The Blackjack Hall of Fame celebrates players, theorists, stats experts, writers and professional blackjack players who have made an outstanding contribution to the world of blackjack. Most of the Hall of Famers made their contribution well before the time of online casinos and blackjack but even so, without their work the world of modern online blackjack just wouldn’t be the same.
The Blackjack Hall of Fame is physically housed in the Barona casino in San Diego, with each inductee forfeiting their right to play blackjack at the casino in exchange for a permanent comp for their entire life at the casino covering accommodation, food and all drinks!
The HoF didn’t actually induct its first member until as recently as 2002, with seven men being added in the inaugural selection and they were:
- Al Francesco – central to the creation of team play in blackjack
- Peter Griffin – author of The Theory of Blackjack and a key blackjack theorist
- Tommy Hyland – blackjack team manager
- Arnold Snyder – pro player and forum editor
- Edward O. Thorp – author of Beat The Dealer
- Ken Uston – pro player and blackjack author
- Stanford Wong – hugely important author and man who popularized “Wonging”
Since then a number of other experts have been added to the HoF, most recently Don Schlesinger, who has written and/or edited a number of books on blackjack. In 2007 John Chang was inducted into blackjack’s pantheon of greatness. Chang was the manager of the notorious MIT blackjack team and the inspiration for the character Mickey Rosa, played by Kevin Spacey, in the film 21, which was based on the classic book Bringing Down the House by Ben Mezrich.
Perhaps the most deserving members of the HoF were surprisingly ignored until 2008. The “Four Horsemen of Aberdeen”, as they are collectively know, essentially “discovered” Basic Strategy using little more than intellect and a calculator. Roger Baldwin, Herbert Maisel, Wilbert Cantey and James McDermott were serving in the army (in Aberdeen) when they realized the blackjack could be, if not beaten, certainly played with minimal losses. If you’ve ever used Basic Strategy then you owe them a great debt and it’s amazing they had to wait until 2008 to gain the ultimate in blackjack recognition.
Most of the other members of the Hall of Fame are authors or pro players so if you fancy adding your name to the list why not check out our blackjack advice, grab a bonus and head to the tables?