The game of blackjack has a long and interesting history, marked by several noteworthy players who made it big in the industry. Today, blackjack online has skyrocketed in popularity, but it’s always good to look to, and learn from, the past.
If you’re an aspiring blackjack player with a love of history, keep reading to discover the industry’s three most influential and celebrated players.
1. Bryce Carlson
Sitting at the top of our list, the legendary Bryce Carlson’s blackjack career began in the 1970s. If you’re an avid blackjack player, you may know him as the author of Blackjack for Blood.
Carlson built his skills by exchanging trade tips with the best names in the game. Soon after he entered the scene, he became known for his skills of camouflage and effective strategies.
After the advent of online blackjack in the late 90s, Carlson and other blackjack aficionados from around the world gathered virtually to enjoy the new variant.
Interestingly, the pro was responsible for developing the renowned Omega II Blackjack Machine, a system that helped players improve their card counting skills.
Carlson famously told a journalist that his ultimate goal was to beat casinos at their own game.
2. Russ Hamilton
The story of Russ Hamilton is one filled with both luck, skill, and scandal.
Hamilton started off as a poker player, but eventually moved to Las Vegas, where he came into contact with some blackjack players.
His new friends inspired him to enter a number of high-stakes blackjack competitions. He proceeded to establish a tournament called Elimination Blackjack, which promptly transitioned into the Ultimate Blackjack Tour which was televised for two seasons.
Thanks to Hamilton’s fame and skills, the emerging online casino site, Ultimate Bet, saw fit to consult him on a number of issues to do with the iGaming industry.
Unfortunately, in his dealings with Ultimate Bet, Hamilton was involved in a $22 million scandal that tarnished his reputation.
There was solid evidence of Hamilton cheating at Ultimate Bet.
As you can imagine, this scandal painted Hamilton in a poor light, and he quickly lost the respect of the blackjack community.
3. Stanford Wong
John Ferguson, operating under the pseudonym ‘Stanford Wong’, was a well-known and celebrated blackjack player. He was also the author of the informative Professional Blackjack book.
Wong’s blackjack career began all the way back in graduate school, when he began playing in an attempt to generate some extra income. His book was published while he was still a student at Stanford University. (kennedyandperkins.com)
Another interesting contribution Wong made to the industry was the nifty Blackjack Analyzer, a piece of software that analyzed blackjack odds.
In 1985, Wong formed a team to compete in bunch of blackjack tournaments. The 6-member-strong team won eight tournaments, winning over $200,000 in prize money.
Apart from his successful blackjack career, Wong published around 15 comprehensive gambling guides to help other players achieve new heights in the industry.
There you have it, the most notable blackjack players of all time.
You can learn a thing or two from both Wong and Carlson’s, but we advise you to steer clear of the scandalous tricks wielded by Hamilton in his later career.
If you intend to play online, ensure that you only sign up at the best online casinos in Canada.