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7 Richest Blackjack Players You Should Learn About

Discover 7 of the wealthiest Blackjack players in the industry so far. Alongside their background stories, significant wins, and winning strategies.

Author:Alberto Thompson
Reviewer:Gordon Dickerson
Apr 03, 2023
Blackjack is one of the UK's most popular and profitable casino games. It is available at land-based and online casinos, as you can find at This makes the game a lucrative career opportunity in the gambling industry and has produced some of the wealthiest casino gamblers of this age.
So, in that light, let's take you on a detailed discovery of the seven richest Blackjack players ever to grace the tables. And without further ado, let's get right into it.

Thomas Hyland, Net Worth: 1.4 Million

Thomas Hyland was a prominent Blackjack professional and Hall of Famer. The American admitted to being passionate about blackjack since his teenage years and later decided to pursue a career. Today, Hyland is still recognized for his exploits in the Blackjack community.
These exploits began around 1979 after Hyland set up his first Blackjack team in Atlantic City. The team consisted of his friends and colleagues. And from the 1980s, this team became successful, winning many games and making a lot of money.
However, Hyland's original teammates later moved on to play in Asia. bnnAtlantic City wasn't the best place for Blackjack players at the time. Still, that didn't end things, as Hyland recruited several other players to carry the team throughout the 80s.
In a nutshell, Thomas Hyland's talents and skills have earned him acclaim as one of the wealthiest Blackjack players of the 20th century. These skills were his card-counting expertise and the ability to make difficult calls at the tables.

Ken Uston, Net Worth: 1.5 Million

Ken Uston was an all-around Blackjack specialist. And not only did he master the tables, but he was also an excellent mentor, teaching the arts of the game. Today, Ken is still credited for promoting the team play concept at blackjack.

Blackjack Career

Mr Ken started playing blackjack professionally after meeting his mentor, Al Francesco, during a poker game. By then, Al Francesco had just launched his blackjack card-counting team. And Ken was opportune to be part of this team of card counters.
Subsequently, Ken made a name for himself in the Blackjack Community through his success with the team. He reportedly made much money from his time with Al-Francesco, but that was only the beginning. As Ken would go on to establish his Blackjack team in 1978, gambling was legalized in New Jersey the same year. And with his skillset, he and his team played at dozens of casinos worldwide and made millions of dollars.
However, Ken's card-counting ability was eventually the undoing of his Blackjack career. This was because he would later be banned from playing at almost any casino he stepped in. Nevertheless, that didn't affect his legacy very much, as he comes 6th on our list of the wealthiest Blackjack players, with an estimated worth of $1.5 million.

Don Schlesinger, Net Worth: 4 Million

Don Schlesinger is another blackjack guru from the US who also made his fair share of money from the Game of luck. He is educated with two degrees from the City College of New York and the City University of New York. And he also built a career as a mathematician.

Blackjack Career

Schlesinger started his Blackjack career back in 1975, playing from Las Vegas. There, he learned the subtle art of card counting, which later became his primary skill at the tables. However, Don Schlesinger is not only known for his wins at the tables. His work also includes published materials on some concepts in blackjack.
Also, Don Schlesingercreated the Illustrious 8, a complete set of card-counting measures. However, his most famous work is Blackjack Attack, Playing the Pros' Way, released in three editions. In addition, the following table shows an overview of blackjack-related books that mention Don Schlesinger.
Blackjack BlueprintRick Blaine
Basic BlackjackStanford Wong
The Blackjack zoneEliot Jacobson
Beyond countingJames Grosjean
Blackjack EssaysMason Malmuth
Blackjack for BloodBryce Carlson
In a nutshell, Don Schlesinger is one of the most relevant Blackjack players ever. Overall, everything brings Don Schlesinger up to 5th, in our list of the wealthiest Blackjack players, with a net worth of $4 million.

Don Johnson, Net Worth: 5 Million

Don Johnson is one of the many Blackjack players focused solely on making profits. And unlike other Blackjack professionals, Johnson started his career much later, at 30. Also, Johnson didn't require any special training to get started with blackjack since he was already managing casinos. So he was already familiar with the game before playing for profit.
Johnson's career specifically began during the financial crisis in 2008.
As a result, Johnson could bet as much as $100,000 per hand at the Atlantic City casino due to his newfound advantage. And subsequently, he was able to beat several casinos with high-handed bets. So, his total profits amounted to $15 million, the most being a $6 million profit at the Tropicana Casino.
However, Don Johnson's career was only sometimes going to be fruitful, as he soon ran into significant issues. First, he was banned and barred from playing at most casinos, where he established his reputation. Nevertheless, Johnson's net worth is still estimated at $5 million, which is enough to put him at 4th.

Zeljko Ranogajec, Net Worth: 439 Million

Ranogajec is a professional gambler who also made much money from playing blackjack. He is also famed to be the wealthiest gambler in Australia. And like most Blackjack starters, he began his career by counting cards at the tables. However, Ranogajec was soon banned from most of the casinos he played at. This happened due to the measures taken against card counting by these casinos.
As a result, Ranogajec had to diversify his gambling efforts since his blackjack career was pretty much stagnant. And subsequently, he went into sports betting and Keno, from which he made millions of dollars. In all, Ranogajec's exploits in blackjack earn him the third spot on our list of the wealthiest blackjack players.

Alan Woods, Net Worth: 670 Million

Alan Woods was another professional gambler from Australia who majored in blackjack. He was also a mathematician and introduced several quantitative gambling techniques. Woods's gambling career started when his fellow bridge players introduced him to card counting. And in 1979, after falling out with his wife, Woods took on blackjack full-time, playing at different casinos and winning hundreds of thousands in dollars.
However, Woods would soon retire from playing blackjack in 1982. And as a result, he focused more on Horse betting during the final stages of his career. Alan Woods had a pretty successful career and was estimated to be worth AU$ 670 million at his death.

Edward Thorp, Net Worth: 800 Million

Edward Thorp is the wealthiest person to be associated with a Blackjack career. And till today, he is recognized for his contributions to the game. Edward is also a professor and hedge fund manager who developed many techniques in the financial market.
Edward Thorp
Edward Thorp
Coming to Blackjack, Edward Thorp is famed for being the first man to prove the effectiveness of card counting. He achieved this through his famous book, “Beat The Dealer”, published in 1962. He illustrates and demonstrates how counting cards could eliminate the house edge. Edward Thorp comes first on our list of richest Blackjack players, with a net worth of $800 million.


That does it, as promised, a rundown of the seven wealthiest players to grace the blackjack tables. And as mentioned throughout the article, these are also great players who have contributed significantly to the journey of blackjack at casinos. Now you know just how profitable blackjack can get and people that we can make the most of it.
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Alberto Thompson

Alberto Thompson

Alberto Thompson is an acclaimed journalist, sports enthusiast, and economics aficionado renowned for his expertise and trustworthiness. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Journalism and Economics from Columbia University, Alberto brings over 15 years of media experience to his work, delivering insights that are both deep and accurate. Outside of his professional pursuits, Alberto enjoys exploring the outdoors, indulging in sports, and immersing himself in literature. His dedication to providing informed perspectives and fostering meaningful discourse underscores his passion for journalism, sports, and economics. Alberto Thompson continues to make a significant impact in these fields, leaving an indelible mark through his commitment and expertise.
Gordon Dickerson

Gordon Dickerson

Gordon Dickerson, a visionary in Crypto, NFT, and Web3, brings over 10 years of expertise in blockchain technology. With a Bachelor's in Computer Science from MIT and a Master's from Stanford, Gordon's strategic leadership has been instrumental in shaping global blockchain adoption. His commitment to inclusivity fosters a diverse ecosystem. In his spare time, Gordon enjoys gourmet cooking, cycling, stargazing as an amateur astronomer, and exploring non-fiction literature. His blend of expertise, credibility, and genuine passion for innovation makes him a trusted authority in decentralized technologies, driving impactful change with a personal touch.
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