There are probably no people in the world who have not heard of the game of blackjack. While many players will travel great distances to enroll in the biggest blackjack tournaments at land casinos, you can also find some great paying events hosted online. Both land and online blackjack tournaments offer players a great way to compete, implement their new skills and take a chance at winning massive payouts from the casino’s prize pools.
Blackjack has always been at the top of the list of exciting games. So, if you want to know a little bit more about the biggest winners in history, as well as the biggest blackjack tournaments, keep on reading this article! Moreover, with modern technology, you can enjoy the thrills of this card game from the comforts of home or even use a mobile device to enter into some of the best paying events.
Let’s take a look at the biggest winners of all time and some of the popular blackjack events that can be enjoyed. With some amazing tournaments being offered at land casinos all over the world, there are endless ways to enjoy great payouts. You will find top-class events at some of the largest casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. While land-based tournaments are the main draw for professional players, don’t overlook the thrills that can be enjoyed with online events!
Here, we take a look at some of the largest wins earned by players who have entered tournaments or have played at the tables on casino floors. You will find that some of the largest wins have come over a while.
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Historical Blackjack Winners
Over the years, both professional and amateur players have won huge payouts from great blackjack tournaments. With the advent of online casino games, players now have the freedom to experience the same types of events and have a chance to be the next big winner. Interested in seeing who has won the most from playing blackjack? We have a complete list of the top 5 winners of all time right here. If you are a fan of blackjack, you can have a chance at getting your name on this list! Just enter events with large prize polls either online or at land casinos, and you will have an opportunity to score thousands, even millions in payouts.
Kerry Packer – $40 Million Winner
In fact, Kerry Packer holds two positions for the biggest wins in blackjack history. In 1991, he enjoyed his first big winning streak at the Hilton in Las Vegas. He was clearly lucky, as he was able to win as much as $7 million in one night and also received a special offer from the Hilton Hotel – a luxurious suite.
In 1995, Packer sat at the tables again in Las Vegas and played at the MGM Grand. He placed $250,000 bets on each round and played 8 hands at the same table. In just under 40 minutes, he managed to win $40 million! This was the largest blackjack win MGM has ever seen, and to celebrate with others, Packer left the dealer a tip of $1 million!
Don Johnson – $15.1 Million
As CEO of Heritage Development, Don Johnson has already earned a million-dollar fortune, but that’s only a benefit because he enjoys betting high at the blackjack tables. Like Packer, Johnson has been an avid player for most of his adult life and has visited all the major casinos in Atlantic City. He has enjoyed many winning streaks, but the bet came between December and April 2011.
During this time, Johnson won $15.1 million playing blackjack. While the wins were not in a single night, this is one of the largest cumulative win amounts in Atlantic City to date. Johnson is known as a strategic player that uses mathematical strategies to play the game. Being a billionaire, he can afford the large bets at the tables and large buy-ins at blackjack tournaments, many of which he has been invited to.
Ken Uston – $4.5 Million Win in Vegas
Ken Uston is known as the King of Blackjack Strategy and has mastered multiple strategies that have helped him collect huge payouts at the tables. Uston has trained many others to play the game strategically, and he formed a blackjack team that won over $4.5 million at casinos in Vegas between 1975 and 1981.
While most known for his pretty face on the screen, Affleck is also an avid gambler and spends much of his free time at the blackjack tables. He has been so successful while playing that he has been banned from playing at the Hard Rock Casino located in Las Vegas. Affleck is a confirmed card counter and has used his skills to take casinos for millions. He won $1 million after just two games at the high roller tables and has won over $800,000 from a single round at various tables in Vegas and Atlantic City.
Affleck may be a great blackjack player that is able to collect thousands in payouts, but he is just as generous with winnings. In 2004, he won $140,000 playing blackjack at the table with Matt Damon. After winning, the entire amount was donated to the casino staff as he tipped individual employees upwards of $5000 per person!
Dana White – $2 Million
Dana White may be known for being the president of the UFC, but he is also a winning blackjack player that has won millions over the years. In 2012, he was accused of counting cards while playing at the Palms Casino and was later banned from the venue. However, he was allowed back in when the CEO changed, and in 2014, he made over $2 million in a few months. He would have gone on to win more, but the casino forced him to lower bets from $25,000 to $5,000. They then capped his wins at $2 million to end the current winning streak.
Biggest and Best Tournaments
While many dream of winning thousands or even millions playing at high roller tables, professional players primarily seek to build a reputation by playing in tournaments. There are high-paying events held at major casinos worldwide, many of which take place in Vegas and Atlantic City. If you’re a gambler and want to play with big stakes, you’ll find it extremely useful to learn more about the highest-profile tournaments, which can present a chance to win huge payouts.
The Cosmopolitan $100,000 Tournament
Every year, this huge casino in Vegas hosts a tournament with a massive prize pool of $100,000. While the buy-in is pretty steep, this is one of the top-paying events being enjoyed in Vegas. Many players will prepare by hitting the tables and playing high roller games to build a bankroll. While you will not win millions from this event, it will get your name out there as one of the best blackjack players of modern times.
Winner Take All – $250,000 at Foxwoods
One of the largest tourneys offered recently took place at Foxwoods in Connecticut. This winner-take-all-blackjack tournament attracted hundreds of players and has a huge buy-in of $20,000. With no payouts going to lower-ranking players, this event is best for those with sharp skills and strategies and those who are confident in their ability to beat everyone else and walk away with the entire prize amount.
World Series of Blackjack
This was one of the largest blackjack tournaments ever hosted, and it was a televised event that ran from 2004 through 2007. All games were played with a six-deck shoe, and players started with $100,000 in chips. The minimum and maximum bets were set at $1,000 and $50,000, and doubling down and splitting were both allowed.
The first season only attracted 25 players, but in 2005, more players entered, and Ken Einiger walked away with a payout of $250,000. The number of players continued to increase in the next years, and the prize pool also grew. Finally, in season three, Jeff Bernstein won $500,000, and the fourth season ended with Alice Walker as the tournament winner, earning a huge $1 million payout.
Playing in Online Tournaments
If you want to improve your blackjack skills but don’t have access to land-based casinos, online blackjack is a wonderful option. You can feel all the excitement of the action of single games such as those presented at RedDog. Here you will discover a few amazing game variations that will suit any budget. This online casino opens the doors to a world of the best titles created by RealTime Gaming, and you can even preview games for free to learn rules and develop strategies. At this trusted site, you will find the following blackjack options supported:
- 21 Blackjack
- Blackjack & Perfect Pairs
- European Blackjack
- Face Up 21
- Match Play 21
- Suit Em Up Blackjack
- Super 21
If you are looking for tournament play, many licensed and regulated sites online host regular tournaments. All you have to do is become a real money member, and you can sign up for listed events. Each casino will have different tournaments offered with various prize pools and buy-in amounts.
Online vs Land Tournaments
Enjoy the action of blackjack, as playing for part of a prize pool is a thrill for any player, whether they play online or at a land casino. If you choose to engage in online play and are entering a tourney. You should be aware of some differences. While the events are played similarly to those in a land casino, there are some things that are quite different.
Some players will appreciate playing at land casinos. These offer social interactions where you can talk with players and watch their moves. When you play online, you will not have this available. However, online blackjack tournaments should not be ruled out. One great thing about playing online is that tournaments are readily available. You can find events hosted every day, and there is no need to travel to any casino location. Playing online is also a great way for players to keep their skills sharp in-between visits to a land casino.
Some players find it difficult to concentrate when playing in a land casino. This is because there are many noises and distractions around the tables. For players who prefer a quieter environment, playing in online tournaments is a great option. You can play from the comforts of home and will never have any distractions from other players so that you can focus only on the game being played.
You will also find there are different types of tourneys when you are playing online. Since these venues do not have space restrictions, they can host a variety of tournaments at the same time, attracting thousands of players. As a result, you will find that most sites will offer tournaments in these two popular formats.
- Time-Limited Blackjack Tournaments – These use a structure where players will all have the same amount of time and chips to start the tournament. These tournaments will only last for a specified amount of time. The players with the most chips at the end of the time limit will be declared the tournament’s winner. There are also versions of time-limited events where each round has a time limit, and top players will advance to the best round based on the amount of chips they have.
- Elimination Tournaments – This is one of the newer types of tournaments being hosted online. When the event starts, each player will have the same amount of chips. The game will be played in different rounds, and there is a predetermined number of hands that will be played. After each round, the player with the fewest chips will be eliminated, and a new round will begin with the remaining players. This continues until there is just one player left.
Finding the Best Online Tournaments
Even if you like to play in the best tournaments in Vegas or Atlantic City, you can still benefit from entering online tournaments. These events are hosted at leading sites that are powered by trusted software developers. You will find that each developer offers various games that are played during a tournament, so there are more options to enjoy different games than when you play at a land casino.
At sites like Red Dog powered by RealTime Gaming, you will find some scheduled tournaments that can offer a small buy-in. These are great for beginners or casual players who want to learn the ropes of tournament play. Additionally, RTG casinos offer many blackjack tournaments such as head-to-head events, multi-table tournaments, and Sit n Go tourneys. Finally, you will also find these sites to offer freeroll events where there is no cost to enter, but you will still be competing for a chance to win cash payouts.
If you can access a Microgaming casino, you can enjoy the International Blackjack League. These sites have some of the best freerolls online, and there are more than 12 tournaments hosted every day, and all types of games are played. For small entry fees, players can enter Sit n Go tournaments that have a decent prize pool. There are also scheduled events where you can buy in for between $2 and $20 for a chance to win hundreds, even thousands, from the prize pool.
Tournament Strategies to Win
When you choose to engage in tournament play at a land casino or online venue, having basic strategy knowledge will greatly improve the chances of being a winner. Strategies will provide you with an edge over other players, and they are relatively easy to learn. When choosing an effective tournament strategy, it should all be about Risk Management. To win, you will have to risk a majority of your bankroll. The key to success over a period of time is getting the best value for every large bet that is placed. Therefore, when playing, always weigh the risk and reward of any betting choices that are made. This will allow you to assess strategy values based on your situation at the time.
Knowing basic strategy is essential if you plan to play in any tournament. However, it can take some time to master this. You can access strategy cards online and use these as a reference when playing online blackjack games or tournaments. However, no strategy guides will be allowed at the tables when you play at a land casino, so you must memorize these tactics to be the best possible player.
When trying to win a tournament, you need to preserve your bankroll in the early stages while still knowing when to take a larger risk. Risk management begins with the size of your bet. Placing smaller wagers can reduce or completely eliminate you from the tournament. You will be done when you run out of chips as there is no chance to buy more. This means you have to think things through and choose battle wisely.
If other players at the table are all making small bets, you may benefit from placing a large bet early. Most tables will include players that are a mix of minimum and aggressive bettors. This provides you with an opportunity to choose what hands warrant a larger bet and when they will be most effective.
Choosing the Right Tournaments
There are some things to insider before you jump right in and start playing in any tournament. Whether you play online or decide to join an event at a land-based casino, there are certain things you should ask before you play. The most important is knowing what version of blackjack is being played. There are many forms of the game that are enjoyed today, and to be successful, you must play a game that you are familiar with. Also, keep in mind that single-deck games offer better odds than those that use multiple decks.
You will also want to learn the table rules, including minimum and maximum bet amounts, whether doubling is allowed, and other specific rules. In addition, your position at the table will play a major role in your experience. Most players will try to get a seat near the end of a table. If you sit to the “first base” side, you will get cards from the shoe before other players. However, sitting at the other end will allow you to see what cards are already in place, which can help you make better decisions.
You will also want to know your opponents. If possible, watch how they play before you take a seat. You can also do some research if you will be playing against professionals. Many online resources will offer tips on playing against the big dogs and having a better chance of winning. By having as much knowledge as possible, you will be able to compete and improve the chance of earning payouts from the prize pool.
No matter what type of blackjack games you enjoy, you will find endless options. If you are located near a land casino, you can visit and play at tables on the casino floor or enter top-paying tournaments. There are always great options for standard games, live dealer games, and some great tourneys for online players. While online tournaments have lower payouts overall, they are a great way for anyone to practice skills and strategies when entering a larger event.
If you want to join the ranks of some of the best players in the world, you will want to plan a trip to a land casino that is hosting a major event. Many of these will have smaller satellite tournaments that will allow you to play and proceed to the next round, soon landing yourself at the final table of the top paying blackjack tournament!