Best Blackjack Players

We present a list of the best blackjack players in our modern times. Some players have left a mark for getting the biggest blackjack wins, and others for creating perfect strategies.

Blackjack games come in varying forms and designs. The unique thing about blackjack is the skill and chance element. With a perfect strategy, you can lower the house edge and gain an advantage over the casino. Learning how to play blackjack is pretty simple, and the objective is to get a total hand close to 21 but not exceeding it. Over the years, many people have won massive amounts of money playing blackjack, and others have impacted the industry with their great books. The following are the best blackjack players who have lived in this world.

Don Johnson

Don Johnson is a name that will frequently meet if you are looking for an inspiring story in the blackjack industry. He is a legendary player that will be remembered for his magical hand. Rest, Johnson's name will never be forgotten in 3 Atlantic City casinos, where he won a whopping $15 million within 6 months. Here is how he got the first winning streak:

Johnson placed a bet of $100,000 and was dealt 2 eights. He split the cards and later received a set of eights which he also split. Then he was dealt 3 twice and 2 twice, on which Johnson doubled down. Lastly, the dealer showed 2 cards that totaled 15 and drew 10. This move enabled Johnson to land a winning streak, and he walked away with $800,000 cash.

This was the first time in the history of Atlantic City casinos for a player to win such a huge amount of money in a single game. In an interview, Johnson denied using the card counting system to get him banned from playing. According to the winner, a player with excellent acuity and powerful memory can reduce the house edge and increase the chances of winning.

James Grosjean

Another highly valued professional blackjack player is Jame Grosjean. He gained interest in blackjack at a young age while still studying at Chicago University. Grosjean is considered one of the best blackjack geniuses the world has ever known. His two best-selling books - Beyond Counting and Exhibit CAA: Beyond Counting - provide a mathematical explanation of advantage play in gambling. Moreover, he's not only remembered for beating the house edge but he's also respected in the gambling circles, winning a court case over the Imperial Palace and verdicts against Caesars Palace. His numerous strategies for advantage play have been a stepping stone for many players worldwide. He will be remembered as the youngest player featured in the Blackjack Hall of Fame.

Blackjack MIT Team

The popularity of the MIT Blackjack Team is a result of their huge success, especially at counting cards. It does not come as a surprise to see this team being one of the most successful in the history of blackjack. The MIT Blackjack Team is said to have won $500,000 in a single night session. Led by Bill Kaplan, the team was known for their winning streak throughout the 80s and 90s. Kaplan was inspired to play blackjack professionally by Edward O. Thorp's classic novel How to Beat the Dealer. He formed a team of card counters that became successful within two years. When the casinos found out about his trick, they barred some of his team members. The team split, and some members relocated to other cities. The original MIT team consisted of MIT students and graduates and other institutes like Harvard. It was created by Kaplan and J.P Massar. Statistics indicate that the MIT Blackjack Team was so successful that they were guaranteed $100,000 or more on every trip to Las Vegas. They often had a problem at the airports while moving around with their money.

Bill Benter

Bill Benter is a pro-blackjack player that is not only respected for his skills at the table but also his philanthropic disposition. He usually earned a Blackjack Hall of Fame star for a solid reason. He highly believes in charity and has been an active contributor to noble causes throughout his career. Though Benter had a successful career, it was short-lived as he was caught counting cards at the Maxim. He was blacklisted at almost every casino in Las Vegas. He later shifted to horse racing betting, where he has been very successful, thanks to computerized systems for betting.

Alice Walker

Alice Walker made history as the first female to win the World Series of Blackjack in 2007. She ventured into blackjack at the young age of 3 and never lost focus until she achieved the title. Besides blackjack, Walker does well at poker games. After winning two huge tournaments, she secured her star in the Hall of Fame. Her success is attributed to her solid and tactical mind.

Arnold Snyder

Arnold Snyder's contribution to blackjack is unquestionable, despite not having earned the legendary player's status. He rose to fame for creating the deck penetration concept, which indicates the number of cards played before the deck is shuffled. With this strategy, he managed to get an edge over the casinos. Additionally, Snyder has published several books about blackjack, including The Blackjack Formula, The Blackjack Shuffle Tracker's Cookbook, and Blackbelt in Blackjack.

Ken Uston

Many people consider Ken Uston the best blackjack player of our time. His skill for playing cards is on another level, and it has helped him make a lot of money. Besides being a professional blackjack player, Ken was the former vice president of a stock exchange company. He fell in love with blackjack after meeting Al Francesco. He learned from Francesco and even published books, including The Big Player and Million Dollar Blackjack. Uston later created his team of successful blackjack players, thanks to his excellent exchanging tips. Even though he made huge profits, he was banned from playing at any casino. Impressive enough, he challenged the ban and won a lawsuit against Atlantic City Casino.

Edward Thorpe

Edward Thorpe is a legendary blackjack player and math professor from the United States. He's often considered the inventor of card counting. Most strategies and systems used before Thorpe were imperfect, and they did not generate appealing profit. Thanks to his strong mathematical background, the MIT professor created techniques to help with card counting. He went a step further to prove the functionality of his systems by winning in blackjack games. After learning about his tricks, casinos banned Thorpe from entering their venues. To continue destroying casinos, he published a book titled ‘Beat the Dealer in 1962’. From this publication, players worldwide understood the concept of counting cards in blackjack.

Lawrence Revere

Lawrence Revere started playing blackjack at the age of 13 while working as a dealer in Low. Blackjack was part of his life, as he was later employed as a dealer before buying his casino. Revere developed fascinating systems and strategies while playing blackjack. He teamed up with Julian Braun and published a book called Playing Blackjack as Business. His objective was to make betting systems simple and easy to understand for novice and expert players. Additionally, he shared tips on improving card counting in blackjack games. Revere died in 1977 from cancer.

Tommy Hyland

Tommy Hyland is not just a blackjack player but also an activist and lobbyist of the player's rights. Revere's publication, Playing Blackjack as a Business, inspired Hyland to venture into blackjack in 1979. With the help of the book and other strategies, Hyland was able to master the card counting system. His first trial was at Atlantic City Casino, where he won from $1000 to $2000. In four months, he had already made $4000. At that time, casinos had started offering surrender bets that gave players a huge advantage. Hyland, together with the other two pro-blackjack players, formed the very first blackjack teams. They began with a bankroll of $16000, and they made over $50,000 in a couple of months. He reorganized the team and moved to Las Vegas, where he raked millions of dollars. Like other blackjack players, he was banned from entering any casinos. He even disguised himself as Santa Claus to access a casino but was identified.

Bryce Carlson

The author of Blackjack for Food, Bryce Carlson, has played blackjack since the 70s. He earned the blackjack pro title from exchanging tips with other blackjack players. The unique tips from Carlson included camouflage, team play, and card counting strategies. He was open and always ready to help other players learn his best game. His best moment was when the internet casinos were launched. Carlson is remembered for having a losing streak that lasted 47 hours and spending 141hrs to win it back.

Best Blackjack Players Conclusion

The list of successful blackjack players is endless. We have other legendary players that deserve to be on our list, but we must stop there. These individuals have shared some of the best tips and strategies you can borrow to increase your winning streak. Whether you are playing with low stakes or high rollers, take time to read their inspiring stories.

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