"These were really the first guys who ever figured out how to play blackjack the right way."

-Stanford Wong

Blackjack card game had to overcome many difficulties before becoming the casino game we have today: it started its way in France and came to America in the 18th century after the French Revolution, but a long time had passed till the time blackjack turned out to be the most popular casino game in the world.

The modern age of blackjack began in 1950s: it was Roger Baldwin who began to study the game from the mathematical side and was able to prove the fact blackjack could be easily beaten if you knew the strategy to beat it.


Roger Baldwin had a master's degree from Columbia University and he was the expert of mathematics. That is why when he was in the army (the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland) and played blackjack game with his friends there, Roger became interested in the rules of the game from the mathematical point of view:

He found out that a dealer had to play blackjack under strict rules: a casino employee should hit up to 16 points and always stand on 17; after discovering that, Roger Baldwin supposed that the strategy to play blackjack could be explained mathematically.

With the help of his 3 friends - Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel and James McDermott - Mr. Baldwin worked out some formulas by using only calculators (as far as you understand, there were no computers then - it was 1953); in a year, four friends had developed an optimal strategy for blackjack card game and published the results in the article The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack (1956). It became the first strategy which was based on mathematics and really proved to work.

Playing Blackjack to Win

Playing Blackjack to Win was the book of Roger Baldwin and his 3 friends (they are called to be Four Horsemen of the Aberdeen today) where they expanded the information concerning their researches and explained blackjack strategy in a new way. It was published in 1957 but was not very popular among the general public because it was described in a way not very understandable for average blackjack gamblers.

The researches of Roger Baldwin had to wait till 1962 when the book of Edward Thorp Beat the Dealer saw the light; and though Mr. Thorp is considered to be the father of card counting strategy today, it is clear that his researches were based on Roger Baldwin's knowledge.

In 2008 Mr. Baldwin and other Three Horsemen of the Aberdeen were nominated to become the members of the Blackjack Hall of Fame for their significant input to the development of blackjack game. According to the rules, only one person has a right to become a nominee of the Blackjack Hall of Fame per year, so, Four Horsemen were nominated as a group then.

Also, in 2008 the Fiftieth Anniversary Edition of the book Playing Blackjack to Win was published: the foreword had been written by Edward Thorp, and Arnold Snyder was the author of the introduction.

  • Online Blackjack

    Blackjack gained worldwide popularity and played in land casinos as well as online.

Being a highly popular casino game, no weird there exist lots of funny jokes about blackjack.

Blackjack Jokes