How’s that card counting coming along, guys? Any massive wins you feel proud of? Well, even if you’re still getting there, no rush. Practice makes perfect. But why are talking about card counting in an article about the richest gamblers, you may be pondering now. Simple – because it’s what almost all of the biggest and wealthiest gambling legends did at the start of their careers as professional gamblers. We’ve showed you how to do it, we’ve listed the books that can help you and inspire you to get there, and today we’re introducing you to the people who have managed to make millions and even billions after they started off with a few simple card counting methods. Bill Benter – the Richest of Them All
Mathematics genius Bill Benter was born in 1957 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After finishing a degree in physics, he decided to use his skill to count cards at blackjack tables in Las Vegas, improving his methods with the help of Edward Thorp’s Beat the Dealer. After seven years of bringing the house down, Benter was banned from most Vegas casinos and after he met Alan Woods, he moved to Hong Kong where the two worked on creating a formula that would help predict the outcome of horse races, thus creating the world’s first software assisted gambling operation which is also considered to be the most successful one to this day.
Benter developed the mathematics powering the software and using a vast array of variables to get the edge on the average gambler, he re-created and expanded it, so that it looked at prices to determine where the truest advantage was. After the pair had a “spectacular falling out,” Woods started working with Zeljko Ranogajec in Manila and Benter continued to work on his own in Hong Kong, reportedly moving beyond its small number of tracks. It is estimated that Bill Benter makes $100 million annually, often raking in $5-$10 million in a single race day. He’s also a philanthropist and a big contributor to charity and political groups.
Edward E. Thorp – the Father of Card Counting
The inventor of card counting Edward E. Thorp was born in Chicago in 1932. He finished a PhD in mathematics from UCLA and worked as a math professor from 1959 till 1977. Thorp was the first to use computer simulation to develop a blackjack strategy with the help of an IBM 704 and devised card-counting schemes to improve players’ odds. He put his calculations to the test in casinos in Reno, Lake Tahoe, and Las Vegas and verified his theory. Having piqued other players’ interest, he wrote Beat the Dealer which is considered the first and ultimate guide to card counting used by both amateurs and professional players.
In 1961, Ed Thorp developed the first wearable computer together with Claude Shannon and used it at the roulette and blackjack tables until it was banned in 1985. He’s a member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame and has developed the “Thorp count” method for backgammon and formed a baccarat syndicate as well. In the 1960s, Thorp started using his knowledge on probability and statistics in the stock market, and he also developed and applied effective hedge fund techniques in the financial markets, making a fortune that is estimated at $800 million.