On the 9th place we give you Keith Taft. This man built some extraordinary devices to count cards in black jack to beat the casino. Keith Taft is called the Inspector Gadget of casino, hope you all know who this cartoon character is. Keith Taft was an electronic genius that spend over 30 years to create and develop devices to hustle the casino.
Background of why and how he used his devices
It all started back in the early 70s when he created his first computer that could capture digital video together with his son Marty.
When Keith came back from a vacation in 1969 he came back as a man hooked on black jack. He then reed a book written by another man on our list Edward Thorp ( You can read about him later in our series.) This book was about counting cards and that the game was mathematically beatable. He tried every trick in Edwards book but was unsuccessful. Keith then started to work on a computer that would count the cards for him to get the edge in any casino.
Keith Tafts first Computer that Counted the Cards
Keith built his first black jack counting computer in 1970. It took him 2 year, 2000 solder joints and it had a weighed 15 punds. He named this first counting computer George. He set up an system that made him control the computer with hus toes under his clothes.
Since it wasn´t that east to carry around this 15 pound computer her created a more lightweight one that he named David. This version was an amazing device that was really advanced for its time.
With his new black jack computer David he made over 40.000 $ the first week he used it.
He then fast got a little delusions of grandeur as he started to market his black jack computer and sell it for 10.000 $ a piece and he even trained people how to use it.
Eventually the casinos and the FBI caught him with his computer but since they didn´t had the slightest idea of how to use it they couldn´t prove it was built for cheating. Keith Taft didn´t got any legal consequences.
Keith Tafts next Inventions to Hustle the Casinos
Keith and his son Martys next move was to create a device that they called the “Belly Telly”
This was a tiny video camera that they placed in their belt buckles and in some way the could now see the dealers hole cards.
They then had an accomplice in a pickup truck outside that saw the image of the hole cards and the signaled back the best move for the player to make.
They then also built Thor, this was a computer that could deduce the positioning of cards in a deck if a perfect shuffle was made.
Actions to Stop Keith Taft from Hustle the Casinos
In 1985 it became illegal to use electronic devices when gambling in Nevada. If you where caught with such a device in a Nevada Casino you could be sentenced to 10 years in prison. This was made after Keith Taft hade won thousands and maybe even millions of dollars with his devices.
Nowadays most of the casinos in the world are mixing the deck after each round are dealt and played. Therefor it´s also impossible to count cards in the way that Keith Taft did.
*Keith Taft was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2004.
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