The Four Horsemen of Aberdeen: Blackjack Strategy’s Pioneers

Have you ever pondered the originators of blackjack strategy? Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel, and James McDermott are introduced to you. These four men, also known as the Four Horsemen of Aberdeen, were the first to perform the calculations necessary to construct a nearly faultless blackjack strategy.
Their calculations have laid the foundation for nearly all blackjack strategies currently available.

Continue reading to learn more about the Four Horsemen of Aberdeen and their creation of the first blackjack strategy guide. You will soon understand why they were inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame, one of the highest honors in the game.

A Brief Introduction to Each of the Four Horsemen

Richard Baldwin

Math had always been Baldwin’s favored subject, so it was not surprising that he chose to major in it in college. Ultimately, he was awarded a scholarship to Columbia University, where he would receive a master’s degree in mathematics. He enlisted in the US Army and was stationed at Aberdeen Proving Grounds shortly after graduating.

William Cantey

Cantey was raised in a Christian home and regularly attended church. He cherished attending church events and aspired to become a pastor one day.
As soon as he was mature enough, he began his pastoral studies by enrolling in seminary.
Due to his excessive time spent cheating at pool and card games, he was compelled to abandon his seminary studies. Later, he would opt to pursue a master’s degree in mathematics. After completing his studies, he joined the United States Army and rose to the rank of sergeant. He was ultimately deployed to Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

Harold Maisel

Since a tender age, Maisel was regarded as a mathematical prodigy. He always performed well on his math exams and was typically the person other students would go to for assistance if they didn’t comprehend a math assignment. After graduating from high school, he decided to enter the United States Army, and his first assignment was at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.

William McDermott

McDermott was able to receive a complete scholarship to Columbia University on the basis of his outstanding high school performance. He graduated with a master’s degree in mathematics after devoting six years of his life to his studies.
Even though McDermott and Baldwin attended the same high school, they did not meet until McDermott was stationed at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds while serving in the United States Army.

How Basic Strategy Was Initially Created

Destiny brought together these four individuals. The Aberdeen Proving Grounds, where these four individuals met, was situated in the Maryland county of Hartford. This unit was responsible for evaluating the efficacy of new combat armaments, performing stress testing on tanks and other equipment, and producing noxious vapors for use in battle.

As you might assume, a soldier’s existence can be extremely demanding.
During their leisure, many of the soldiers in this unit relished playing card games to relieve tension. Baldwin decided to join them one evening. This would be his first introduction to the game of baccarat.
His fellow soldiers explained the regulations to him and informed him that the dealer would be required to stand on 17 and strike on 16 or less.

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