The Biggest Blackjack Winners of All Time

We hear stories all of the time about the MIT Blackjack Team or some other group that takes a hot Vegas casino for hundreds of thousands in one weekend, and for some reason stuff like that makes every gambler feel all warm and fuzzy inside. To us, however, these fancy math wizards are not the true heroes of the sport because it’s almost as if they cheated; what the heck is an average person going to do with mathematical formulas that are longer than a mid-sized sedan? Let’s talk about the real champions of the blackjack tables; the guys who did it solo.


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Recent Blackjack Winners

Don Johnson of Bensalem, PA is a good a place to start as any. We might as well get this out of the way first- this is not the former Miami Vice and Nash Bridges co-star; that guy makes pennies compared to this talented Johnson. The Don we’re talking about walked into Caesar’s in Atlantic City in December of 2010 and cleared around $4.23 million over the course of a few weeks, then headed over to the Borgata for another cool million.

This guy Johnson came from nowhere and wasn’t on anyone’s radar, so when he returned to the Borgata a few months later and took another 2.25 million on the blackjack tables, people suddenly started taking notice. Since his ridiculous winning streak was about to be foiled by his image being distributed, he went ahead and grabbed another $5.8 million from the Tropicana in an incredible twelve hour annihilation. In case you weren’t counting (like Johnson obviously was), that’s just shy of thirteen and a half million dollars from the blackjack tables in a six month period.

Blackjack Winners of the Past

Perhaps the most talented player to ever sit at a blackjack table was a fellow by the name Ken Uston. While we almost hate to list him here because he was one of the founders behind the whole idea of blackjack teams, it was his dedication to the sport that evolved it to where it is today. He started his gambling career solo and it ended the same way; dressing up in elaborate disguises so that he could take on the house without even being recognized. While most of Uston’s profit came from his team play, he was one heck of a solo player as well.

Edward Thorp is another massive blackjack winner that dominated the tables back in this casino game’s early days. He is credited with being the inventor of card counting and applying it to several facets of life; Thorp cleared over 20% from the stock market for thirty plus years straight. Of course, we celebrate him because he dominated the game of blackjack so thoroughly in his early years that the casinos were positive he was cheating; which in a way is what makes all of us want to gamble in the first place. Thorp found that X-factor, that strange unknown we all seek in gambling, and turned it into one heck of a professional career.

Stanford Wong is also a name that you’ve probably heard in association with the MIT Blackjack Team, but we actually admire him for completely different reasons. He was a professor at San Francisco State but he knew that teaching wasn’t really for him, so he re-negotiated his salary to $1 per year so that he could pursue a career in gambling. Once he realized that blackjack was simply a mathematical formula, one of the world’s premiere blackjack gurus were born.