In this chapter we will take a look at some of the individual players who have contributed so much not only to blackjack, but also to our knowledge of the game. We will take a look at some of the greatest legends’ contributions, as it is important to acknowledge how their actions altered what we know about blackjack and helped devise strategies that can reduce the casino’s edge.
Without them, blackjack would be a much less interesting game. And what is more, without them, we would not have the advanced blackjack pc software we see today.
Here are some of the greatest legends:
Roger Baldwin, Wilbert Cantey, Herbert Maisel & James McDermottFour mathematicians who used calculators to develop a quite accurate blackjack basic strategy. Their work was published in 1956, and proved that following a set of rules could better players’ odds of succeeding.
Julian BraunThe first blackjack professional to apply modern computer technology to analysing the game, resulting in refinements and improvements to existing strategies. This moved forward the blackjack pc software we all use.
Allan WilsonThe first to study risk of ruin in his classic book “The Casino Gambler’s Guide”. His studies have been widely read and refined since, most notably by Dan Schlesinger.
Peter GriffinHis mathematical studies are to this day the go-to place for statistical analysis of the game, especially his ground-breaking book “The Theory of Blackjack”. Amongst other ideas, Griffin created the Betting Correlation (BC) and Playing Efficiency (PE) systems that provided players to accurately compare count system win rates. He also accurately calculated casino edge rates, the first person to do so. All his studies have helped advance blackjack pc software immensely.
Max RubinAn innovator in showing players how to use competitions and offers to gain an edge.
Ian AndersenA key author and student of blackjack from the 1970s onwards who pioneered techniques that helped players disguise their strategies from casinos.
There are various other players, such as Don Johnson, Dan Pronovost, John Auston and more who continue to innovate and push the boundaries of the game. With every innovation or software development they help more players.
BLACKJACK LEGENDS HALL OF FAME
These legends are often acknowledged further by their inclusion in the Blackjack Hall of Fame (BJHOF). Max Rubin founded the hall in 2002, canvassing many in the industry for an initial list of 21 nominees, who became inaugural members the following year. To qualify, you must be a player or “contributor to the craft”.
Nowadays there are seven annual nominees, of which one will be admitted to the Hall of Fame. As of 2019, there were 26 members. Located in San Diego, California, some members are there under a pseudonym, as they could not have operated their craft without a level of anonymity.