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Blackjack Hall of Fame: Top blackjack players

Blackjack Hall of Fame: Top blackjack players

Blackjack Hall of Fame: Top blackjack players

Wed Jun 01 2022 08:18:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

Blackjack is one of the best games to play in the casino since you can change your fate if you play your cards right, even though it’s heavily affected by luck. But this also means one wrong move can cost you the game.

Despite this risk, some players have mastered the tricky gameplay, leading them to become the top blackjack players in history with wins amounting to thousands upon millions of dollars. Their legendary wins as well as their IQ and skills for the game make them worthy of the blackjack hall of fame. To find out who these amazing players are, keep on reading!

Al Francesco

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Starting off the list is the Godfather of Blackjack himself, Al Francesco who made a huge impact on the popular card game during his time. One of the main reasons why he’s considered the godfather of this fun and addicting card game is because of the techniques and strategies he contributed that are still being used today. This includes the ‘Big Player Concept’ and ‘The Drop’. 

He also founded one of the most profitable blackjack teams in history that consisted of up to 22 amazing players. This influence led him to become an inaugural inductee into the blackjack hall of fame back in 2002. 

Aside from being a spectacular blackjack player, he’s also an excellent teacher praised by several people for providing tips about the game. One of the most notable people he taught was Ken Uston who went on to become a legendary blackjack player himself.

Edward Thorp

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Aside from earning success as a professional blackjack player, Edward Thorp cemented his spot in the blackjack hall of fame by inventing a card counting blackjack method, the Ten Count System. This revolutionised the game back in the ‘60s as it was the first system known to the public that can be proven by mathematics, making it legitimate.

Edward Thorp was quick to take advantage of this system which led him to gain an advantage over every casino he played in during that decade. During the first weekend after he theorised his strategy he immediately won $11,000 along with a pro gambler named Manny Kimmel.

His inception of the Ten Count System wasn’t a surprise though as Thorp specialised in the field of probability during his time as a mathematician professor. This experience and knowledge also led him to become skilful in making predictions that eventually turned out to be correct.

He further cemented his legacy in the history of this card game when he published a world-renowned book entitled Beat the Dealer that mostly covered the different techniques in blackjack.

Erica Shoenberg

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Sometimes, you won’t know if you’re good at something unless you try it. This is the case for Erica Shoenberg, a model turned pro blackjack player. Shoenberg has become one of the most successful and famous blackjack players in history after participating many times in the World Series of Blackjack. Unfortunately, she hasn’t won the gold in any major tournaments.

This setback didn’t stop her from being better though as she eventually joined the infamous MIT Blackjack Team to further hone her skills in the game. 

Bryce Carlson

Another professional blackjack player that made a huge impact on the game is Bryce Carlson. A huge reason why he’s considered a legendary player is because of the book he authored titled Blackjack for Blood which contained different strategies and tips regarding the game. His intention behind publishing the book was simply to help other players master blackjack.

Before the publication of his book, however, Carlson was already known to communicate and help other players in blackjack by exchanging useful tips before he eventually turned pro.

Moreover, a huge reason why he’s made a huge impact in the games is because of his involvement in the Omega II blackjack machine, a card counting system that provides efficiency and accuracy.

Because of the fame he’s garnered over his career, he chooses to be anonymous and stay under the radar to protect his privacy.

Ken Uston

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One of the most interesting stories in the history of blackjack is the life of Ken Uston which was eventful, to say the least. On the surface, Uston was an incredibly skilful player in blackjack thanks to his expertise in card counting which he learned; after bumping into Al Francesco, the Godfather of Blackjack, at a party.

The knowledge he picked up from card counting, paired with his technical abilities as a mathematical strategist led him to become one of the most dangerous blackjack players in casinos.

He then shared this knowledge and success with other blackjack players by publishing numerous books that tackle different card counting strategies and tricks. These strategy books didn’t only cover card counting but also featured other tricks that can help beat the house edge in the casino.

Thanks to his knowledge of the game as well as his strategies, Uston won huge prizes over the years. However, this success also led him to be banned from playing in various casinos. This didn’t stop him though as he interestingly put on disguises for him to re-enter casinos without the authorities knowing. 

Lastly, he managed to challenge and eventually win the cases of the different bans against him.

Kerry Packer

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Throughout the years of professional blackjack tournaments, several plays have become legendary and forever cemented in the history books. However, only a few players have managed to become so famous that they became synonymous with these legendary plays themselves. Among these players was Kerry Packer.

Kerry Packer was extremely successful in blackjack, taking home millions of dollars throughout his career as a professional blackjack player. His most legendary play happened back in 1997 when he played 8 different hands at the same time in one of the most famous casinos in the world, the MGM Grand. 

During this play, he showcased his utmost bravery by placing a whopping 250 million dollar bet on each hand. Thankfully, he came out triumphant when he walked out of the casino 20 million dollars richer than when he entered.

One of the most admirable things about Packer was his intention to always share his blessings. After his legendary play, he gave out 1 million dollar tips to the dealers of MGM grand.

In other extreme cases of generosity, Packer tipped certain people among the casino’s staff by paying off their mortgages when he received exceptional service. Aside from his exceptional skills, these antics also earned Kerry Packer a sure slot in the blackjack hall of fame. 

MIT Blackjack Team

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The immensely popular MIT Blackjack Team deserves a spot in the hall of fame as the carefully curated group of expert mathematicians who took the casino world by storm during their run from 1979 to 1989.

Composed of students with a natural talent for mathematics, this group mastered card counting and left several casinos across Atlantic City clueless about the winning tricks they pulled from their sleeves.

One of their most stupendous moments was taking home $500,000 in a single night. At some point, the team ended up with 70 players and by the end of their run, amassed millions of dollars in winnings.

Their run was short-lived however after their antics during the spring break and graduating from college, most of them went their separate ways. Nonetheless, their legacy remains to this day and their impact on the game will forever be remembered in blackjack history books.

Bill Benter

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One of the most notable blackjack players known not only for his skills but also for his charitable causes is Bill Benter. This legendary blackjack player saw great success in the game and earned huge winnings which he then donated to noble causes as well as political campaigns.

Bill Benter’s career as a professional blackjack player was also cut short as he was caught card counting while playing at the Maxim casino. Though short-lived, his blackjack career still earned him a whole lot more compared to those of other players with more years in their time as professional players.

Benter’s short career in blackjack along with his philanthropic endeavours led him to become a sure choice in the blackjack hall of fame.

James Grosjean

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Throughout James Grosjean’s career as a professional blackjack player, he has provided various tips, tricks and strategies that helped players beat the house edge and win more. These strategies became wildly popular among players around the world and have become known as important stepping stones for anyone trying to become a better player. 

The reason why Grosjean was highly praised by critics and players alike is that he used mathematical explanations. This was especially evident in his two best-selling books titled Beyond Counting and Exhibit CAA: Beyond Counting.

James Grosjean also started playing at an early age during his college years which also contributed to his success as a pro player as he was able to pick up strategies over the years. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Grosjean was also the youngest player to have ever been inducted into the blackjack hall of fame back in 2006.

As for his career as a professional casino player, Grosjean went through several ups and downs battling in court over Caesar’s Palace and Imperial Palace, two of the most famous casinos in Las Vegas.

Don Johnson

Image from The Atlantic

It’s impossible not to include Don Johson in a list of the top blackjack players in history as he was known to have a legendary hand. This was evident throughout his career wherein he bagged millions of dollars without using card counting, as he insisted. 

He never used card counting or any other techniques frowned upon by casinos since he believed players would inevitably get in trouble for using them. Moreover, he only believed in his trained memory which helped him keep track of the cards in the deck being used in the game.

However, the biggest reason why Don Johnson is widely known in blackjack history is that he amassed a whopping amount of $15 million within 6 months. This legendary run was all done in casinos within Atlantic City.

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These are some of the players worthy of being included in the blackjack hall of fame. Keep in mind that they didn’t become the best players overnight as they’ve put in hours of training and playing to earn their places today. Moreover, they also integrated different blackjack strategies into their gameplay to ensure that they can minimise their losses and maximise their wins. 

So what are you waiting for? Start playing one of the best live dealer games in today and win as many prizes as possible! Who knows, your name might be featured on the Blackjack Hall of Fame in the future if you ever become one of the best blackjack players!

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Blackjack Hall of Fame: Top blackjack players

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