There are many professional blackjack players and innovators from the 1960s and 1970s that deserve credit for advances like card counting and basic blackjack strategy. Lawrence Revere is one of these. Revere did pretty much everything you could do in the world of blackjack. He was a player, card counter, dealer, and writer. Few possessed the level of knowledge that Lawrence Revere did when it comes to the most popular gambling card game.
Lawrence was also a strong advocate of professional blackjack play. He even wrote a book on the subject that addressed approaching the game like a business. Here’s a closer look at this individual who became one of blackjack’s earliest pioneers.
About Lawrence Revere
Lawrence Revere began life as Griffith K. Owens on November 5, 1915. Over the course of his life, Revere would use many other names. He often played blackjack under the names of Leonard Parsons and Paul Mann. When adopting the Parsons name, Revere was even known to use “Speck” as a nickname. It was not an uncommon practice for gamblers in the age of Revere to use other names on occasion, especially if they were known card counters.
Revere was an educated man who received his degree in mathematics from the University of Nebraska. There can be little doubt that his interest in mathematics opened the door to an interest in gambling. Most gambling games are intertwined with mathematical principles. There are a whole host of college courses offered today in the realm of game theory.
It was Edwin O. Thorp who first used mathematics in order to propose that blackjack was a game that could be beaten with card counting. Lawrence Revere and others expounded upon that notion by developing more advanced card counting methods.
Lawrence Revere is known to have produced at least four different card counting methods. He detailed all of them in a book titled Playing Blackjack as a Business. The Revere Point Count became very popular among card counters, and its developer even insisted that it was a system that could be applied to a one-deck game. These treatises on card counting and playing perfect blackjack would go on to define Revere as a master of the game.
Revere passed away on April 23, 1977 after a battle with cancer. He left behind a legacy of blackjack knowledge. Some of Revere’s breakthroughs have been called to task over the years, and some have even been show to be less effective than once believed. Even so, the work of Lawrence Revere remains important today for anyone that wants to become serious about playing blackjack.
The Lawrence Revere Approach to Blackjack
The approach of Lawrence Revere to the game of blackjack can be summed up as a professional one. Playing Blackjack as a Business was meant to convey a few important principles. The first of these was that it was possible to play blackjack for a living. Even today, this is a controversial idea. There is a stigma around gambling which causes many people to confuse professional play with addiction.
Revere’s idea was that some players could develop the discipline and patience needed to routinely beat casinos at the game. He tailored his written books to those who wanted to move to Las Vegas and play each day. There is no way to number how many people may have been inspired by Revere’s work, and some of them went on to achieve massive success.
He was not without controversy. Revere spend time working as a blackjack dealer, pit boss, and also held other jobs in the casino. This made him somewhat distrusted by some blackjack players who believed he would sell them out by exposing the actions of card counters to the casinos. Revere claimed that his knowledge of the behind-the-scenes action in Las Vegas is what gave him the insight required to develop and publish his card counting systems.
The Complete Blackjack Professional – Lawrence Revere
There is a lasting impact of the work of Lawrence Revere today which is felt in the blackjack community. As we stated, there are many players which took the knowledge of Revere and used it to create a platform for their own success at the game. If there is one criticism that can be given, Revere’s systems are those which would seem to have more appeal to the experienced player.
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