Blackjack Legends: Don Johnson

While most blackjack legends become famous for card counting, Don Johnson has etched his name into blackjack history by using conventional strategy to win millions of dollars. By his own admissions, Johnson doesn’t count cards, and claims that many players could beat the house if they had the bankroll to do so. Seeing as how Johnson’s theory on blackjack is so interesting, he’s definitely worth looking at closer.

Atlantic City Nightmare

The large majority of Don Johnson’s winnings have come in Atlantic City, where he has battered casinos there. Johnson began playing blackjack in the 1990’s, and made a big name for himself in 2010 after winning over $4 million at Caesars Atlantic City. Initially, most casino officials throughout the town thought that he’d just been on a hot streak. However, when Johnson experienced similar success to the tune of $4.9 million at the Borgata Atlantic City, some casinos were scared to let him play blackjack.

The Tropicana was not one of these casinos, and their CEO even gave the okay for Johnson to make bets as large as $100,000 during the spring of 2011. This proved to be a huge mistake because, in just 12 hours, the 49-year-old made $5.8 million in profits. This proved to be very costly for the Tropicana Atlantic City since they not only fired their CEO afterward, but also experienced a 20% loss in revenue for the month.

Made Man

After an incredible 6-month span where Johnson made $15 million in profits, he really caught the media’s attention. And the biggest question on reporters’ minds was just how Johnson managed to beat these casinos for millions of dollars over such as short span.

Much to people’s surprise, it wasn’t card counting that helped Johnson win, but rather basic blackjack strategy, and a large enough bankroll to survive the variance swings. He was quoted as saying, “They (casinos) beat most people in the long run because the average person won’t have the bankroll – but I have my own bankroll. If you can take the swings, you’re going to win. You also have to understand the math.”

Don Johnson Today

Following his fame and fortune, Don Johnson has continued to play blackjack and isn’t one to rest on his laurels. In fact, he won another $2 million at the Tropicana Atlantic City to close out 2011, which proves that he’s still a major force in the blackjack world.

Aside from the game, Johnson is CEO at a Wyoming company that makes online horse race betting software for various companies. So even if his luck ever runs out in blackjack, Johnson still has a cushy job to fall back on.

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