Blackjack is not the most challenging casino game to learn. Here, success is inevitable if you follow the rules. What makes a good blackjack player? Professional blackjack players answer that question by displaying talent in statistical analysis, tallying, and other probability skills.
These people polished their talents to the point where they became professional blackjack players and went down in history as resounding champions. Here's how they did it.
Top 5 Best Blackjack Players
Here are five of the best blackjack players in the world:
James Grosjean is universally considered the most outstanding professional blackjack player. He was introduced to the game at a young age while attending the University of Chicago.
One of the blackjack world's most brilliant minds, James Grosjean, is the author of two best-selling books, Exhibit CAA: Beyond Counting and Counting.
Both works offer a mathematical analysis of advantage play in gambling and continue to act as reference points for numerous players.
Having overcome the house advantage, Grosjean is well-known in the gambling community for winning jury verdicts against Caesars Palace and in court against the Imperial Palace. James Grosjean was the youngest player to be honored in the Blackjack Hall of Fame.
He was a widely respected and talented individual. After experiencing everything he has, he has developed many strategies for good play, which continue to help thousands of gamers to this day.
Not many blackjack sessions can match the winning streak of professional gambler Don Johnson, who has defeated Atlantic City casinos for almost $15 million in cash.
In 2008, when the financial crisis became a full-fledged threat, casinos had no choice but to target primarily high-stakes blackjack gamblers like Don Johnson.
He was made a hard-to-turn-down offer and eventually accepted the invitation to play high-stakes blackjack in Atlantic City casinos.
Please note that Johnson meticulously negotiated favorable terms for himself to play from what he regarded as an advantageous position. But, unsurprisingly, many expected nothing less from a professional blackjack player.
During his tenure at the Tropicana, Don Johnson won one of the enormous blackjack hands in history. Two splits and a double at the end of the hand allow the initial wager to grow from $100,000 to $800,000.
Edward Thorp was a professional blackjack player and the innovator of a card-counting strategy that allowed players to keep track of which cards were played and still in the deck. As a mathematics professor, he specialized in the field of probability, which gave him the means to make reliable predictions. He also developed the first wearable computer. Furthermore, Thorp had released a book entitled "Beat the Dealer." The book talks about the strategies for playing blackjack that became popular and is now used by great players in casinos worldwide.
Edward Thorp is also well-known for his work as a math professor and for managing hedge funds. During the early 1960s, he earned a Ph.D. from the University of California and worked at MIT. His academic career at various universities lasted till the early 1980s.
Arnold Snyder wanted to be a professional blackjack player so severely that he read many books on how to get good at the game.
Snyder made a way to beat the house by playing low-stakes blackjack. His system combines how cards are shuffled and how many cards are in the deck. He earned the Blackjack Hall of Fame early on. Apart from being a professional gambler, he is also a renowned author of several blackjack books.
If you read publications about card counting emphasizing penetration to professional card counters, you are reading about an approach popularized by Snyder. Arnold Snyder is also one of the first gambling authors to advocate for a more accessible card counting system, arguing that most players can be just as successful with an easy method as with a difficult one. The Blackjack Formula is his first book that made his debut as a casino game author. Moreover, he has subsequently published numerous books.
Like Arnold Snyder, Peter Griffin is among the earliest Blackjack Hall of Fame members. It is impossible to overlook his contributions to the game's mathematics.
However, Griffin was less interested in generating money from casinos than others on this list. Instead, he was more passionate about teaching. Griffin studied blackjack mathematics and patterns after losing significant money in Nevada casinos in the early 1970s. He then researched extensively by collating "average blackjack player statistics."
If you notice someone quoted as claiming that the average blackjack player provides the casino with a 2% edge, you're directly referring to the findings of Griffin's research. (Skilled blackjack players with perfect strategy face a house edge of between 0.5 and 1%.)
The Theory of Blackjack: The Complete Card Counter's Guide to the Casino Game of 21 was also written by Peter Griffin.
What Makes a Successful Blackjack Player?
House edge is the common denominator among the best blackjack players. T ese players found strategies and methods to bring the house edge down, allowing them to win more hands.
People believe that a successful blackjack player is someone who made a fortune from the game. W ile this is true for many people, this is not the case for others who did not make millions from blackjack.
This statement does not discount those who found their fortune by playing blackjack. T e best blackjack players have amassed millions by following a specific strategy or method. H wever, there are successful blackjack enthusiasts who found ways to play the game to their advantage while maintaining their gambling careers.
Among these notable gamblers are inventors of card counting, which transformed blackjack from a game of luck to a game of skill. T ese people passed on their knowledge to future players who can utilize that skill to break the bank.
On the other hand, some people gain the edge over the house without counting cards. T ese players employ specific strategies to make a profitable move in each game.
These successful professional blackjack players help pave the way for blackjack enthusiasts worldwide. They inspire professional gamblers seeking to improve their blackjack skills and raise their odds of winning.
This article was published on September 17, 2022, and last updated on October 21, 2022.