A Look at Famous Blackjack Players

Over the course of casino history, a number of players have become well-known in the gambling world for their blackjack prowess. The most famous blackjack players are often contributors to theory, strategy, and exploits. Some of the most successful of these are in the following list.

Edward Thorp

Edward Thorp is the author of the first significant published work in blackjack, a book called "Beat the Dealer" that was published in 1962. The book was written about card counting and published after Thorp had used computers to perfect his strategy. "Beat the Dealer" used math to prove that card counting mitigated the house advantage. The strategy was so successful that Thorp was banned from most Las Vegas establishments after they caught on to his tactics. His strategy is still frowned upon by casinos and is illegal when devices are used to aid the technique.

Ken Uston

Kenneth Uston is largely credited with popularizing team play. His fame began in the 1970s, when he made a name for himself as a skilled player. He then boosted his own success by creating a team of individuals who became highly skilled at card counting. Uston became so well-known as a master team card counter that he was banned from casinos around the world. He then became even more famous for consistently disguising himself well enough to get into establishments all over the world that had banned him. Some of his bans were lifted after a time; several establishments in Atlantic City, for example, went to court against Uston, where it was decided that counting cards was not grounds to ban someone from a casino.

Tommy Hyland

Tommy Hyland got started with 21 in 1979, and is the manager of the longest-running team in the history of the game. His team consists of some of the most famous blackjack players worldwide and is well-known for having perfected techniques such as shuffle tracking and ace sequencing. In 1994, members of Hyland's team were arrested in Ontario, Canada, after their techniques led an establishment to accuse them of cheating. The team won the court case after a judge determined that their strategies did not constitute cheating the casino.