Blackjack Expert Explains How Card Counting Works
Starring Kevin Spacey, Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth based on Ben Mezrich's book "Bringing Down the House" source tells the true story of the real MIT Blackjack Team during the 1990s Jeff Ma After retiring from the MIT Blackjack Team, Jeff Ma co-founded the sports stock market website PROTRADE.
Kevin Spacey Born: July 26, 1959 Birthplace: South Orange, New Jersey Spacey's "21" character is a composite of 3 individuals.
John Chang Pictured left, in disguise.
Bill Blackjack strategy chart mit Kaplan co-founded J.
M" in the History Channel.
The first year I played, we returned 154 percent to our investors.
That's after paying off expenses.
You try and do that on Wall Street.
In the movie 21, an unorthodox math professor named Micky Rosa Kevin Spacey leads the team.
The 21 true story reveals that the real MIT Blackjack Team was led by three individuals, none of whom were professors.
Arguably, the most notable is Bill Kaplan, a Harvard Business school graduate who had also done his undergraduate studies at Harvard.
John Chang and J.
Massar were also very much the basis for 21's Micky Rosa.
Massar, and John Chang, the fact is there is little, if anything, that resembles either of us except that he started and ran the team and was focused on running the team as a business," says Bill Kaplan.
John Chang graduated from MIT in 1985 with a degree in electrical engineering.
An influential blackjack strategy chart mit of the original team, Chang would later re-team with Bill Kaplan as a co-manager in the early 1990s.
M" in the History Channel documentary Breaking Vegas was an MIT alum who had helped Kaplan manage the original team in the early 1980s, shortly after the first casinos opened in Atlantic City.
Jeff Ma, the real life Ben Campbell, came from a well-to-do family.
One of the reasons I ended up not going to Harvard Medical School is because of blackjack and all the money I could make there.
Former team leader John Chang said that the movie's scholarship interview is a plot device that "never happened" in real life.
You know that Campbell never gets to keep what he made — otherwise, why would he be applying?
The real Jeff Ma Ben from the movie says that his father is very much alive and well, unlike the character's father in the movie.
His parents and his sister were his guests at the 2008 21 movie premiere at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas.
In the movie, MIT team members Ben Jim Sturgess and Jill Kate Bosworth share a brief love scene and end up a couple at the end of the film.
Their real life counterparts, Jeff Ma and Jane Willis, were never a couple.
In fact, Jane and her boyfriend, who were both "math geeks," were recruited by Jeff Ma in the early 1990s.
Jeff knew them and blackjack strategy chart mit been friends with both of them.
Jane Willis and her boyfriend later married and divorced.
In 2005, she got remarried to Rich Davey.
Their wedding was held in a Catholic church located behind the Tropicana and across from the Mandalay Bay casinos in Las Vegas.
The movie shows the characters talking on cell phones and playing blackjack at the Red Rock and Planet Hollywood casinos, which didn't open until 2006 and 2007, respectively.
The 21 true story reveals that the real MIT Blackjack Team, on which the movie was based, played in the early 1990s.
The MIT Blackjack Team first came into existence in 1980.
click here was started by Bill Kaplan part of the inspiration for Kevin Spacey's character dealer sodapoppin live blackjack, who founded the team on the same business principles and practices that he had employed in starting and running a Vegas based team for the previous three years.
One of the players we trained in late 1982 and 1983 was John Chang.
In addition to presenting a variety of strategies for success at blackjack, it also includes Thorp's "Basic Strategy" chart.
Learn how to use the chart to make decisions when playing blackjack.
Did Fisher really recruit Ben Campbell to play on the team?
Mike Aponte, the real life Jimmy Fisher, recruited Jeff Ma Ben Campbell in 21 to play on the MIT team.
The movie falsely makes the team out to be an MIT only club.
In reality, there were members from other schools, including Harvard and Princeton.
For example, Jane Willis, the basis for Kate Bosworth's character, attended Harvard not MIT The Boston Globe.
Bill Kaplan, one of the team's leaders, graduated from Harvard University and Harvard Business School WickedLocal.
Who bankrolled the MIT Blackjack Team?
The documentary explores Strategic Investments LP and the MIT team.
In the movie, we're expected to believe that Micky Rosa Kevin Spacey provided the startup money for the team.
In real life, the team leaders J.
Masser, John Chang, and Bill Kaplan formed a Massachusetts Limited Partnership called Strategic Investments in 1992.
Creating a company allowed the team to recruit its players and https://indonesiaairsoft.com/blackjack/summer-blackjack-247.html venture capital as a legal entity.
The money came from past players and the team leaders, including Bill Kaplan, who says that he also received investment capital from his former college roommate, a number of his Havard Business School sectionmates, and other friends and family.
The company is further explored in thewhich also examines the rigorous "checkouts" that the players had to endure.
M" in the documentary required that players be able to play through 10 shoes, while only making a limited number of counting mistakes.
Strategic Investments LP disbanded on December 31, 1993 as the result of banned players, long losing streaks, and a lack of time due to more profitable business opportunities in the real estate market Bill Kaplan.
Shortly after SI was terminated, one of its former players, Semyon Dukach, created his own team, which employed 60 players in 5 cities.
Semyon's team operated under the guise Amphibian Investments.
The movie 21 and Ben Mezrich's book, Bringing Down the House, were both based on a smaller team that was an offshoot of Amphibian Investments.
The movie shows Ben using flash cards to practice the various code words, which were used to represent the count.
The Spotter conveys the count to the Big Player by casually using the code word in a sentence.
A list of the code words and their corresponding values is displayed below: Tree: +1 a tree looks like a oneSwitch: +2 binary, on or offStool: +3 a stool has three legsCar: +4 cars have four tiresGlove: +5 a glove has five fingersGun: +6 a gun holds six bulletsCraps: +7 lucky sevenPool: +8 eight ball Prior to this point, the count isn't high enough in face cards and 10's to warrant extravagant bets.
However, after this point, the odds are in your favor.
It is okay to bet semi-recklessly.
Cat: +9 cats have nine livesBowling: +10 strike is ten pinsFootball: +11 eleven players on a football teamEggs: +12 twelve eggs in a cartonWitch: +13 superstition, bad luck number If the count is greater than this, Ben Mezrich's book "Bringing Down the House" tells us that we should put it all on the table.
Ring: +14 fourteen carat goldPaycheck: +15 day of the month most people get paidSweet: +16 sweet sixteenMagazine: +17 name of the teen magazineVoting booth: +18 age you can vote What blackjack book is Ben reading on the airplane in the movie 21?
Thorp's book was the team's blackjack Bible.
In the movie, Ben Campbell Jim Sturgess is reading by Edward O.
First published in the 1960s, Thorp's book became the Bible for the MIT team.
The book's "Basic Strategy" chart reveals a set of mathematically correct decisions to employ when playing blackjack.
Thorp, a former UCLA math professor, https://indonesiaairsoft.com/blackjack/casino-rama-blackjack-rules.html a now vintage MIT IBM 704 computer to calculate "Basic Strategy" in blackjack.
Mike Aponte, who the Fisher character is based on, addressed this question by saying, "There are some parts in the book where I just scratch my head because obviously Ben Mezrich, the author, took artistic liberties.
On Chinese New Year, he invited us to a private party in Chinatown.
When we arrived, we saw they had a few blackjack tables set up.
It wasn't much, but they were playing for real money.
Despite various voices on the internet coming out against the movie's mostly white, non-Asian cast some Facebook users have even called for a boycott of the filmthe real MIT Blackjack Team's former members were not offended.
The real Jeff Ma Ben Campbell in the movie said, "For me it wasn't a big deal, because for about three years people had been asking me who I wanted to play me in a movie and I never was saying like 'John Cho' or 'Chow Yun-Fat' or 'Jackie Chan.
Mike Aponte, the basis for the Blackjack chip character, says that they did carry most of the money on their persons when going through airport security.
This is because cash was easily recognized by security through the x-ray machine.
If they had a click at this page of chips, they stored them in carry-on bags.
Mike says that security usually didn't realize the number of chips that were actually there BlackJackInfo.
Ben Mezrich's book Bringing Down the House describes much more elaborate techniques that the players used to smuggle money.
The methods include using fake umbrellas, laptop computers, plaster casts and hollow crutches.
The author even quotes the book's main character, Kevin Lewis, whose real life counterpart is Jeff Ma.
But Ma said that he never described such techniques to Mezrich, or knew of anyone using them.
Jeff Ma said that the first time that blackjack strategy chart mit had heard of such cloak-and-dagger tactics was when he read Mezrich's book.
In an interview with Quint from Ain't It Cool News, Jeff Ma, the real life individual on whom the movie's main character is based, said the following, "I realized it's not really a movie about me.
It's not like an autobiographical documentary about my life.
It's a cool movie about stuff that we did and a lot of the stuff that we did is very on point and true in the movie, but the storyline has changed quite a bit.
I think what it does do well though is it captures the excitement of what we pulled off during our playing days.
Mezrich's book has faced scrutiny.
Ben Mezrich began his literary career writing techno-thriller fiction.
His 2002 nonfiction bestselleron which the movie 21 is based, has faced scrutiny for its embellishment and massaging of the facts that make up the MIT Blackjack Team's true story.
Mezrich attempted to defend such accusations by saying, "Every word on the page isn't supposed to be fact-checkable.
In the movie, Ben's weekends as a high roller nearly cause him to lose his two closest friends, who no longer want him to participate with them in a robotics competition.
Former MIT team leader John Chang responded to this scene in his blog by saying, "Starting from the part where Ben loses control at the Https://indonesiaairsoft.com/blackjack/is-blackjack-skill-or-luck.html Rock and loses 200K, the movie takes off on a tangent that has no resemblance to reality.
Our players were far too disciplined to even think of doing something like that.
As I see it, that entire scene is a plot device to end the movie - create a conflict between Campbell and Rosa that leads up to the switcheroo finale.
Similar to Fishburne's character in the movie, Andy Anderson right investigated the Texas holdem zynga facebook Blackjack Team for over blackjack strategy chart mit years.
In the movie, Cole Williams Laurence Fishburne is a casino security expert who investigates the team.
Fishburne's character was not specifically based on any single real life individual.
The 21 movie's true story reveals that the real MIT Blackjack Team was investigated bya security agency that had been used by casinos worldwide.
Andy Anderson, a tall silver-haired man who worked for Griffin, followed the team for four to five years and played a major role in exposing their strategy Breaking Vegas.
As a result, several of the MIT team members were black-booked by Griffin.
Their faces landed in the Griffin Book, a dossier of photos distributed to casinos around the world Breaking Vegas.
These players are usually allowed on the casino floor, but are forbidden to go near the blackjack tables.
In the movie, we see Ben Jim Sturgess take a beating from Cole Williams Laurence Fishburne after he is caught counting cards.
Similarly, in Ben Mezrich's book Breaking Vegas, we find the Fisher character beaten bloody in the bathroom of a Bahamian casino.
Mike Aponte, the real life Fisher, says that he was never beaten up in a casino anywhere The Boston Globe.
John Chang, part of the inspiration for Kevin Spacey's character, said, "You might wonder, are the books true?
He wants to sell books.
If he makes up a few lurid details, well, who's going to object?
So, let's beat up one of the players.
In fact, let's make him swallow a chip.
In the movie 21, Ben Campbell Jim Sturgess impresses professor Micky Rosa Kevin Spacey by coming up with the idea of using strippers to cash out their MGM Grand chips.
In the book, Micky is the one who comes blackjack strategy chart mit with the idea.
In reality, it never happened at all.
Who in their right mind would do that?
Did team members ever drink, visit strip clubs, or play slots during the trips?
John Chang says players did not party in the middle of a trip.
No, at least not like we see in the movie, where characters use such vices to celebrate a big night.
John Chang, one of Micky Rosa's real life counterparts, said that, to clarify the MIT Blackjack Team's true story, the players did not "drink, visit brothels or strip clubs, or play slots in the middle of trips.
Our time was too valuable, and our focus too intense to bother.
You'd be considered such a losing sucker if you did any of that.
Mike Aponte, the real life Fisher, stated that "in contrast blackjack strategy chart mit what the book said, there was only one time that we, as a team, went to a strip joint.
Typically, we were all business in Vegas, but after that record win we had to go out on the town and celebrate.
In the movie, Micky Rosa Kevin Spacey steals Ben's winnings that he hides in the ceiling of his dorm room.
In real life, there is no confirmed report of a team leader ever stealing money from a player.
In addition, no such incident is mentioned in the book.
Even with smaller actual profits than we see in the movie, players left some of the money in Vegas.
The players were smart enough not to hide all of their winnings in a single location.
In an interview, John Chang's wife recalled the time she helped him clean out his apartment before a move.
It happened on the weekend of Super Bowl XXIX in 1995.
Despite what we see in the movie, the real MIT team played at casinos all over the world, including Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Foxwoods Connecticutriverboat casinos, the Bahamas, St.
Martin, Aruba, Puerto Rico, and Europe.
Playing at more locations allowed the team to remain undetected longer.
Jeff Ma, the inspiration for the movie's central character, Ben Campbell, and Blackjack strategy chart mit Houh, another former player, appear in the movie as casino dealers.
Jeff Ma plays one of the Planet Hollywood blackjack dealers the click the main character knows from playing so much.
It's not like I was sitting in the director's chair making adjustments.
I heard that one of the players dressed like a woman to fool casino security?
John Chang, part of the inspiration for Micky Rosa Kevin Spaceydressed like a woman to fool casino security.
He wore a hat, a dress, and pantyhose.
His feminine disguise worked in the Bahamas, but it caught the attention of surveillance at the Taj in Atlantic City.
She's all petite, and I look at her hands, and they're just tiny.
Then I look at my hands next to hers and I thought, "Ooo, not good.
It turned out that when I was noticing this, surveillance was noticing the same thing, and they just busted up laughing.
Mezrich's 2nd book about MIT teams chronicles players from the History Channel special.
Released in 2004, the History Channel documentary focuses on a different group of students than we see represented in the 2008 movie 21.
This is because throughout the 1990s the MIT Blackjack Team both dissolved and reformed, first operating as part of the company Strategic Investments LP, and then reforming to operate under Amphibian Investments.
Also, at its peak, there were over 60 players on the MIT team, not 5 like we see in the movie.
Often times, the team was organized into groups, which operated in different cities.
The characters in the movie 21 represent a team that began as a smaller offshoot of the Amphibian Investments team.
Ben Mezrich's second MIT blackjack book chronicles the group of players featured in the History Channel documentary.
This includes the MIT computer science graduate Semyon Dukach, a math whiz who is the son of Russian immigrants.
Mike unofficially retired from the MIT team in the spring of 2000.
By then, it was much tougher for him to play.
MIT Massachusetts Institute of Technology did not permit the filmmakers to shoot on their campus.
Most of the MIT campus scenes were filmed at Boston University.
Thorp used mathematics to create the blackjack "basic strategy" chart.
Since the release of his 1962 book,players have memorized the chart in an effort to have an advantage when the cards are dealt.
Thorp's table has been described as the next best thing to actually learning how to count cards.
Here, you can view the basic strategy table.
The first free blackjack videogame listed below is available from WiiPlayable.
The site hosts hundreds of games that are playable on both your computer and the Nintendo Wii console, including blackjack.
The second game is the official 21 blackjack movie game, which lets you play for free with other users from around the world.
Have fun practicing blackjack strategy!
MIT Blackjack Team - Player Interviews Meet former players from the real MIT Blackjack Team, who were the inspiration for the 21 movie true story.
The videos below include interviews with John Chang, Jeff Ma, and Mike Aponte.
An interview with John Chang, the inspiration for Kevin Spacey's character in the movie 21.
Chang talks with FOX Business analyst Neil Cavuto, who asks him about the movie and why he's wearing a disguise.
Mike Aponte, the basis for the Jimmy Fisher character in the movie 21, discusses what count values to assign to which groups of cards in blackjack.
Jeff Ma, the basis for Jim Sturgess's character in 21, responds to questions that he is frequently asked about the 21 movie true story.
For more videos from Jeff, visit Jeff Ma's Wild World of Gambling.
Jeff Ma explains how to count cards in blackjack.
For example, he points out that when there are a lot of low cards left in the deck, it's in the dealer's favor, and when there are a lot of high cards left in the deck, it's in the player's favor.
Bill Kaplan, who is part of the basis for Kevin Spacey's 21 movie character, talks about the origins of the MIT blackjack team.
The film stars Jim Sturgess, Kate Bosworth and Kevin Spacey.
It is based on the book Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich.
The Blackjack Strategy Guide
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