Black jack history has a lot of significant figures which had an influence on this noble and exciting card game. Among them the MIT blackjack team can be also called as being the one who was able to beat millions of dollars out of casinos for a rather short period of time.
What is MIT Blackjack Team?
MIT blackjack team had been a group of some students from MIT, Harvard University and from some other colleges who had used various card counting techniques and other strategies to beat the casinos worldwide at blackjack. The team had operated successfully since 1979 till 2000. After their success, many other such teams had been formed all across the world.
When was it started?
It all started when a small course had been introduced in MIT on gambling. Various students from MIT's dorm used to play poker often and decided to attend the course to learn more about blackjack. The students learnt about card counting methods and the game.
Soon they decided to put their knowledge into practice and decided to travel to the Atlantic City in 1979 to try to earn at the casinos. The group failed at their first attempt and decided to part ways when they graduated. Only two members from the original group still had an interest in blackjack and card counting. Both of these players decided to start their own course in 1980 in MIT to teach others about card counting.
One of these two members, J.P. Massar was contacted by a gambler only known as Dave in 1979 and suggested they form their own group to play at the casinos. A recent rule had made it illegal for the casinos in Atlantic City to bar the card counters so they decided to take advantage of it.
The group had a capital of $5000 and four members along with an investor. In December the new group took their first trip to Atlantic City and was successful. The following month they recruited some more members and held a new course. The group originally did win for some time but had many ups and down. Soon enough, the members lost their interest and moved on.
In May 1980 J.P. Massar met Bill Kaplan who had been running a blackjack team in Las Vegas for three years professionally. Kaplan had graduated from Harvard in 1977 and had then moved to Las Vegas where he had formed his own blackjack team based on his understanding and research about the game. Kaplan had used the funds that he'd received at graduation for being an outstanding student in athletics field. In just nine months of forming his team, Kaplan had generated a whooping 35+ fold rate of return from his games.
Kaplan and Massar then joined hands and with Kaplan backing the team they soon learnt how to run the groups with formal management techniques. There was a training period and an approval process as well tracking of the casino playing hours.
The first of their teams started in 1980 with a large investment of $89,000. There was a total of ten members in the first team and Massar, as well as Kaplan, played as well. After only ten weeks they had generated more than a double of their original investments. They were making an average $162 profit per hour at the table. The investors earned a return of more than 250%.
The famous MIT team continued to play till 1989 and generated a lot of profit during their years of play at the casinos.