For blackjack players, continuous practice is necessary to be on the top of their game. But aside from wrapping their heads around strategies and shuffling cards, they also have to learn from the masters. Be it online or offline blackjack games, it’s important to have a guiding light you can follow. With this, we came to the expert experiences that will back you up.
Blackjack isn’t a new game. It’s been in casinos for ages and a lot of people have tried to milk as much money as they can with strategies they formulate. Strike whilst the iron is hot, as they say. But since casinos hate good players, they hunt them down and stymie their winning streaks. If you know something about the MIT Blackjack team, you’ll know what I mean.
I’m not saying that you have to be the next Bill Kaplan. But if you want to up your game and learn more things about the card game, it pays to read about the amazing people who had beaten casinos in the past and present. Here are some of them:
1. Edward ‘Ed’ Thorp
What can you expect from a genius mathematician? Aside from being a hedge fund manager, Edward also tried his hand on playing blackjack. And guess what? He made big money out of it. Using his mathematical expertise, he devised his own card counting method that will keep him on track of the deck. Thus, he earned the moniker ‘Godfather of Card Counting’.
During his winning streaks, Edward wrote the famous ‘Beat the Dealer’ book which consists of techniques and strategies to win the game. Soon enough, it became the gambling bible of many players.
Also, Edward’s book is one of the reasons why blackjack became popular in casinos. The book was first published in 1962 but still remains one of the foundations of the card game. Mind you, Ed doesn’t have the luxury of using any offline blackjack app.
Aside from his blackjack prowess, Edward is also a respected financial guru. In fact, he pioneered the quantitative financial investment technique in the finance industry.
This man is currently based in California where he’s a math professor, inventor, hedge-fund manager, and still a gambler.
You can follow his website where you can also check his publications.
Here’s a short documentary about Ed’s journey to beating the casinos:
2. Bryce Carlson
During the 1970s, the name Bryce Carlson rings a bell in almost every casino in the U.S. For more than 40 years, Bryce played the game with only one goal: to beat the casino in their own game. His ingenious strategies led him to become one of the most celebrated blackjack players of all time.
For him, it’s not about winning big money. It’s all about beating the casino even if it cost him a 47-hour losing streak and 141 hours to gain his losses back.
Bryce learned from the experts that have gone to casinos before him. He read about Stanford Wong, Don Schlesinger, Kenny Uston, Edward Thorp, and many more. Soon enough, he mastered the art of card counting and camouflaging his skills inside the casino. He became king of casino offline blackjack games.
During his successful blackjack gambling years, Bryce wrote the now famous Blackjack For Blood book. It’s one of the most comprehensive blackjack books ever written. In fact, it’s targeted even to those who know nothing about the card game.
When it comes to card counting, Bryce banked on the Advanced Omega II which he also discussed in detail in his book. And in the advancement of technology, Bryce also developed the computer software called Omega II Blackjack Machine. This is a card counting software that he used to improve his game.
Although Bryce is a bit low-key now, you can check his book HERE.
3. Stanford Wong
Stanford Wong is the pseudonym of John Ferguson, a writer, and a world-renowned blackjack player. At Age 14, John had formulated a blackjack strategy and when he started reading Ed Thorp’s Beat the Dealer, that’s when he took the game more seriously.
As an undergraduate at Oregon State University, John embarked to Reno with a friend together their gambling hopes. Using Ed’s 10-point card counting system, they were able to turn their $300 into $550 in just a few games.
From then on, blackjack became John’s major source of income which helped him got through his MBA in the same university. In the 1970s, John got out of military deployment and enrolled at Stanford University for a doctorate degree.
During his studying years at Stanford, John wrote the book ‘Professional Blackjack’ to help players learn more about card counting. But to disguise his identity from casinos, he opted for a pen name, thus the famous Stanford Wong.
In 1976s, John quit his day job and went full time playing blackjack where he earned more. In 2002, Stanford Wong was inducted in the Blackjack Hall of Fame. He also joined CBS’ widely televised Ultimate Blackjack Tour in 2006 under his pen name.
John currently runs the BJ21.com where you can sign up for its premium Green Chip Membership:
4. Arnold Snyder
If there’s one renowned blackjack teacher, it would be Arnold Snyder. Arnold is one of the original inductees of the Blackjack Hall of Fame and a respected gambler in the blackjack community.
In all of his professional life, Arnold sustained his living through blackjack games, writing blackjack resources, and so on. During the time when blackjack players are being hunted by casinos, Arnold single-handedly defended their rights which earned him a post in the prestigious Hall of Fame on its 2002 debut.
Arnold played in Atlantic City where he met another blackjack expert Tommy Hyland. A few years later, they were both inaugural inductees in the mentioned award-giving body. These two gamblers are masters of offline blackjack games.
At a young age, Arnold spent his time mastering techniques, a combined card counting and card shuffling strategy which helped him win hands. On his first book, ‘The Blackjack Formula, Arnold discussed his techniques. This book also started his professional gambling career.
Soon enough, he wrote other gambling books like ‘How to Beat the Internet Casinos and Poker Room’, ‘Blackbelt in Blackjack’, ‘The Blackjack Shuffle-Trackers Cookbook’, and so on.
You can check his works on the Blackjack Forum Online which he also runs.
Here’s Arnold Snyder reading an excerpt from his novel ‘Risk of Ruin’:
5. Tommy Hyland
Tommy Hyland is one of the seven inaugural inductees of the Blackjack Hall of Fame. Joining the ranks of Arnold Snyder, this man is dubbed as the ‘King of Card Counting’. Tommy has been card counting since 1979 and he also started a blackjack team in Atlantic City.
Tommy’s blackjack venture was inspired by Lawrence Revere’s famous book called ‘Playing Blackjack as a Business’. And true enough, Tommy is one great blackjack player.
His four-man team was able to make a $16,000 bankroll into a lucrative $50,000 in just a few months of playing. But when Atlantic City casinos launched a crackdown against card counters, some of the gamblers in Tommy’s team went to Asia to play. Still, Tommy stayed and added more players in his team. At some point, his team reached up to 40 members.
Unlike other older players, Tommy diversified his team. Aside from card counting, Tommy’s team also used computer play, shuffle tracking, and ace sequencing. He passed on his knowledge to the team’s members. His favorite card counting method, the Hi-Lo system, is the team’s expertise.
There came a time when Tommy and the team would use disguises to dodge the prying eyes of pit bosses.
Currently, Tommy doesn’t play as many hours as he did in the past. Still, he goes to casinos to hang out with younger players and to have a great time.
Here’s a short documentary of Tommy’s blackjack journey:
6. Lawrence Revere
Just what his name says, Lawrence Revere indeed deserves the utmost respect for his contributions in the game of blackjack. Lawrence was one of the very first blackjack players who used card counting to beat the casinos. Although he passed away in 1977, his gambling legacy lives on.
Before becoming a topnotch blackjack player, Lawrence was a dealer, a pit boss, and a casino owner. His identity of being on both sides of the game made him controversial.
At a young age of 13, Lawrence started his interest in gambling inside a barbershop in Iowa. From there, he decided to enroll at the University of Nebraska to study mathematics. Soon enough, his inner mathematician led him to formulate winning blackjack techniques.
As one of the respected blackjack players, there are card counting strategies named after Lawrence. These are discussed in detail on his own book Playing Blackjack as a Business which inspired a lot of gamblers including Tommy Hyland.
Aside from his card counting techniques, Lawrence is also lauded for his camouflaging prowess. Thanks to his experience of working and owning a casino, he was able to trick pit bosses and dealers
If you’re interested, you can check Lawrence Revere’s Playing Blackjack as a Business book.
7. Ken Uston
Ken Uston was known for winning millions of dollars during his gambling years. Uston became infamous due to his bold and clever playing tricks. But even though he made it big during the ‘70s to ‘80s, his exposure to blackjack is just an accident.
As a young professional, Ken used to work at the San Francisco Stock Exchange. One night, he decided to meet with a blackjack hall of famer in the name of Al Francesco who showed him to the gambling world.
From then on, Ken will study blackjack during his lunch break on his day job. After months of training, he flew to Las Vegas where he started making it big. Soon, Ken quit his SF Stock Exchange job and went to playing blackjack full time.
Unlike other blackjack players who preferred to keep it low key, Ken seemed to enjoy the spotlight. He’s known to play hard and to party even harder. Due to this, he became highly recognizable which led to his ban in various casinos worldwide.
Still, Ken was able to perfect his card counting technique where he shared in his numerous books. Some of which are ‘Million Dollar Blackjack’, ‘Ken Uston on Blackjack’, ‘The Big Player’, and more.
Ken passed away on September 1987 in Paris, France at a young age of 52. Even after his passing, his flamboyant and bold personality remains to be one of the most respected in the gambling industry.
To know more about Ken Uston, here’s a short documentary featuring his life and entry in the gambling world:
8. Mike Aponte
This guy is straight from the MIT Blackjack team. After the group dissolved in the early ‘90s, Mike continued with his blackjack practice. Currently, he’s a consultant to casinos (who’d imagine?) and teaches the game to people around the world.
Mike speaks to forums and holds lessons on how to play blackjack. He still teaches and practices card counting, something that casinos may hate him for. But still, this man just made $25,000 in just one weekend for the MIT Blackjack team. If that’s not enough to impress you, nothing will.
If you don’t know it yet, Mike’s MIT team inspired the making of the movie ‘21’. Just as he did in the ‘90s, Mike got to win the 2004 World Series Blackjack Championship. Currently, he runs a blog that teaches blackjack strategies and he always gets invites to speak on large corporations and events.
If you want to follow Mike and know more about his teachings, don’t miss to check his blog where you can find an offline blackjack app and many services:
And if you want a primer on his methods, he’s a short video of Mike using the Hi-Lo card counting technique:
When it comes to offline blackjack games, these guys prove that the power of the mind can beat the casinos. Right now, many gamblers have the perks to download free offline blackjack game that will help them improve their game. But despite the advancements in technology, nothing beats the experience of the masters.