10 of Blackjacks most famous players, from history and the Blackjack Hall of Fame
Putting together a list of famous Blackjack players is a difficult task. The game is not as popular or as well documented as its counterpart Poker. It is also well documented that Casinos are more than happy to ban successful players from their tables.
Thankfully, we have the Blackjack Hall of Fame. This organization celebrates the lives and careers of the people who made the biggest contribution to the game. Think you have what it takes to become the newest edition to the Blackjack Hall of fame – try your luck at https://casino.fanduel.com/c/blackjack.
10. Eleanor Dumont
Eleanor Dumont is a legendary figure who was supposedly the best ever Blackjack player. Eleanor was born in France, immigrated to the US and opened her own gambling house. The hall was called Vingt-et-Un (the original name for Blackjack, it is French for 21).
It was said that people traveled from all over the States to her gambling house in Nirvana just to play against her. She was such a skilled dealer that many considered beating her the highlight of the Blackjack world.
9. Lawrence Revere
The exploits of Lawrence Revere were first recorded in The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book by Lance Humble. This book was one of the first successful Blackjack and card counting guides. In it, the author shares their stories of life at the Blackjack table.
It is widely agreed that Humble’s stories about playing with Lawrence Revere are the best part of this book. Revere worked with both Casinos and players to develop the techniques mentioned in the books. He was also famous for helping Casinos prevent card counters. By all accounts, Revere was an unforgettable individual and one hell of a player.
8. John Chang
If you’re a fan of Blackjack related media then you may recognize Chang from the character that was named after him in the book Bringing Down the House and the movie 21 – Mickey Rosa.
Chang was the manager of the MIT Blackjack Team, but started his Blackjack career in a very different way. Chang began as the team’s counter, he lasted 20 hours in his first session and quickly made a name for himself.
7. Richard W. Munchkin
Munchkin has had a gambling career that is almost as good as his name. He played Poker, Backgammon, and Blackjack all at a professional level. He also spent time working as a dealer and a pit boss.
You may know Munchkin as he competed in the first season of The World Series of Blackjack. But he also wrote the hugely successful book Gambling Wizards. In this book, he interviews successful gamblers from across the world.
6. Roger Baldwin and the Four Horsemen of Aberdeen
These four men have been attributed with developing a system for playing Blackjack that eventually led to Ed Thorpe (see later in this list) inventing card counting.
Their names were Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, James McDermott, and Herbert Maisel. Baldwin had a Masters degree in Mathematics from the University of Columbia.
In 1952, the group published an article called The Optimum Strategy in Blackjack, before later publishing a book called Playing Blackjack to Win: A New Strategy for the Game of 21. The four men have since been referred to as the Four Horsemen of Aberdeen.
5. James Grosjean
James Grosjean is the youngest player to have ever been inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. He is most famous for his studies into how the casino industry has changed over the last 15 years and for producing two books that help card counters to adapt to those changes. His two books are Beyond Counting: Exploiting Casino Games from Blackjack to Video Poker and Exhibit CAA: Beyond Counting.
Grosjean was sued by Caesars Palace, Imperial Palace, and Griffin Investigations and ended up being awarded such a large sum of damages by the court that it bankrupted one of his accusers.
4. Ed Thorpe
Here are two cool facts about Ed Thorpe – (1) he wrote the book Beat the Dealer that conclusively proved the benefits of card counting (2) he invented the world’s first wearable computer.
What a cool guy. Thorpe’s book changed the way that Casinos and players approached Blackjack. While card counting is not illegal, it can get you banned for life from most Casinos.
3. Arnold Snyder
Snyder is one of the giants in the world of Blackjack and was rightfully one of the first people to be inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame.
Snyder is the author of dozens of Blackjack books and presented many of the theories that are still used in the game today. He also launched the Blackjack Forum. This was originally a quarterly newsletter that anyone interested in Blackjack was subscribed to.
It was also considered a great honor to be invited to write in the Blackjack Forum by Snyder. The newsletter has since evolved into a prestigious website by the same name.
2. Peter Griffin
Peter Griffin is another early member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame. He is the author of The Theory of Blackjack: The Compleat Card Counter’s Guide to the Casino Game of 21.
What set’s Griffin apart from most of the other men on this list is the fact that he was always more interested in the Maths behind Blackjack rather than making money.
If you have been told ‘the average Blackjack player gives the dealer a 2% edge’ then you are familiar with Griffin’s work in The Theory of Blackjack.
1. Al Francesco
Al Francesco was the first person to be inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. He was the man who came up with the concept of Blackjack Teams.
Blackjack teams are when multiple people work together to card count and beat the house. If you remember the technique ‘The Bigger Player’ from the 21 movie, you might not know that it was invented by Al Francesco.