It’s no secret that a post-education experience can do wonders for your career. Whether you go to college or university, getting an education is crucial to getting a job, making lots of money, and living life to the fullest.
But who says you have to wait until you graduate to rake in 6-figure paydays? This is the story of the MIT Blackjack Team and how they made a killing at casinos around the world by counting cards.
First, a little backstory. MIT stands for Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It’s one of the best universities on the planet, packed with the smartest minds whose SAT scores would make even Albert Einstein feel inferior.
Now, there are lots of different clubs at various universities around the world. From chess to debate to sports, you’ll find anything. But what you usually won’t find is a club dedicated to breaking Vegas.
Enter J.P. Massar, a student who founded a card counting club made up of six MIT students. They worked together to learn how to count cards, spending their free nights and weekends mastering the craft. The goal? To be able to predict when the Blackjack shoe is working in your favor, and to bet big when it does, all without getting noticed. The card counting club practiced until the saved a large enough bankroll to do some damage on the felt.
In the 1990s, they hit Vegas during one Spring Break and made a bunch of cash. When they returned, that was the end of the club. Sort of.
J.P. returned to MIT to teach a blackjack course in an effort to train the next class dedicated to breaking Vegas. And it worked again. He and his team made a bunch of money, increasing their capital fourfold. But that was pretty much how far they could take it.
In order to push it further, J.P. tapped a Harvard graduate named Kaplan who had is own Harvard blackjack team dedicated to breaking Vegas. And they were doing a dynamite job, returning from their weekend trips with a 35x profit.
The two paired up and together they conquered Vegas, amassing a team of 35 players to dominate Sin City. And it worked for quite some time, until Las Vegas casinos started to recognize the key players making the big moves.
That forced J.P. and his team to think bigger. Globally bigger. The team grew to over 80 players, scattered around Cambridge, New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois, and Washington. The teams were able to hop on planes, fly across the country, and make huge gains playing Blackjack without being recognized.
But there are only so many casinos available to conquer. After finding it difficult to access a casino without rising suspicion, the team disbanded in 1993.
Don’t feel sorry for them. Those mathematical geniuses made a ridiculous sum of money busting the house, all within the realm of the law. Yup, you read that right. It’s not illegal to count cards, as long as you use your mind and aren’t aided by any electronic device or other computer system.
If you think you can count cards, we say go for it. At Prism Casino, we can’t see your face, so you know you won’t be recognized. If you’re just getting started as a card counter, feel free to hone your skills with us. You can even play for free, just by creating an account.