A Brief History of Blackjack

A short list of pivotal figures in blackjack history.

Famous Blackjack Players

The Four Horsemen of Aberdeen – Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel, James McDermott. Pioneering work in developing the first accurate blackjack basic strategy

Ian Andersen – author of Burning the Tables in Las Vegas.

Julian Braun – did programming for the top authors. Developed all of Revere’s systems and Hi-Opt.

John Chang – manager of the MIT blackjack team.

Al Francesco – pioneer of team play. Taught Ken Uston.

James Grosjean – author of Beyond Counting. His laws

Tommy Hyland – ran a large and successful blackjack team.

Don Johnson – one of the most successful AP’s without counting cards. Took $15 million from Atlantic City in 6 months. To learn more, watch: The Player: Secrets of a Vegas Whale.

Richard Munchkin – author of Gambling Wizards and hosts Gambling with an Edge podcast.

Lawrence Revere – coined “True Count”. Author of Playing Blackjack as a Business.

Max Ruben – author of Comp City. Manager of Barona and host of the Blackjack Ball.

Edward Thorp – The Father of Card Counting.

Ken Uston – author of The Big Player, which caused a falling out with Al for exposing team play. Responsible for NJ laws protecting card counters from trespasses.

Stanford Wong – revealed a table-hopping style now known as wonging.

All members of the Blackjack Hall of Fame.


Famous Teams

Al Francesco Team – Al Francesco, Ken Uston

Tommy Hyland Team “Hylanders” – Tommy Hyland. To learn more, watch: Breaking Vegas: Card Count King Tommy Hyland

The MIT Blackjack Team – J.P. Massar, Bill Kaplan, John Chang.

Strategic Investments (MIT Blackjack Team 2) – J.P. Massar, Bill Kaplan, John Chang. Strategic Investments splits apart to the Amphibians and the Reptiles. To learn more, watch: Breaking Vegas: The True Story of the MIT Blackjack Team

The Amphibians (Product of MIT team) – Semyon Dukach (Big Player), Katie Lilienkamp (Controller), Andy Bloch (Spotter).

The Reptiles (Product of MIT team) – Mike Aponte “Fischer”(Leader), Jeff Ma (Ben Campbell from “21” is based off him. He cameos as a dealer who is “his brother from another mother”. He is Kevin in the book. Jeff telling a story about his biggest session loss) The Reptiles were the basis of book “Bringing Down the House” and movie “21”. I suggest reading the book to learn more.

The Greeks – Another segment of the MIT Team. Manager: Maria. Ben, from Church Team briefly played for the Greeks.

The Church Team – Colin Jones, Ben, Loudon Ofton. To learn more, watch Holy Rollers. Colin went on to create Blackjack Apprenticeship, the #1 card counting platform available today.