As is often the case with questions on historical subjects, there is debate about the origins of the most popular casino game. It’s mostly about whether the French, Italians or Americans are the proud inventors of this alluring game. Blackjack has something in common with the card games of each of these nations, but where exactly it was born is an open question.
However, regardless of where the game originated and what people in different countries call it, blackjack has gained enormous popularity around the world. There’s even a Blackjack Hall of Fame. It’s an American organisation, founded in 2003, and based at the Barona Casino in San Diego, California. As you can guess from its name, it’s a list of the most prominent people who’ve left a bright mark in blackjack history. For the most part, this list includes the most skillful players, remembered for their outstanding achievements in this field.
But there is a remarkable person, who has never been a professional player and has rarely been in a casino. We are talking about IBM programmer Julian Braun. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame for his incredibly important research into blackjack strategy. Based on the developments of the legendary Edward Thorp, Julian has created some of the best and most recognised card counting systems, which are still actively used by players around the world.
BestAuCasinosOnline will tell you more about this amazing man, who managed to change the game.
A brief biography of Julian Braun
Julian was born in 1929 in Chicago. He was a child prodigy and was known among his peers as a botanist. After high school, Braun went on to attend college and successfully graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with B.S. degrees in mathematics and physics.
In his fifties he served in the Army for a while before continuing his studies at the University of California, San Diego.
After graduating, Julian worked for a division of Chrysler and later moved to IBM, where he stayed for about thirty years, becoming one of the leading specialists in the research laboratory in the company’s Chicago office.
Julian’s interest in blackjack
One day Julian Braun bought Edward Thorpe’s famous book “Beat the Dealer”, which deals with the card counting system in blackjack. At the time this work was almost the only publication of its kind. Julian was interested in Thorpe’s developments, but he could not ignore the shortcomings of the strategy. Moreover, he had a desire to make adjustments to the methodology in order to make it more effective.
Braun wrote a letter to Thorpe telling him about himself and asking for a copy of the programme, explaining that he wanted to work on improving it. Let’s not forget that Julian had access to the most advanced computer technology, which in those days almost no one could afford to buy.
Braun’s improved Thorpe system was easier to learn and easier to use. At the same time, it allowed for more stable results, with less variance.
It must be said that Thorpe was not slow to make changes to the book ‘Beat the Dealer’. The 1966 edition already described the improved methodology. The author, however, did not forget to mention Julian.
The casino experience
In the late sixties Julian decided it was time for him to personally test his system in practice. He went to Reno, where he visited the Nevada Club Casino. It was there that they offered single deck blackjack with the most favourable rules.
Braun played for a few days without exceeding the limit of ten dollars per box, but even such a small range was enough to quickly go into the pluses and not only maintain a positive balance, but also steadily increase profits.
He ended up being approached by a manager who told him that management considered him an undesirable client. Braun politely bowed out and has not gambled at the casino since.
Braun’s future activities
Braun continued to work on the blackjack strategy. His collaboration with the legendary Lawrence Revere proved fruitful, resulting in the book “Playing Blackjack as a Business”. Julian’s work was also used by Lance Humble, author of “The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book”.
In 1980, Braun finally published his own book, which was published under the title “How to Play Winning Blackjack”. It explains all the nuances of the optimal basic strategy with additional tips for players. It can be said to be a practical guide for users of different skill levels.
Julian said the following about his work:
“I have reasons for writing this book. First of all, the point is that some of the ideas and observations contained in it may be useful to hundreds of thousands of blackjack players who have been or will be as fascinated or intrigued by the game as I am.
The reader should be warned that I am not a good storyteller, nor even a former pit boss (God forbid!). Accordingly, unlike some other books on the subject, you won’t find informative or very entertaining insider stories here about the colourful characters who appear on both sides of the gaming table. Rather, I will try to describe to you as logically as possible my work over the last eighteen years”.
Braun’s book was not a world bestseller, being of interest mainly to real professionals. The general public probably found it too dry. But thanks to Braun and this book, especially online blackjack Australia players have a better chance of success.
Julian died in September 2000. His death was not covered in the press, so many only found out about it a few months later. He was admitted to the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2005.
Julian Braun was a true blackjack romantic. He was interested in the game as a phenomenon, but not at all as a means to profit. Moreover, it seems that wealth was never one of his priorities in life. Julian Braun will never be forgotten for his special contribution to blackjack history.
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