In blackjack history there was one group that had almost been legendary and is still remembered today for their achievements in the field. Determined to beat the casinos, the group revolutionized the concept of blackjack by using one simple strategy, card counting. Here is how the famous MIT Black jack team originated.
The story began withâ€¦.
It all started when MIT introduced a short term course in the college titled "How to gamble if you must" in the year 1979. Several students living in MIT's dorm at that time were already keenly playing poker regularly in their rooms and decided to attend the course to learn more about blackjack.
The course was geared at teaching students how to play the game and the concept of counting cards. The group of students who attended the course decided to put together a team to test the theory and see how it paid off in the real world. This group travelled to Atlantic City that same year and tried the luck. However, they failed miserably even though they used card counting techniques.
Who was the first?
On graduation, the group parted ways and only two members from the original group were still keenly interested in the game. Later the same year, one of the original members of the group, J.P. Massar was contacted by a gambler who was only known as Dave. At that time a new rule had recently been passed which made it illegal for the casinos to bar players using card counting techniques. Dave and Massar decided to take advantage of this new development.
They put together a new team and found an investor who chipped in an investment of $5,000. The group of four travelled again to Atlantic City to try their luck again. However, they were lucky this time and earned a good profit. The team then decided to expand their operations and offered their own course in MIT on card counting techniques in hopes of recruiting more players.
The team was successful in getting new members for their team and travelled a number of times through the next year. For the next few months they travelled regularly to Atlantic City. During the time the team was successful in making a few earnings on their weekend trips. However, there were many ups and downs and not all members were able to handle the pressure. The results at the tables were never consistent and many players got frustrated with it. The interest of the new recruits slowly dwindled and most of them left the group.
Things changed for the group again when Massar met Bill Kaplan in 1980. Kaplan had graduated from Harvard in 1977 in Business and had been running his own blackjack team for three years in Las Vegas. After graduation he had moved to Las Vegas and had used his graduation money as investments on which he had already won substantial profits in a very short amount of time.
When Kaplan and Massar put together their own team, things changed drastically for them and the glorious years of victory started for MIT's Blackjack team.