With Iris Simpkins (played by Kate Winslet), her relationship with her ex-boyfriend and colleague Jasper is actually long gone. Still, she can’t get away from him – and he keeps giving her new hopes. When, however, Jasper’s wedding to another colleague was announced at the company Christmas party, Iris opened her eyes.
When she felt sorry for herself in her small, isolated hut shortly before Christmas, sobbing, something unexpected happened: Amanda from L.A. inquired over the Internet whether Iris’s small hut would be available for a house swap over Christmas. Little does Iris know that Amanda is a successful business woman who lives in a huge mansion. The two have one thing in common: the desire to be so far away from home, the separation and their everyday life. So Iris flies to L.A. – and Amanda to England, to the small rural village where Iris lives.
In the next few days, both of them dive into a completely new world, get to know strangers and, above all, themselves in a completely new way. The fact that a happy love story is looming for both protagonists can be seen from the title “Love Doesn’t Need Holidays” and the genre. So it happens that Iris meets the film music producer Miles in L.A., who is always on the unfortunate search for great love – and who ultimately seems to recognize it in Iris.
Since at that time only a single 52 hand was played, this situation occurs in about 3.5% to 10% of the cases, depending on the number of players at the table. If the stake is increased in these cases, this is just about enough to surpass the bank’s other advantage. The bank is thus beaten – at least in theory! What happened now rarely happens in mathematics: No sooner had Thorp presented his results to the mathematical experts at a meeting of the American Mathematical Society than a tremendous media hype sparked the echo even as far as Europe. Of course, the mathematical proof also had to be “confirmed” in the practical test, that is, in the casino. No less lucrative for Thorp is his book, which he sold more than 500,000 times and which he published for potential emulators. There strategies are described with which, with a lot of practice, you can get a real advantage against the bank. The basic idea and a strategy that can actually be used in practice is to use a so-called counting system to obtain an approximate but sufficient overview of the composition of the remaining stack.
Once the cards have been reshuffled, the weights of all the cards played begin to be added up. The strategy can now be advantageously varied depending on the total weight achieved, usually called the count, and the size of the remaining pile. As the first and only casino game, Black Jack was “cracked” with it.
And today? Blackjack is still played in casinos. Not least thanks to Thorp and many other blackjack experts with almost as many publications, blackjack is more popular than ever today. There are two main reasons why casino operators do not really need to worry: On the one hand, Black Jack is generally played today with several, usually six cards, of which around 80 cards are delimited by the neutral card; strong imbalances between the different card values are therefore largely avoided. On the other hand, the counting strategies require a high degree of practice and concentration, because every wrong decision made in the fast course of the game is on average at the expense of the player. Only those who constantly count correctly and adjust their strategy accordingly can hold their slight advantage against the bank. Successful card counters are therefore likely to get lost in the crowd of average players who play anything but optimal. It goes without saying that the minimal advantage only relates to the expectation and can be negated by bad luck in individual cases.