Most of you must have watched the famed Hollywood flick ’21’ which shows the exploits of an MIT team which counts cards and win big time in Vegas. Well, you would be surprised to know that the movie is based on true events, at least in part. Of course it has many exaggerations but MIT’s Mike Aponte has indeed managed to become a big-time winner through card counting.
Card counting techniques have been used since many decades and they give the players a critical advantage over the house, thus increasing the probability of the player’s win. Aponte started his exploits in 1990s and soon was drawn into the world of card and casinos, becoming a ‘big player.’
Not only did he win on his own, he also led a team which won millions at tables. A book titled ‘Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions’ has been written about this by Mezrich.
The interesting part is that although most casinos tend to dislike card counting and treat it as illegal, it is perfectly legal. When Aponte and his team became rather well known for being the experts of card counting, they were banned from most well-known pits and casinos. Aponte won the World Series of Blackjack in 2004 and has retired since.
During Def Con 20, Aponte was there and he spoke at length about how counting cards is kind of the same as finding exploits in a firmware since both look for hidden advantages within complex systems. During his talk at Def Con 20, Aponte gave a quick introduction to card counting. Although it takes many different techniques to be good at it, you surely need lots of practice before you should hit the tables. Posted below is the talk by Aponte:
Courtesy: The Verge