Edward Oakley Thorp is an American blackjack player and mathematics professor as well. He is the one who is closely associated with the application of his probability theory for some financial gains. He did Ph.D. in 1958 from University of California. His deep knowledge in mathematics made him maths professor at New Mexico State University (1961-1965) and University of California, Irvine (1965-1982).
Edward Oakley Thorp made use of IBM 704 in his investigation of probabilities of winning at blackjack while devising his blackjack theory. In order to program his equation, Thorp also learned FORTRAN that helped him in his research. In this research of his he got a deep knowledge about Blackjack and he improved his odds of winning at blackjack. The year 1962 marked great success in his life as this was the year when he published his first ever book, “Beat the Dealer” where he mentioned the best blackjack tips and strategies for the game of twenty one. The main highlight of the book was the Ten Count System in which he stated a formula that would help the gamblers in determining the betting spread.
The book proved to be a great success and people witnessed that how the house advantage in blackjack can be overcome with help of mathematics. In one of his interview, Dr. Thorp stated that his book presents some betting systems that really work. Being insecure of the fact that Dr. Thorp’s book could bring upon some drastic effects on the casinos, the casinos of Las Vegas started making changes in the rule of blackjack thereby making it difficult for the players to play blackjack. This move of the casinos was opposed by the players and the people boycotted the casinos and then the changed rules were taken back. Both the casinos and the players agreed to a point that blackjack would be played out of four-deck cards.
Later on, he also tried his luck in the stock market and he got success even in the stock market. He propagated a concept in which he combined the theories of blackjack with finance and he got huge returns from the stock market. It was his good knowledge in probabilities and statistics that he was able to differentiate between the price fluctuations in the securities market. Today, Edward Oakley Thorp owns a successful company in California named as Edward O. Thorp and Associates.