Jun 8, 2022
Casino Blog

The top three blackjack players

To many casino players around the world, blackjack seems like a deceptively simple card game. A blackjack dealer plays against you, and every player at the table gets dealt two cards. You can see your cards on the table and only one of the dealers. The goal is to hit the magic 21 to win the bet or get higher than the dealer. The question is, do you hit or do you stand?

When described like this, It seems a lot like blackjack is simply a game of chance, and nothing else. In actual fact, the opposite could not be more true. The increased popularity of blackjack is evident, with sites like PowerPlay offering online blackjack betting in Canada. However, there is much skill in knowing when to hit and take the risk, especially when loitering around the 16/ 17 mark. 

Throughout history, there have been players who have perfected this skill, emerging as professional blackjack players. There are many blackjack players out there who many would consider “professional” – with millions of players & 100s of tournaments and leagues taking place worldwide. In this article, we aim to narrow down the top blackjack players across the world to just 3 players. Here are three of the best.

Bruce Carlson

Bruce Carlson wrote the book on how to perfect blackjack, literally! He is the writer of Blackjack for Blood, where he gave an insight into the hints, tips, and expertise he had gained since starting his career in the 1970s. In this book, Bruce Carlson covers everything from team play and camouflage to different strategies with the cards.

Additionally, Carlson developed the Omega II Blackjack Machine that helped him analyse the game and his choices while playing. If anything, this showed his absolute level of commitment when it came to mastering the game of blackjack, and he went on to develop this into a casino machine used all around the world.

His longest losing streak lasted a massive 47 hours. Carlson, never one to be kept down, spent 141 hours winning back his losses. 

Edward O. Thorp

A mathematics professor will always have a head start in a game that requires counting and assessment of probabilities. As well as teaching and playing blackjack, Thorp manages a hedge fund. The three disciplines are not too dissimilar, joined by a love of numbers and patterns – and a desire to beat the odds.

Thorp is renowned for inventing a card counting technique that helps the player keep track of the cards played, so you can guess the cards remaining. He published this in a book called Beat the Dealer, which raised the game's profile with serious gamblers across the globe. Arguably, without the influence of Thorp, blackjack would never have been as popular in casinos as it is today.

Arnold Snyder

Another player who spent countless hours studying the game of blackjack & mastering his techniques, Snyder was smart enough to know that you train yourself in the art form of playing cards by playing at low stakes. Like many of professional blackjack players, Arnold Snyder decided early on that he would make a living playing the casinos and became a student of blackjack, reading all the available books and information in order to learn how to beat the odds. Snyder also recognised the power of counting the cards in blackjack, and studied how casinos shuffled the deck, noting how this could give him an advantage.

Like all good heroes of the game, Snyder has not kept his blackjack secrets to himself. Rather, he has written several books that go into great detail, and chart the beginning of his blackjack career to his rise to professional gambler and author. The first book, The Blackjack Formula, was only the start of the secrets he shared.

Beyond the basics

Although you wouldn’t know it from the outside, Blackjack is anything but a simple game. This is shown in the 100s of professional players out there, and how many of them are willing to commit their lives to getting better at the game. Additionally, the fact that many players do this for a living, and make a lot of money from blackjack shows that it’s not simply all a game of chance. These star blackjack players show the need for a lifetime commitment to mastering the game and then beating the casino. 

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