James McDermott Biography

James McDermott

Roger Baldwin, a buck private in the U.S. Army who had earned a master’s degree in statistics from Columbia University; Wilbert Cantey, a sergeant, also had a master’s degree, and two other privates, also with master’s degrees in mathematics—Herbert Maisel and James McDermott—collectively known as the Four Horseman (a nickname given by Dr. Allan Wilson in The Casino Gambler’s Guide, 1965), solved a riddle that had eluded players, serious students and mathematician’s since the game’s invention some two hundred years earlier: How to mathematically beat the game of blackjack. Using desk calculators the Army provided them in their Aberdeen, Texas research lab, and over 1,000 man hours spread over 1953 to 1955, the quartet ultimately accomplished what all the game experts had failed to do for more than two centuries. In September 1956, an article on their findings was published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association. It became one of the most talked about articles ever to appear in that publication. In June 1957, Playing Blackjack to Win, the first book ever to show an accurate playing strategy for blackjack, was published. It is arguably the most important blackjack book ever written. The original small press run of 5,000 copies was never reprinted until Cardoza Publishing’s 2008 edition. The strategy devised by the Four Horsemen has since been published in tens of millions of books. Playing Blackjack to Win was also a landmark book in that is contained the first legitimate card counting strategy ever published.

Playing Blackjack to Win

Price: $14.95

This classic handbook, as valid today as it was when first published, shows you how to cut the dealer’s odds from the four percent or higher disadvantage that casual players face, to an actual player advantage! Easy-to-read strategy charts and explanations cover casino and home variations, the best strategies for hitting, splitting, and doubling down, and much more! 144 pages