Greatest Blackjack Players of All Time

Blackjack is a game of luck and skill — and some people have both in high doses. The card game can look easy on the face of it and anyone can play blackjack if they know the rules.

But some people over the years have managed to turn a pastime into a career. Here is a listo f the top 4 Greatest professional Blackjack players of all time:


#1 Edward E Thorp: The Godfather of card counting

Card counting in blackjack is when a player keeps a mental record of the cards used in a game, to predict the likelihood of other cards emerging from the pack during later rounds. It is a difficult technique that is frowned upon by some casinos, as players can theoretically gain an advantage from staying aware of what cards have been used.

The Godfather of card counting is a Chicago man named Edward E. Thorp, who arguably perfected blackjack strategy using card counting techniques. He even developed a computer simulation to more accurately predict which cards were likely to appear on the blackjack table in a round. The mathematics genius wrote the book Beat the Dealer in 1962, a guide which is used by professional and amateur gamblers to this day.


#2 Kerry Packer: The Big Winner

Kerry Packer is a legend in the casino game. An Australian media mogul, the millionaire would certainly spend this cash when he had it. Packer was a notorious blackjack player who could seriously scare a casino when he arrived at the table. So good was he in fact that the Las Vegas Hilton supposedly made him a private room in which to play blackjack when he was in town.

Packer, who died in 2005, is said to have won an eye-watering $7m playing blackjack in one night. He also supposedly lost $10m in the same casino the next year! In 1995 Packer nailed his biggest ever triumph. The Aussie reportedly played up to eight hands across multiple blackjack tables in Las Vegas, placing $250,000 bets on each hand and winning 20 rounds in a row.

Packer is said to have walked out of the casino with $20m of blackjack winnings, although he handed $1m back to the dealers as a tip.


#3 Don Johnson: The Streaker

You may not have heard of Don Johnson, a man who played blackjack in Atlantic City and didn’t stop winning for a very long time. Mr Johnson played in several casinos from December 2010 to April 2011 and earned a staggering $15.1m in the process. His biggest individual win was a $5.8m windfall at the Tropicana Casino. Johnson was in fact offered deals to play at the highest stakes in some casinos as the 2008 financial crisis hit casinos in the United States. Johnson was able to negotiate additional terms when he played blackjack in the casino, including making the dealer stay on soft 17, and a 20 per cent rebate on his losses worth over $500,000.


#4 Ken Uston: The Strategist

Back in the 1970s and 1980s strategist Ken Uston used Beat the Dealer as his basis for competing on the blackjack tables. Uston created a strategy from which he could win big in casinos, rejecting any notion that luck is involved in blackjack. It is said Uston created the first card counting teams that could all monitor the packs the dealer was using. He is reported to have earned around $4.5m during his time at the tables.


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