Examining the significant people who have had a role in the development of a field, such as the history of blackjack, may be one of the most intriguing ways to approach any topic, including blackjack. When it comes to the card game of blackjack, many of the most noteworthy players have gone to great lengths to conceal their identities. They will not be successful if they attract an excessive amount of attention to themselves since this will make it much simpler for the casinos to foil their schemes.
However, some blackjack players have, to varying degrees, gone public with their exploits. When writing novels, some authors choose to adopt pseudonyms. Others have more or less stopped participating in genuine games. They most likely read somewhere that the persons who made the most money during the California Gold Rush were the ones who sold picks and shovels to the prospectors.
We’ve included some short character biographies below, starting with some of the game of blackjack’s most noteworthy players.
In many instances, we link to more in-depth biographies of each individual.
- The Count of Francesco
Since the year 2002, Al Francesco has been a part of The Blackjack Hall of Fame as a member. His career has been instructive for card counters and advantage gamers for many years since it serves as an example. It is well known that he was the one who established one of the earliest card counting teams that showed a profit.
But what’s even more significant is that he came up with some of the strategies that advantage play teams are still using today. Al Francesco was the one who came up with the idea for “The Big Player,” which, if you’ve watched the movie “21,” you’re already acquainted with. In addition, he was a teacher and a mentor to other prominent figures in the game of blackjack, such as Ken Uston.
In spite of the fact that Francesco no longer participates in blackjack games, he maintains a website on which he discusses the game and provides further information about it.
- The Griffin, Peter
Peter Griffin, along with Al Francesco, was one of the very first people to be inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. It is difficult to understate his contributions to the game in the area of mathematics. However, in contrast to some of the other individuals on this list, Griffin was not nearly as interested in generating money from the casinos. Teaching was more important to him than anything else.
After Griffin gambled in numerous Nevada casinos in the early 1970s and lost a substantial amount of money, he became interested in the patterns and mathematics of blackjack. After that, he continued his study by accumulating information on what he referred to as “the average blackjack player.”
When you read about someone being cited as suggesting that the typical blackjack player gives the casino an advantage of 2%, you are referring exactly to the findings that Griffin uncovered via his study. (Skilled blackjack players who apply flawless strategy have an advantage of between 0.5 and 1 percent while playing against the house.)
Additionally, he authored “The Theory of Blackjack: The Compleat Card Counter’s Guide to the Casino Game of 21,” which was one of his many works.
- The Hon. Arnold S. Snyder
Arnold Snyder, along with the other two names that appear at the top of this list, was a founding member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame. In addition to that, he is a professional gambler and the well-respected author of many books on blackjack. You are reading about a topic that was made public by Snyder when you read card counting articles that emphasize how crucial penetration is to skilled card counters. In addition to this, he is one of the first gambling authors to advocate for easier card counting methods. He argues that the majority of players can be just as lucrative using an easy system as they can using a difficult technique.
His main claim to fame is Blackjack Forum, which was once a print journal but is now a website. Originally, Blackjack Forum was published quarterly. Some of the most well-known professional gamblers and gambling writers, such as Al Francesco and Keith Taft, have contributed articles to Blackjack Forum.
Blackbelt in Blackjack is our favorite book by Arnold Snyder. It is an excellent all-in-one guide to counting cards and is one of the best guides to counting cards that you’ll read. In addition to those books, he is the author of others such as The Blackjack Shuffle Tracker’s Cookbook, The Poker Tournament Formula, and The Big Book of Blackjack.