One of the most iconic games that dominate the casino world is Blackjack. Even though the origins of this game are still not clear, ever since its introduction to the gambling industry, Blackjack became an instant hit among players that seek entertainment and a great way to make some money.
Blackjack is a table card game that isn’t relying only on luck. In order to become an expert in blackjack, you need to learn some strategies and develop a sense of when it is the best time to stand, hit or double down.
Even though Blackjack isn’t a complicated game, there are many strategies you need to learn and play the game for a long time until you’ve become an expert in the game. Over the game’s long history there have been some remarkable blackjack players that managed to develop unique strategies that allowed them to beat the house on multiple occasions.
Just like in sports, Blackjack also has a Hall of Fame that includes some of the most legendary players that ever played the game. All of these players had unique playstyles and developed unique and sometimes not very legal strategies including card counting.
The Blackjack Hall of Fame honors one of the greatest blackjack experts that played the game professionally. The Hall of Fame launched in 2002 and its physical premises are in San Diego, California.
In 2002, a diverse selection of 21 blackjack experts, authors, and professional players were nominated for membership in the Blackjack Hall of Fame. The public was also allowed to vote for about a month through the Internet, and the final voting was completed in January 2003, when the first 7 members were included in the Blackjack Hall of Fame.
Blackjack Hall of Fame – The Class of 2002
When we talk about the greatest blackjack players that ever lived, Al Francesco falls right in this category. He is responsible for the development of blackjack teams, and multiple methods to beat casinos.
One of his most popular methods was “the drop” where during a cut of the cards, a member of his team would be strategically seated to see the cut cards and message the other members to let them know to inform the player.
Peter Griffin was a mathematician and a blackjack player who wrote a very popular book called The Theory of Blackjack: The Complete Card Counter’s Guide to the Casino Game of 21. He was one of the first people to determine the disadvantage the average person has against a casino when playing blackjack.
Here we have another mathematics professor that became one of the pioneers in the application of probability theory. Back in the 1950s, he was the first to use a computer in order to determine all the probabilities of winning blackjack.
Just because of his experiments, and the publication of his results, casinos that previously didn’t shuffle the decks after each hand, now do. His techniques are revealed in his classic book Beat the Dealer: A Winning Strategy for the Game of Twenty-One.
Arnold Thorp is another professional blackjack player and author of many respected blackjack and poker books, including The Blackjack Formula and Blackbelt in Blackjack. In his books, he touches on many of his techniques in card counting, including one of the most effective ones “depth of the deal”.
Ken Uston is another popular Blackjack player known for his card counting abilities and his landmark lawsuit Uston v. Resorts International Hotel Inc. which states that New Jersey casinos couldn’t ban a player for card counting unless the NJ Casino Commission made a regulation that allowed the ban.
As a result, the NJ legislature made a law preventing casinos from banning people that count cards.
Thomas “Tommy” Hyland
Here we have a professional blackjack player that is also managing one of the longest-running active blackjack teams, which is now celebrating over 40 years. He is also known for a law case in Canada where his card counting abilities were declared as a skill and not cheating.
John “Stanford Wong” Ferguson
John is a world-renowned author known for his book Professional Blackjack and he is one of the creators of the first commercially available blackjack odds analyzing software called Blackjack analyzer. His pseudonym became a term in blackjack called “wonging” and it is used for players that watch the game from the start while counting cards, and joining then there becomes an advantage to the player.
Hall of Fame Post 2002
Since the first introduction of the hall of fame two decades ago, there were more people joining these incredible blackjack professionals that bought a new thing to the game.
The new people that joined the list are Julian Braun, Lawrence Revere in 2005, James Grosjean in 2006, John Chang in 2007, the Four horsemen in 2007, Richard Munchkin in 2009, Darryl Purpose in 2010, Ian Anderson in 2012, Robert Nersesian in 2014, Donald Schlesinger in 2015, William Benter in 2016, Don Johnson in 2017, Wally Simmons in 2018, Rob Reitzen in 2019, and Anthony Curtis in 2020.