between logic and absurdity pandered by nincompoops. In this article we will go through some of the common blackjack myths and reality associated with them.
Winning Streak of Dealer
This myth relates to the concept of hot and cold blackjack dealers. This results in players avoiding the tables where a dealer is continuously winning for a period of time. These players will like to join a table where a dealer is going through a losing streak. The reality is that you can note the winning or losing streak of a dealer but you cannot predict what is in store for the coming time. The cards of deck are oblivious to the number of wins or loses made by a dealer and they remain so throughout the due course of the game. No one can foresee what will be the outcome of the next hand as past results never predicts the future results.
Illegality Associated with Card Counting
There is a common belief that card counting is not illegal but a casino can ban a player if he or she gets caught counting cards. The reality is that even though this famous technique is not illegal but casinos do not want to give out their money so easily. So casinos make sure that players continue to believe in such notions and avoid using this strategy for their game. You can use this technique without any fear of being doing something illegal. The actual fact is that once you learn the art of card counting you can significantly decrease the house edge associated with this game thus increasing your chances of hitting more wins.
Always Opt for Insurance
There is misconception that buying insurance for every instance is foolproof strategy. In reality it is one of the worst moves which can be made by a player. Whenever a player opts for the insurance he or she is giving up thirteen percent of the profit which can be made from a single game of blackjack. This action drastically cuts down your winning margins and it is always better to avoid this trap.
A Win is Due after Subsequent Losses
There are many players who believe that a win is due after subsequent losses. In other words, they start betting more heavily in the hope of hitting a win. The reality is that game of blackjack comes with a probability of 48 percent of winning. So if you have already lost six or seven hands in a row then it does not make you eligible for impending win in the next game. It is better to avoid playing when you are certain that you are going through a negative variance rather than increasing your losses.