In blackjack, the lucky number is 21, or at least get as close to it as possible. Unlike other card games, blackjack players play against the dealer and not other players. It’s a match between you and the dealer, and having a blackjack strategy up your sleeves might just stack you more chips.
If you’ve ever watched a blackjack game in a movie or even in a brick & mortar casino, you will notice the game is a “gentleman’s game”. It’s not necessary that everyone wears a suit, but it’s a game of decorum. Blackjack players maintain a certain etiquette, and if you watch closely, every player has his blackjack strategy to try and beat the house.
Thanks to legendary blackjack players, you can now learn the various blackjack strategies they used to land big wins. There are several of them, so its best to choose a blackjack strategy that fits your playing style. However, being a blackjack master is all about practice and patience. Some of the famous blackjack players in history took years to master the game.
blackjack was first played in the 18th century and has evolved ever since. Today, there are many variations of the game, and you can play options such as Vegas Strip, Atlantic City, Super Fun 21, Spanish 21, Free Bet and European blackjacks.
The games have a slightly different playing style, but a majority of their rules are similar. In our blackjack rules review, you can read all about them and proceed to try out the strategies and tricks of legendary blackjack players.
Legendary Blackjack Players
Of all table games, we like blackjack the most—that doesn’t mean other games aren’t interesting. Not at all, we like blackjack because it’s a game of skill and not much of luck.
We have had blackjack players in history who have outsmarted the rules and dominated the game. With the right calculation and strategy, some players have ended up winning thousands if not millions of dollars. Others mastered the game so much that they earned a place in the Blackjack Hall of Fame which honours those players who have contributed to blackjack.
Their stories inspire blackjack players all over the world that they too can beat the casino. What we appreciate most about the legends is their love for the game and the fact that they were interested in teaching beginners how to master the game.
Blackjack Players – Bryce Carlson
Bryce Carlson started playing blackjack in the 1970s and his passion was ignited after meeting great blackjack players. After playing for years, he became a professional blackjack player; and card strategies, camouflage and team play are said to be some of his skills.
He is the author of the book ‘Blackjack for Blood’, and in this comprehensive book, he provides a guide for players to master his favourite game. One of the things that Carlson is remembered for is his 47 hour long losing streak, though he won all of it back eventually in 141 hours.
When internet gambling became popular in the 90s, Carlson joined other experienced blackjack players to play online. He developed the Omega II Blackjack Machine to help him analyse the patterns of the game, and later developed another similar program, the Omega II Blackjack Casino.
Blackjack Players – Ken Uston
Ken Uston’s story is an interesting and funny one that happened during the 70’s and 80’s. His brilliance started when he was young and at only 16, he got admitted to Yale University. His passion for blackjack started when he met the legendary Al Fransesco, “The Godfather of Blackjack”. Al Fransesco taught him card counting and Uston became a pro at it.
He went to Las Vegas where he started gambling and was notorious in card counting. Casino operators banned him from their casinos, and whenever he got the chance, Uston would wear disguises and sneak into the casinos.
His trick was known and tight measures were put in place. Seeing this, Uston filed a lawsuit in New Jersey to stop casinos from banning players who could count cards. Believe it or not, he won and continued with his gambling career.
It is estimated that together with his team, they won over a million dollars. From this is when the idea of team play in card counting became more popular. Uston co-authored the book ‘The Big Player’ and wrote the book ‘Million Dollar Jackpot’. The books talk about Al Francesco’s strategies, card counting and blackjack teams.
Blackjack Players – Tommy Hyland
Tommy Hyland is one of the few blackjack players with a place in the Blackjack Hall of Fame. He is a professional player, activist and a lobbyist for blackjack players’ rights.
He started playing in 1979, and his greatest inspiration was a book by Lawrence Revere titled, ‘Playing Blackjack As A Business’. He taught himself blackjack strategies and mastered card counting all on his own. Afterwards, he went to Atlantic City with about $1,000, and within 5 months he had won $4,000.
He formed the first-ever blackjack team with three other players and made $50,000 from a starting amount of $16,000. Even though he has changed the members over time, his team is still running today. He is also another player said to make millions of dollars in his career.
Blackjack Players – Henry Tamburin
Tamburin played his first blackjack game in graduate school and started with a losing streak which motivated him to learn more about the game. Majoring in mathematics, Tamburin learnt the blackjack rules and strategies with ease. He even taught himself card counting. He became a professional blackjack player over the years and shared some of the strategies he thinks are the best, such as;
- Surrender Strategy – This strategy is best for beginners, and in case you’re dealt with horrible cards, you can use this strategy to lose only half your wager instead of the whole amount.
- Pair Splitting Strategy – You can only split when you have two cards of the same value in your hand. Tamburin advises that you split only when you stand to win more or lose less on average.
- Doubling Down Strategy – Is one advanced strategy that allows players to increase their bet amount if their winning potential is high. This strategy works best if you are sure that you will win; otherwise, you will lose big.
- Insurance Strategy – The strategy only applies when side bets are introduced. Players can wager on the bets before they play their hand, which can be quite risky.
- Hit & Stand Strategy – The strategy is a bit complex and depends on the cards you are dealt with. You can choose whether the dealer will hit you with a card or hold. For this strategy, it’s not about making big wins but reducing your loses.
Tamburin participated in the ‘Ultimate Blackjack Tour’ which aired on CBS and has authored a book titled, ‘Blackjack: Take the Money and Run’. He is also the editor and publisher of the “Blackjack Insider Newsletter” and writes blackjack articles for casino sites such as 888 Casino. The above legends have proved one thing; with patience, you can master blackjack strategies, and when combined with determination, you can beat the house.