Five Of The Biggest Blackjack Wins Ever Recorded?

Blackjack is one of the most popular card games ever invented, perhaps because it is also one of the easiest casino games to pick up. Over the years, mathematicians and professional gamblers have strived to find the perfect formula for playing the game, with many believing that there are ways to beat the odds.

Some players have found great success over the years. This has led to some seriously huge payouts and accumulated winnings which have gone down in history. So, what have been the biggest blackjack payouts ever? We highlight five of the very biggest. And are these feats still possible today?

If you’d like to try a game of blackjack for yourself, then open an account on LiveRoulette and try over 15 unique tables on our Canadian online casino.

1. Shoeless Joe – $1.5 Million

A mystery man won $1.5 million after entering a US casino without any shoes on. As the story goes, he used a $300 security check and played a terrible game in terms of strategy, splitting and doubling when all the theory says you shouldn’t. He managed to take up quite the cash pot, but kept on playing and eventually lost the lot.

2. Dana White – $2 Million

Dana White is well-known as the president of UFC, and the American
businessman is used to being in the public eye. In 2012, he was in the media
for the wrong reasons, though. At this time, White was accused of card counting
by Palms Casino. He had won a considerable amount of money on blackjack but the
Las Vegas resort refused to pay up and banned him.

In 2014, White was allowed back into the casino after the CEO changed. Over
the course of a few months, the man with a net worth of $500 million managed to
accumulate winnings of $2 million. He may have been able to earn more if he
hadn’t faced a cap in the amount he could win. First, the casino made him lower
his bets from $25,000 to $5,000, and then they capped his wins off at $2
million to end his streak.

White continues to be a major blackjack fan and can be found playing at
casinos that will have him. But up to now, he has never recreated the streak
which gained him such notoriety back in 2014. White is not completely banned
from Palms Casino either, as he still holds UFC events at the Pearl Arena in
the complex.

3. Ken Uston – $4.5 Million

Ken Uston was often referred to as the King of Blackjack Strategy and one of
the technically most successful players ever to sit at the felt. It was
this American player, strategist, and author who actually came up with the idea
of teaming up to play blackjack. Along with mastering strategy and the
mathematical side of the game, Uston is credited with having pretty
much invented card counting.

During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Uston led a blackjack team around
various casinos in the USA. They would place outrageous bets which would
sometimes value at around $12,000 per hand, and rake in millions in winnings
from the process.

It is estimated that Uston and his team gathered around $4.5 million in winnings during their operational period. This could be considered among the first big blackjack wins and a catalyst that influenced a great number of other players.

4. Kerry Packer – $40 Million

Kerry Packer was a millionaire before he even played blackjack and he used his wealth to place gigantic stakes on the cards. At the time of his death in 2005, the Australian had a net worth of AUS $6.5 billion (over €3.9 billion or USD $4.3 billion). Obviously, the bigger the bet, the bigger the payout, and Packer made a name for himself by taking down two of the most insane blackjack pots ever seen. The first was in 1991 at the Hilton in Las Vegas, where he picked up a cool $7 million in a single night.

Unsatisfied with such meagre winnings, Packer returned to Las Vegas in 1995
and played blackjack at the MGM Grand. The media tycoon placed a series of
$250,000 bets and within forty minutes had racked up a stack of $40 million.

The dealers had a good time on that incredible night, too, as Packer decided
to leave a $1 million tip. While the casinos may not be too happy about
players taking down huge blackjack pots, it is certainly the dream of most
dealers to be at the table when it happens.

5. MIT Blackjack Team – $50 – $100 Million

The MIT blackjack team is well known in popular culture from the film, 21, and
the book that it was based on, Bringing Down the House. The team operated over
a number of years and featured around eighty different members.

They went to a wide variety of casinos across Atlantic City and Las Vegas from the 80s and 90s in order to avoid suspicion. This was because they employed a card counting technique which helped to influence their bets on the games. If a shoe contained a lot of cards of high value it was regarded as hot, which meant that the players should bet big on it. If the majority of remaining cards were instead low in value, it would be a cold shoe.

During their prime, it is estimated that this world-renowned blackjack team
earned anywhere between $50-100 million. Understandingly, then, the major
casinos didn’t look lightly upon the methods used by these
genius mathematicians and the film plot rests on an attempt to thwart the
students’ efforts.

If any of these success stories have inspired you to try your hand at mastering the classic casino game of blackjack, you could play live blackjack online to develop your skills.


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18+ | begambleaware.org | Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly. Terms & Conditions apply.

Basic Blackjack Strategy in 5 Minutes

Blackjack, also known as Twenty-One, is a hugely popular card game, dating all the way back to the 17th century. And of course, in 2019, there are plenty of exciting live versions to try out. But first, you’ve got to get basic blackjack strategy down.

In this bite-sized blackjack strategy guide, you’ll learn all you need to know to get started on our Canadian online casino, in as little as five minutes! 

Splitting A Pair

Splitting
pairs is one of the more better-known blackjack basic strategies, and it was
first introduced to help players bring down the casino’s house advantage a notch or two. However,
splitting pairs is usually not always
used very effectively, so let’s see how to make this blackjack strategy
work for you.

You can split
a pair when you have a hand with two cards of the same value, such as a 2 of
Hearts and a 2 of Clubs. You split the pair by placing an equal chip right next to the original wager. Don’t put your additional chip on top – that means you want to double up (more on that later). Placing your chip
adjacent to the original lets the dealer know that you want to split your hand.

So which hands should you split? Not all cards are equal. For instance, it’s recommended to split a pair of aces (totalling 11) as splitting will give you a much two chances to land two stronger hands. It’s also a good idea to split eights, to potentially improve a hand of 16. Never split a pair of 10 though, as by splitting you might be sacrificing a really good hand. Low numbers aren’t recommended to split either.   Why is splitting such a useful blackjack strategy? Because with this strategy you could transform a weak hand into a winning one with one wager or one click, and potentially win more money.

Doubling Down – Hard And Soft Hands

Do you need a
good blackjack basic strategy to help you break even or even possibly win when
your odds are not looking good? Then
doubling down is the blackjack strategy you need.

Doubling down is when you’re given the opportunity to double your initial wager, however, you will then only be able to draw one more card. To double, simply place an equal chip on top of your first wager. Some casinos will have different rules on when you can double down: you can usually double down on any two cards but some casinos may only allow it when you draw a hand of 10 or 11. So, when should you double down? You usually should double down when you have the hard 8, 9, 10, and 11 cards. A hard hand is a hand that doesn’t include an ace.

But what happens when your hand includes an ace (known as a soft hand)? If your hand includes an ace and an eight card or higher, it doesn’t make much sense to double.

The Rule Of Nine

An easy way to decide whether you should double down or not on a soft hand can be summarised below:

  • If your
    dealer’s up-card and your non-ace card add up to nine or more, then double
    down.
  • If the sum
    of the dealer’s card and your non-ace add up to less than nine, then you can
    hit.
  • Never
    double down when the dealer holds a seven or higher.
  • Never
    double down when the dealer holds an ace either.

Surrendering A Hand

The blackjack
strategy of surrendering a hand can be confusing, due to its misleading name.
When you surrender a hand, it doesn’t
mean that you’re surrendering the
game, and can be a highly useful strategy.

So, how does
it work? After having a look at your two-card hand as well as the dealer’s
up-card, and the cards just aren’t looking so good, you can apply this method and surrender half of your wager. The dealer will then take half of
your wager, as well as your two cards and will place them in the discard pile.

You might be
asking why this blackjack strategy is so great if you’re losing half your wager? You’re
losing 50% of your wager instead of potentially losing all of it, so you can
retain half your stake for the next hand. 

Hitting And Standing

Our last blackjack strategy for today is
a summary of hitting and standing.
This is the bread and butter of playing a
game of blackjack, whether online, live or at the casino.

When you hit, you’re asking the dealer for another card and when you stand, it means that you’re happy with cards you’ve been dealt and don’t want any additional cards.

So, when should you hit and when should you stand?

Well, this all depends on what your dealer’s holding:

  • If the
    dealer has an ace, they have a high chance of hitting a 10 value card (10,
    Jack, Queen or King), so you should aim to have a hand of 17 or over.
  • If the
    dealer has a 10 card, they still have a strong chance of hitting 20. So we
    recommend you hit until 17 or higher to give yourself the strongest hand you
    can.
  • If your
    dealer has between seven and nine, at least they won’t be able to hit a
    Blackjack with their third card, but they can still get a high hand.  Hit until 17.
  • If your
    dealer has a card worth four up to six, you could potentially stand on anything
    above 12.
  • If your
    dealer has a two, you can hit up to a value of nine, but it’s wise to stand on
    a hand of 13.

And there you go, the four key components of blackjack basic strategy to help you polish up your skills. Why not try out the strategies you’ve learned by playing on LiveRoulette’s range of 15 live blackjack games, such as Exclusive Blackjack, Blackjack Party, and Infinite Blackjack, and show off your know-how?



18+ | begambleaware.org | Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly. Terms & Conditions apply.

Debunked: The biggest live Blackjack myths


If you know anything about casino games, you’d know that Blackjack has been one of the most popular ones for decades.

The Blackjack journey first began at a range of land-based casinos, but the advent of online casinos has meant that there are more possibilities for the game’s progression.

One of the biggest progressions is the world of live Blackjack, and due to its takeover of the casino industry, many myths and misconceptions have emerged.

Carry on reading to debunk some of the biggest myths about the live dealer variation of the game, so you can play in confidence…

“Live Blackjack results are predetermined”

Even though where you play both games are different, the fairness of traditional Blackjack and live Blackjack is no different.

Some mistakenly believe that the outcome of a live game is predetermined or influenced by past results, but this is incorrect.

Instead, it’s just like the traditional game, which relies on a completely random shuffle of cards where each hand is independent of the ones that came before.

Therefore, the outcome of a game is completely determined by chance to create the fairest game possible.

“Live Blackjack is rigged”

Similarly to the previous myth, some believe that the virtual element of live Blackjack means that the game can be easily rigged.

However, the best online casinos use independent audits to keep games fair.

Live Blackjack uses physical cards and real dealers to ensure no rigged outcomes.

But what about the dealers?

“Live Blackjack dealers cheat”

Some players think that live Blackjack dealers cheat to ensure that players lose, although this myth largely stems from a misunderstanding of how live dealer games work.

The dealers are professionally trained, so they follow strict protocols to ensure that each game is kept fair.

They have no incentive to cheat due to their employment being based on upholding their integrity and a casino’s reputation.

Live games are closely monitored and suspicious behaviours by anyone involved would be thoroughly investigated.

The risk of cheating is low and the majority of dealers are honest and want to provide a fun and fair gaming experience to all.

“Live Blackjack requires a high bankroll”

Like many casino games, with live Blackjack, you don’t need a massive bankroll to enjoy a game.

There is a wide range of betting options, so you can find the one that suits you.

It’s always important to only wager what you can afford to lose and live Blackjack allows you to do just that!

“Live Blackjack isn’t secure”

Of course, it’s natural to be concerned about your financial security when playing online.

But reputable online casinos utilise advanced encryption technology to safeguard player data, so it’s important to look out for that before wagering on your live Blackjack game.

There are many ways to look out for a reputable site, but one major thing to look out for in the UK is whether it’s certified by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), which you’ll find at the bottom of your chosen gaming site.

With five live Blackjack myths debunked, you can now go into your next game with maximum confidence of having a fun and fair time playing.

How to Play Live Casino Blackjack

Blackjack is one of the easiest casino table games to grasp, but it can take you a little longer to master. With the aid of this comprehensive guide on how to play blackjack, we can equip you with the skillset and knowledge to have fun even when you are sat playing against a real dealer in the LiveRoulette live casino.

With over 20 live blackjack tables to choose from at LiveRoulette, there is always an opportunity to play a basic hand of blackjack or dabble with some of the side bet variants that can switch-up your gameplay. Before you get started, why not familiarise yourself with the basics of blackjack and get to grips with an optimal strategy to minimise the house edge.

The on-screen layout of a live blackjack table

From the moment you load up your live casino blackjack table, you will meet a friendly, professionally trained dealer to manage your game. You can see the seven-player seats around the table. Vacant seats will say ‘Sit Here’ and you only need to click to join the action.

The display of your account balance is in the bottom left corner of the screen and you can choose the size of your stake in the ‘Total Bet’ button next to it. Click the inner circle of your seat position once to bet one unit. You can also click on the side bet areas to place additional bets if you wish.

It’s possible to chat with the dealer and the other players at the table in real-time using the ‘Lobby’ button in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Card values in live blackjack

The values of cards in a game of blackjack are easy to follow. They correspond to their numerical value displayed on the card. Face cards (Jack, Queen and King) are worth ten, while an Ace can be worth either one or 11 and played however you see fit.

In-play actions available in live blackjack

Hit

By ‘hitting’, you’re requesting an additional card from the dealer to try and improve your hand(s). You can continue to hit cards until your hand value is 21 or greater.

Stand

You can choose to stand on your hand, which means that you are happy with the value of your cards and don’t require any more from the deck. You may choose to stand your hand to avoid exceeding 21 and going bust.

Split

When a dealer gives you two cards of equal value, you can split them. Splitting turns these cards into two separate hands, with the dealer giving you one additional card for each hand. You must pay to split. The additional bet must be equal to your starting stake.

Double Down

If you believe one additional card will improve your hand to defeat the dealer, you may choose to double down. You’ll only get one more card from the deck and you must double your starting stake.

Insurance

Whenever the dealer’s upcard is an Ace, the dealer will offer you an insurance side bet which can cover your losses if the dealer has a blackjack.

How many hands can you play in live blackjack?

You can play as many hands as you want at most live blackjack tables. Wherever there is a vacant seat at the table, you can normally use it to play multiple hands in different seats – providing you have the bankroll for it. Unlike other card games such as Texas Hold’em Poker, where it’s not possible to take up multiple seats at a table, you can do so in blackjack because you are not playing against the other players at the table, only the dealer’s hand.

What does bet behind mean?

At some live casino blackjack tables, you may have the option to ‘bet behind’ another active player at the table. This means that you will be betting on your chosen player’s hand to beat the dealer’s hand. Although you will have no say or control over how the hand turns out, you obviously have a choice as to which player you choose to bet behind.

Each active player at the table will have icons displayed next to their name, displaying how well they are playing. Those on a ‘hot’ or winning streak will usually have a gold medal or star next to their name.

How does the dealer play their hand?

You should now know how to play your blackjack hand at the tables, but do you know how the dealer plays their own hand? Put simply, if the dealer’s first two cards add up to 16 or less, they must hit and take an additional card. If their first two cards value is between 18 and 21, they must stand and take no further cards.

If the dealer has a ‘hard’ 17, they must stand. A hard 17 is a hand that does not contain an ace or has one or more aces with the value at one. If the dealer has a ‘soft’ 17, they must hit and take an additional card. A soft 17 is a hand that does contain an ace with the value being at 11.

The dealer’s hand automatically wins the round if your hand busts, or if the option is available to surrender your hand and half of your original stake. Their hand also wins if it is closer to 21 than yours. If you and the dealer have hands of the same value, then this is a ‘push’. In this event, you receive your original stake in full due to the tied game.

It’s worth noting that the dealer has very little say in how they play their hand. They must adhere to the house rules of standing on hard 17 and hitting on soft 17. Under no circumstances can they change tac and play their hand differently.

Available payouts at the blackjack tables

First and foremost, if you win a hand of live blackjack against the dealer’s hand, you will win a payout worth 1:1. If you bet €10, you’ll receive €10 in winnings, plus your €10 stake back.

It’s a little less straightforward for blackjacks. Some tables payout 6:5 for blackjack, while others will pay 3:2. For example, if you bet €10 and get a blackjack at a 6:5 blackjack table, you’ll receive €12 in winnings, plus your €10 stake back. If you bet €10 and get a blackjack at a 3:2 blackjack table, you’ll get €15 in winnings, plus your €10 stake back.

If you choose to take out the insurance bet, this pays out at 2:1 in the event the dealer lands a natural two-card blackjack.

Side bets in live blackjack

Although bet behind is also considered a side bet option, there are two primary side bets that you can place when sat at most of our live blackjack tables:

  • 21+3
    Let’s start with the 21+3 side bet. This one happens around the first two cards you receive, as well as the dealer’s visible ‘upcard’. If you can form a three-card poker hand using your first two cards and the dealer’s upcard (flush, straight, straight flush or three-of-a-kind) you will win a payout. The size of the payout depends on what kind of poker hand you can form. It typically ranges from 5:1 for a flush through to 100:1 for three-of-a-kind cards of the same suit.
     
  • Perfect Pairs
    Perfect Pairs is the second most popular side bet you’ll find at our live blackjack tables. This optional side bet requires you to find matching card values, card colours or, better still, two identical cards. You can win 5:1 for a Mixed Pair, such as a pair of eights of different suits. You can win 12:1 for a Coloured Pair, like a pair of sixes of the same colour i.e. diamonds or hearts. Finally, you can also bag 25:1 payouts for a Perfect Pair, which is two identical cards.

Understanding optimal strategy in live blackjack

The key to giving yourself the best chance of winning at the live casino blackjack tables is to adopt a smart strategy. A smart strategy is one that minimises the game’s house edge. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the betting techniques you should employ as part of an optimal blackjack strategy:

  • Doubling down on 10 and 11
    Some casinos will only allow players to double down on hands when their initial two-card hand is worth 10 or 11. Doubling down on 10 or 11 is a powerful play, particularly if the dealer’s hand is lower. It may even be prudent to double down when your hand is worth nine and the dealer’s hand is of a lower value still.
     
  • Splitting Aces and 8s
    If you have a pair of aces in your hand, this is a hard or soft total of 12. This is rarely a good situation to be in. There’s a high probability of landing a face card or a ten with your next card and going bust. Splitting them gives you a chance to potentially land two blackjacks or two cards valued higher than 12.

    A pair of eights is a hard total of 16, which means there are plenty of cards in the deck that could bust your hand when you hit. Splitting your eights into two hands gives you a chance to land a ten on both hands to achieve 18, which is a respectable outcome in this scenario.
     

  • Avoid taking Insurance
    Whenever the dealer’s upcard is an ace, you will get the chance to buy ‘Insurance’. This requires you to pay half the size of your original stake as a side bet, which pays out 2:1 if the dealer has a blackjack, ensuring you break even for the hand. The dealer will not have a blackjack more than 50% of the time, so Insurance is a statistically bad play – unless you are certain their next card will be a ten.
     
  • Surrender 16 against a ten (if allowed)
    If early or late ‘Surrender’, the best time to use it is when you have a hand value of 16 against the dealer’s ten. There are plenty of cards in the deck that can bust your hand and a similar amount that can give the dealer’s hand an unassailable advantage. That’s why it makes more sense to cut your losses and surrender half your stake in this position.

Live blackjack variations

Not content with conventional live blackjack games? We’ve got you covered. At LiveRoulette, you can immerse yourself in three different blackjack variations. All of which offer exciting, fast-paced gameplay, available on all desktop and mobile devices.

Speed Blackjack

Are you short on time? If you don’t have a moment to waste, Speed Blackjack could be the ideal solution for you. Powered by LiveRoulette partner Evolution Gaming, Speed Blackjack accelerates the gameplay wherever possible. The first two cards play as normal, but the next step is completely different.

In Speed Blackjack, the quickest players to make their decision to stand, hit, split or double down will play first with the dealer. It reduces the waiting time for experienced players that know what they are doing, even if it does not provide a mathematical edge to your action.

Infinite Blackjack

If you are someone that can only devote time to playing live blackjack during ‘peak’ hours, the chances are that most live blackjack tables will be full of players when you log in. There’s no need to worry about not being able to play though, thanks to our Infinite Blackjack tables.

As the name suggests, these low bet limit tables cater to an unlimited number of players, with no need to wait for a seat to become available. That’s because all active players receive a ‘community’ two-card hand. Subsequently, each player can play the remainder of the hand however they wish. There are no less than four side bets to choose from too.

Blitz Blackjack

Blitz Blackjack, powered by LiveRoulette partner NetEnt, operates on the same principle as Infinite Blackjack. All players receive the same two cards on-screen from the dealer and are then given the option to hit, stand and split the two cards to make the remainder of the hand their own. Again, there is no limit on the number of players that can play at these tables, which is great for peak hour gaming.

Blackjack is not a complex or scary casino game. You can grasp it within minutes and start to enjoy yourself at the tables of our Canadian online casino!

18+ | Gambling can be addictive, please play responsibly |  Terms & Conditions apply