What is Blackjack? Is Blackjack a game of chance or a game of skills?
A while ago I have watched a documentary about the MIT Team on the History channel. If I remember correctly, the idea started in the seventies. A professor started a course on how to play blackjack and make money with the goal to get a team together to beat the casino. (Maybe one of the oldest dreams in history and one of the reasons why casinos, on- and offline, are so profitable.) After a while, the professor selecteted a group on students and started training them. He taught them everything about blackjack, all the known strategies, mathematics of the game, card counting, odds of blackjack and so on.
His belief was if you have a group of people playing the game according to his strategy the group will make money. Most of the players will lose, but the one or two player who win, will cover the losses and generate profit. The final members of the team went through an intense training program, were tested to their limits, they had to play for hours, in a noisy environment, were distracted by pretty girls or handsome guys, offered free drinks, were intimated by fellow players of security. He really prepared the team for every possible situation in a real casino.
The professor and his team needed funds to be able to make the plan a reality. He was looking for an investor to the MIT Team and managed to convince an investor to fund the project. Finally they left for Vegas. They decided on a casino and put their plan into action. Playing members had winning and losing streaks, but ended up making money in the long term. What does that mean to gambler that plays Blackjack?
Can you actually beat the casino? Yes. Rest assured that, if you have enough funds, a dedicated team willing to can play for hours without making any mistakes while avoiding detection by casino security; then yes you can beat the casino. The MIT Team has proven it. It you are an average Blackjack player, average earner and alone, the odds are that if you play 100 games you win 43 games, bank wins 48 games and 9 are stand-off (simplified, base on playing basic strategy).