🔥 Blackjack Pros Tell of their Biggest Wins and Losses

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Don Johnson won nearly $6 million playing blackjack in one night, single-​handedly His winning run had been picked up by the casino's watchful overhead cameras The first and most obvious suspicion was card counting.


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Next thing you know he's betting table max ($ per hand), and he keeps on winning (not EVERY hand, but most of them). The guy's got.


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Most remarkable was his haul of $ million during a hour spree at In all, Johnson racked up about $ million in blackjack winnings.


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B6655644
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Most remarkable was his haul of $ million during a hour spree at In all, Johnson racked up about $ million in blackjack winnings.


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The biggest blackjack wins - Kerry Packer's 40M payout in 40 minutes and deets on Oscar winner Ben Affleck's win, card counting habits and.


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Next thing you know he's betting table max ($ per hand), and he keeps on winning (not EVERY hand, but most of them). The guy's got.


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most blackjack winnings

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The biggest blackjack wins - Kerry Packer's 40M payout in 40 minutes and deets on Oscar winner Ben Affleck's win, card counting habits and.


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Your chance of winning the next hand in blackjack is about 48% (excluding ties), regardless of what happened in previous hands. The only time.


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Most remarkable was his haul of $ million during a hour spree at In all, Johnson racked up about $ million in blackjack winnings.


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most blackjack winnings

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Your chance of winning the next hand in blackjack is about 48% (excluding ties), regardless of what happened in previous hands. The only time.


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most blackjack winnings

As good as he is at playing cards, he turns out to be even better at playing the casinos. Johnson won all four hands. His body quickly assumed more normal proportions, and he went to work helping manage racetracks, a career that brought him to Philadelphia when he was about He was hired to manage Philadelphia Park, the track that evolved into the Parx casino, in Bensalem, where he lives today. A session of, say, hands will display wider swings, with steeper winning and losing streaks, than the standard casino charts. He had been trying to figure out its blackjack game for years but had never been able to win big. He worked with a physician to keep weight off, fighting his natural growth rate with thyroid medication that amped up his metabolism and subsisting on vitamin supplements. The basics of blackjack are simple. For most people, though, the newspaper headline told a happy story. To look at him, over six feet tall and thickly built, you would never guess that he was once a jockey. By April, combined monthly gaming revenue had been declining on a year-over-year basis for 32 months. By late , the discounts at some of the strapped Atlantic City casinos began creeping upward, as high as 20 percent. It hurt. Pennsylvania is likely to supplant New Jersey this year as the second-largest gaming state in the nation. Compared with horse racing, the odds in blackjack are fairly straightforward to calculate. The marketers present casinos as glamorous playgrounds where workaday worries and things like morality, sobriety, and prudence are on holiday. The software his company employs analyzes more data than an ordinary handicapper will see in a thousand lifetimes, and defines risk to a degree that was impossible just five years ago. They negotiate. An ordinary guy in a red cap and black hoodie had struck it rich, had beaten the casinos black-and-blue. When you add gaming tables or slots at a fancy new venue like Revel, or like the Borgata, which opened in , the novelty may initially draw crowds, but adding gaming supply without enlarging the number of customers ultimately hurts everyone. It was a growth industry. Johnson had not played a game at the Borgata in more than a year. D espite his pedestrian attire , Don Johnson is no average Joe. The last thing a skilled player wants is a big reputation. All of these gambling houses were already hurting, what with the spread of legalized gambling in surrounding states. Who could? Some wear disguises when they play. But the vast majority of players lose, and the longer they play, the more they lose.

D on Johnson finds it hard to remember the exact cards. The way any discount works, you have to lose a certain amount to capitalize on it.

The way averages work, the larger the sample, the narrower the range of variation. The goal is to get to 21, or as close to it as possible without going over.

When his second hand was dealt a two, he doubled down on that, too. Caesars had cut him off, he says, and then effectively banned him from its casinos worldwide. About a decade ago, he founded a business that does computer-assisted wagering on horses.

But two years ago, Johnson says, the casinos started getting desperate. Word spreads when the betting is that big. At the height of his hour blitz of the Tropicana casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, last April, he was playing a hand of blackjack nearly every minute.

A tlantic City did know who Johnson was. High rollers are lured with free meals and drinks, free luxury suites, free rides on private blackjack asphalt sealant, and … more.

Because the casino values high rollers more than the average customer, it most blackjack winnings willing to lessen its edge for them. He was the only Atlantic City casino executive who agreed to talk to me about Johnson. Fifteen million dollars in winnings from three different casinos? Two cards are placed faceup before the player, and two more cards, one down, one up, before the dealer.

As another skyscraper of chips was pushed into his skyline, he signaled for the next hand. Little interferes with his concentration. With their table-game revenues tanking and the number of whales diminishing, casino marketers began to compete more aggressively for the big spenders.

It seemed a fantasy come true, the very dream that draws suckers to most blackjack winnings gaming tables.

The regimen was so demanding that he eventually had to give it up. He had beaten the casinos fair and square. The wagering of card counters assumes a clearly recognizable pattern over time, and Johnson was being watched very carefully.

Dozens of spectators pressed against the glass of the high-roller pit. Beyond the usual high-roller perks, the casino might also sweeten the deal by staking the player a significant amount up front, offering thousands of dollars in free chips, just to get the ball rolling.

The tactic requires both great memory and superior math skills. When revenues slump, casinos must rely more heavily on their most prized customers, the high rollers who wager huge amounts—tens of thousands or even hundreds of most blackjack winnings of dollars a hand.

Most blackjack winnings does not just walk into a casino and start playing, click is what roughly 99 percent of customers do. How did he do it? The first and most obvious suspicion was card counting.

In most states but not New Jerseyknown practitioners are banned. The towers most blackjack winnings chips stacked in front of him formed a colorful miniature skyline. Whenever the racily clad cocktail waitress wandered in with a fresh whiskey and Diet Coke, he took it from the tray.

Nobody gets that lucky. So it was no longer worth his while to play there.

He was just getting started. For the casino, the art is in telling the skilled whales from the unskilled ones, then discouraging the former and seducing the latter. The player still loses. The new Parx racetrack and casino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, a gigantic gambling complex, is less than 80 miles away from the Atlantic City boardwalk. What gives Johnson his edge is his knowledge of the gaming industry. But he was not considered good enough to discourage or avoid. But even though he has been around the gambling industry for all of his 49 years, Johnson snuck up on Atlantic City. Johnson was in charge of day-to-day operations, including the betting operation. He has served as a state regulator in Oregon, Idaho, Texas, and Wyoming. He stood 6 foot 1 and weighed only pounds. When this happened to Johnson, he knew the ground rules had skewed against him. For Johnson, the game began before he ever set foot in the casino. He started to learn a lot about gambling. Card counters seek to gain a strong advantage by keeping a mental tally of every card dealt, and then adjusting the wager according to the value of the cards that remain in the deck. Many casinos sell laminated charts in their guest shops that reveal the optimal strategy for any situation the game presents. More useful, for his purposes, is running a smaller number of hands and paying attention to variation. When casinos started getting desperate, Johnson was perfectly poised to take advantage of them. Johnson says he was once dealt six consecutive aces at the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. He had the money to wager big, he had the skill to win, and he did not have enough of a reputation for the casinos to be wary of him. He is a veteran player. Arrayed on the table before him were the four eights. You play against the house. Hard times do not favor the house. The industry pays close attention to high-level players; once a player earns a reputation for winning, the courtship ends. Made famous in books and movies, card counting is considered cheating, at least by casinos. For one thing, he is an extraordinarily skilled blackjack player. In his best years as a professional jockey, he was practically skeletal. He was neither nervous nor excited. Almost everyone knows them. Johnson was on an amazing streak. The headline in The Press of Atlantic City was enough to gladden the heart of anyone who has ever made a wager or rooted for the underdog:. He drew a 10, so the two cards he was showing totaled This was a good bet: since all face cards are worth 10, the deck holds more high cards than low. But the story was even bigger than that. Scanning the cards on the table before him, the player can either stand or keep taking cards in an effort to approach His next two cards, surprisingly, were also both eights, so he split each again.