Capturing a casino is a dream as old as the idea of a “casino.” Every gambler desires to win. Each person invents their “system.” Each hundredth attempt to analyze the game carefully. Only a few million people succeed.

The “card counting” at Blackjack, a mathematically-based game that allows you to gain an advantage over the casino, is the most notable achievement in the “system” game. Casinos are aware of “counters” and try to stop them. Sometimes, they even go beyond the boundaries of legality and reason. The history of Blackjack is a struggle between gamblers against the more competent casino.

Since the first attempt to beat the casino in Blackjack using intuition and not the marked cards, more than 50 years have passed. Although there has been some salt consumption since then, it is still a battleground.


Jess Marcum, originally Marcovitch, was probably the first person to apply mathematic analysis in Blackjack. He was born on 30 December 1919.

It all happened between 1949 and 1950 when Jess, a brilliant mathematician and physicist, arrived in Las Vegas. His mathematic skills led him to believe that intuition in Blackjack was a critical factor in most things.

Marcum began to analyze Blackjack. Then, Marcum began to investigate Blackjack. Finally, he had also found the solution.

Jess developed the basic strategy and counting system ten years ago, ten years before anyone else. He calculated that theoretically, he had an advantage of around 3% over the casino -under the circumstances that it was possible. Markum was also a blackjack player in every casino he knew, both in the USA and abroad. Markum’s name was featured in the newspapers as an example of a “lucky man” who hit the jackpot.

Jess Markum was also a historical figure as the most likely person thrown out of a casino by using cards. Although casinos didn’t know about this system, they did understand it at the time. Jess was in Las Vegas for approximately a year. When they met at the general meeting, the casino owners exchanged information. They were terrified. Markum was then refused admission to any of the Vegas casinos. He moved to Reno. It was the same story. After a half-year of incredible “luck,” the casino owners began to inquire about the great gambler. Then came other states and cities. Next came Cuba and the Bahamas. It is unknown how much money he won. One thing is sure: Jess Markum initiated the war between gamblers in Blackjack and casinos. This ongoing conflict is getting more complicated.

After a sizeable public publication of other blackjack methods by authors, he refused to share his calculations with anyone and gave up all casino play.

The four Neanderthals.

In 1956, Blackjack math received a significant boost from four mathematicians: Roger Baldwin, Wilbert E.Cantey, Herbert Maisel, and James McDermott.

These individuals had never played Blackjack before and had spent a lot of money. Nevertheless, they created an essential strategy for playing Blackjack according to the most popular rules.

They made a few mistakes in their calculations, but it is not seriously considering their immense contribution. They published a book called Playing Blackjack to Win a year later, now rare in the bibliography.

Their book and article didn’t generate much attention, and they remained virtually unnoticed despite their innovative approach. Finally, however, the word was almost the key to the gambling industry because someone paid attention to these four research.