Blackjack Legends: Bill Kaplan and J.P. Massar

Bill Kaplan and J.P. Massar formed the basis for what would become the most famous card counting team in history – the MIT Blackjack Team. Interestingly enough, the two Americans met at a Chinese restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts of all places. Massar overheard Kaplan talking about blackjack card counting in the¬†restaurant, and walked over to introduce himself, which is where our story begins. Continue reading “Blackjack Legends: Bill Kaplan and J.P. Massar”

Blackjack Tournament Strategy

One exciting adaption to the game of blackjack was in 1978, when Las Vegas’ Sahara Casino began running blackjack tournaments. Rather than pitting players against the house, blackjack tournaments start players off with equal chip amounts, and pay out prizes to the top chip earners. If you’re interested in playing some blackjack tournaments in the future, or you already play them, here’s a look at some strategy for these games. Continue reading “Blackjack Tournament Strategy”

Blackjack Legends: Ken Uston and Al Francesco

Two blackjack legends whose legacies are tied together are Ken Uston and Al Francesco. The main reason why Uston and Francesco are linked is because they played on the same blackjack team together. Now most people would consider Uston the more famous out of these two because he went on to write several major blackjack books, and appeared on TV shows too. But it’s still worth discussing both of these blackjack legends in-depth because many within the blackjack community actually consider Francesco more of a prominent figure. Continue reading “Blackjack Legends: Ken Uston and Al Francesco”

Blackjack Legends: Edward Thorp

Out of all the figures throughout blackjack history, nobody is more famous than Edward O. Thorp. In fact, Thorp is credited with inventing the modern card counting system that blackjack pros have used to make huge profits. Seeing as how Thorp is such an important figure in the game of blackjack, let’s take an in-depth look at his accomplishments. Continue reading “Blackjack Legends: Edward Thorp”

Blackjack Legends: Kerry Packer

While most famous blackjack players accumulate their wealth on the tables and through books, Kerry Packer is an exception to the norm. Packer built a media empire over his lifetime, and became the richest man in Australia ($A6.5 billion) before his death in 2005. Beyond his extravagant wealth and media empire, the Aussie was known for his high stakes gambling ventures into blackjack, poker, baccarat and other games. Of course, what we’re most interested in here is the blackjack, and how Packer became a legend for his play. Continue reading “Blackjack Legends: Kerry Packer”

Blackjack Legends: Russ Hamilton

Russ Hamilton is definitely one of the more¬†interesting¬†figures in blackjack history because he’s both a successful blackjack and poker player. In fact, it was the latter that got Hamilton started playing cards in the first place, and a college professor once told the Detroit native that he’d profit more from poker than school. So Hamilton started playing in underground poker games around the Detroit area, and was very good at it. This prompted him to move to Las Vegas, where a new game caught his attention. Continue reading “Blackjack Legends: Russ Hamilton”