MIT Team: 1980s
Blackjack is one of the very few casino games which can be beaten by a player legally. Except for the strategies that are used by a player about when to stand and hit, players can also use other techniques like shuffle tracking and card counting to improve their chances at the game. Ð«ince 1960s various card counting techniques have been used by players.
1980s were the initial years of the Blackjack MIT Team. The course that was introduced in MIT in 1979 on gambling was when the interest of a few students had risen in blackjack. The same year a group of players had formed a team and had travelled to Atlantic City to try their luck, unsuccessfully.
Then in 1980, J.P. Massar and another member of the original team created their own course on card counting in MIT in hopes of getting new recruits. In the same year Massar along with a gambler known as Dave put together their own team and travelled to the casinos in Atlantic City and played successfully with a capital of $5,000.
However, in the same year the team broke up due to their inconsistent results. In 1980 Massar met Bill Kaplan which changed the fate of the team forever. Along with Kaplan, Massar analyzed the playing strategies of his team and the mistakes that they had been doing. They set up a new team, recruited members and trained them professionally and managed the team in a professional way.
Kaplan taught the team members to use the same card counting technique and the team then travelled to Las Vegas on a capital of 1 million dollars. Within ten weeks, the team managed to make more than double the initial investment.
Throughout the 1980s, the team continued to play. The number of members grew to 30 in 1984 and the capital to as much as $350,000. Because of his experience with casinos for years, Kaplan was not able to play in any casinos since the management easily recognized him almost everywhere. He then decided to take a break and get back to his real job.
The team was then run by Johnny Chang and Massar. Bill Rubin who had joined the team in 1984 also helped the two members in running the team. From 1985 to 1988 the interest of the members in the game started declining due to the increasing pressure, the condition in the casinos and personality clashes and eventually they stopped playing.
Till 1989 the MIT Team played on more than 22 banks and more than 70 players had been members of the team in some or the other form during this time.