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Biography of Lawrence Revere

He experienced the game of blackjack from almost every angle. Not only was Revere a casino pit-boss and blackjack author, but he was also a dealer, casino owner, troubleshooter, professional blackjack player and a blackjack teacher.

Revere was also known by the names Leonard "Specs" Parsons and Paul Mann and he sometimes played under these aliases. He was known to be a leading blackjack expert and the true master of the game of blackjack in the 1960s and early 1970s. Revere's Advanced Point Count (APC) was one of the top working tools of a professional blackjack player of any time in the history of the game.

Revere began his blackjack career as a 13-year old blackjack dealer in the back room of a barber's shop in his hometown of Iowa. He later went to the University of Nebraska, where he earned a degree in mathematics. Revere went on to become a professional blackjack player in 1943, traveling West in his pursuits and his career in blackjack skyrocketed from then.

Revere authored the classic blackjack text-book "playing blackjack as a Business" in 1968. He only took steps to copyright the book in 1969 when he was convinced by John Luckman, a dealer at the Dunes and founder of the Gambler's book club, convinced him to protect his text. The book includes several card-counting strategies devised by him, with the assistance of Julian Braun. Revere also co-developed several other counting systems for blackjack. Some of the counting systems he developed were the Revere Point Count Strategy, the Revere Five-Count Strategy, the Revere Plus-Minus Strategy and the Ten-Count Strategy. These were found to be more accurate and simpler to use than those of Edward Thorp's, on which they were based. The counting strategies could now be used by blackjack beginners and intermediate players. Revere thoroughly explained each strategy in his book and included color-coded charts to make them easier for the lay-person to follow. He also emphasized the need for discipline, practice and patience in the game of blackjack. He emphasized the need to be prepared for losses, in order to practice the game for the big wins. Revere's works helped to popularize the game of blackjack. However, besides for the charts, which are still widely used today, many critics suggests that the remainder of the book is out-dated as it focuses on the now-rare one and four deck blackjack games. It also does not spend much time on how to avoid suspicion from pit-bosses and dealers. His thoughts on the matter and his general writing style, are fairly blunt.

Lawrence Revere was admitted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame in 2005 for his contributions to the game.

Emma Green