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The Biggest Blackjack Wins in History!

Felicia Wijkander
Last updated on 21st April 2020

Published: 21/12/2019

Categories: Winner stories

Blackjack is one of the most ancient games that is still in play. Of course, there are plenty of versions of blackjack now but the basic rules always remain the same. Once you master classic blackjack, you can play any version and win. If you need help, you can go through blackjack guides that will help you get closer to that dream win.

While you are out there dreaming about a million dollar win, let us tell you about some people for whom this dream of yours has already become a reality. These blackjack winner stories are bound to give you a ray of hope and make you believe that anything is possible.

The Biggest Blackjack Wins in History!

$40 million at the MGM Grand

Woah! Who won $40 million you wonder? You guys must have already heard of him. It is Kerry Packer. We actually have two Kerry Packer big win stories for you. Unbelievable, right? One man holding 2 positions in the list of the greatest blackjack wins in history? It’s so unfair. And what is even more unbelievable is that Kerry Packer was already a millionaire. And he still is. Why does a millionaire need more millions? Sigh.

In 1991, Kerry Packer played his first big win streak. It was at the Hilton in Las Vegas. He chose a public blackjack table so people were cheering him on like in a movie. The details of the rounds he played are not available given that this happened almost three decades ago. But Packer won a whopping $7 million in that one night. Go on, take a minute.

With that $7 million win in a single night, Hilton was so impressed that they offered Packer a special suite room for his stay. Sure, give a millionaire free stuff. Rumour has it that this room was decorated with some casino chips and stuff like that to commemorate his big win while he was having a celebratory dinner with his near and dear ones. We’re sure he was pretty amazed by Hilton’s grand gesture.

Second Win – Bigger and Better!

Kerry Packer was back in Las Vegas in 1995 and it seemed like the Casino Gods (just go with us on this one) all assembled at the MGM Grand to shower their blessings on him. You will understand why we’re saying that as you keep reading.

Packer placed $250,000 bets on each round and played 8 hands continuously at the same table. The exact details of the cards that were dealt are unavailable as this happened a good 25 years ago. But we’re sure Packer will remember.

Anyway, in just 40 minutes, Packer cashed out a whopping $40 million. In 40 minutes. $40 million. This was definitely the biggest win that MGM Grand had witnessed and Packer was so elated that he left a million dollar tip for his dealers. Can’t believe we were not even lucky enough to be his croupier for the night.

While these are his famous winning streaks, life is a little fair as Packer once lost $27.4 million over a period of 10 months. But he clearly won more than he lost. Even with such great wins to his credit, Packer is not on the official list of the most successful blackjack players.

$15.1 million in Atlantic City

Don Johnson is the CEO of Heritage Development and like Kerry Packer, he too is already a millionaire. Don Johnson has been an avid blackjack player throughout his life. He has played in many of the major casinos in Atlantic City throughout his life. He has had many winning streaks but the one we are interested in happened between December 2010 and April 2011.

From December 2010 to April 2011, Johnson won an astounding $15.1 million playing Blackjack. But this is not a single night win but a win over 5 months. Don Johnson is perceived as a strategic Blackjack player. He incorporates a lot of mathematical strategies and card nuances while playing. And him being a millionaire, means that he can place huge bets without worrying about the consequences of losing it. So when luck favours him and he wins, it becomes a huge win.

Of course, Don Johnson has also lost many card games, but so far we’re sure it is safe to say that he has won more than he has lost. Which is why his win is listed as one of the greatest blackjack wins of all time.

$4.5 million at Las Vegas

It would not be wrong to call Ken Uston the King of Blackjack Strategy. He has mastered as the blackjack strategies and the mathematical elements that rule the game. So this obviously means that he is a pro card counter. He is also known as the creator of blackjack card counting.

He trained many other people to play blackjack like he did and also built a team of professional card counters. So his team is also called the team that preceded the infamous MIT team that set out to beat the house.

Ken Uston started out in 1975 and by 1981, he and his team had taken the casinos for $4.5 million. So this was probably the earliest of high blackjack wins. Many people have speculated that this is the reason that casinos had to come up with multi-hand blackjack and several card deck shoes.

How cool would it have been if you were the reason that casinos had to make their games harder?

$1.5 million at Treasure Island Casino

This is the story of how “shoeless” Joe won $1.5 million. Who is shoeless Joe you ask? He is a commoner much like you and me who won $1.5 million at Treasure Island Casino in 1995.

Joe’s wife had chuck him out and Joe was a homeless man when this happened. When he got his security cheque of $400, he decided to try his luck at a casino. Joe walked into Treasure Island without his shoes and that’s where the name “shoeless” Joe comes from. No one knows his exact identity but his story has spread far and wide.

On his lucky night, Joe won an unimaginable $1.5 million. But due to his aggressive nature and the way he played, people say that he lost it all on the same night. He didn’t heed any blackjack strategy, he split 10s and doubled down on hard 12s and 13s. Such reckless playing cost him everything.

This seems to be the luck of all commoners like us. This seems very unfortunate. But there are many different records of the events of the night so we cannot be sure how exactly he won and lost but we know for certain that he lost all that he had won.

£73,000 at Grosvenor Casino

Let’s get out of Las Vegas for a bit. This is the story of a winner at Glasgow, Scotland. He won at blackjack very recently in 2017. He played at Grosvenor Casino in Merchant City.

He played Ace King Suited Blackjack in which the player gets a jackpot win if he is dealt a natural blackjack with an Ace and a King. In this case, our John Doe won £73,000. But there is not much data available about the winner or the win.

However, we do know something about Grosvenor Casino. They have another casino called Grosvenor at Riverboat where another punter won £54,000. Overall, in 2017 over 10 players have won over £100,000 in the Merchant City and Riverboat casinos.

This is what the Grosvenor Casino Manager had to say about these wins since 2015:

“We’re thrilled to have had the biggest jackpot winner to date with our Grosvenor Ace King Suited progressive side bet. We have heard news of many other Grosvenor Casinos customers winning the jackpot all around the country and it’s great to be part of the incredible £320,000 milestone with such an impressive win of our own. To see people enjoying our gaming area and having a big win like this creates a really exciting buzz in the casino.”

More than $50 million by MIT

MIT must take credit for the huge number of blackjack winnings from Atlantic City. The world is amazed by how many a group of MIT grad students have taken the casinos for a ride. The whole world came to know about this when a movie called 21 starring Kevin Spacey was made and became a huge blockbuster.

The movie went through the life of Bill Kaplan, a Harvard graduate who had been beating the system for years. One night, a group of MIT students overheard him talking about how he turned $1000 to $30,000 in just 9 months. So they asked him to teach him and that’s how the whole thing happened.

Contrary to popular belief, the MIT group that was set out to beat casinos also comprised of students from Harvard, Yale and other esteemed universities. It is the movie that focused on MIT.

Apparently, at its peak the MIT team consisted of around 80 players who took the casinos on a ride. Each team played at a different casino on different night and won huge amounts every time they played. According to Kaplan, old players left and new players joined all the time. And students were allowed to leave if they wanted to.

Kaplan and his team is believed to have won anywhere from $50 million to $100 million which would have been distributed among all of them. If you want to get an idea about it would all have happened, watch the movie 21.

$2 million at Palms Casino

This story is the win of Dana White. He is the President of UFC and is so infamous that he still has an ongoing dispute with Palms Casino. In 2012, White played Blackjack and won a considerable amount but the casino accused him of counting cards and banned him.

Once the CEO at Palms changed in 2014, White went back and won $2 million over a period of three months. During this streak, his limit per hand was first reduced from $25,000 to $5000 and he was subsequently told that he could not play. Which his why he capped his winnings at $2 million.

White has denied that he is a card counter. He claims to have used just mathematical blackjack strategy. And he also tipped the dealers $200,000 when he won $2 million. So the dealers are furious at Palms for banning their highest tipper.

Here is what White had to say about everything,

“ Casinos don’t gamble anymore. They’re all owned by hedge funds and corporations. They want to stack the odds so much against you that won’t pay. Realistically, there’s only one place left in town to play and that’s Caesars. They will let you play what you want to play. No messing around with limits.”

The media has also constantly accused white of having a gambling problem but he has completely denied it saying that his personal and professional lives are fine and that he has not lost all of his money.

White still continues to play at different casinos that will have him but he is yet to have a winning streak that will beat $2 million. And he still holds UFC events at the Pearl Arena at Palms Casino. So he’s not completely banned.

$470,000 at Bellagio

If Bellagio seems very familiar it’s probably because of the famous Clooney-Pitt movie Ocean’s 11 which is an amazing story about a group of people who steal money from the casino vault. It’s a watch we recommend.

But this is not George Clooney’s Bellagio story but Michael Geismar’s. Michael Geismar is an investment manager. But this story is no less interesting. It has all the drama you want, just like a movie.

So one morning, Michael Geismar was having breakfast at Bellagio and found his eggs very boring. So he decided to add some spice not by reaching out for pepper but by walking into the casino section and placing a bet of $300.

Geismar did not double his bets, he just kept raising them each time he won and maintained the same betting amount if he lost. Although this is not very reliable strategy, Geismar won $470,000 by lunch!

Since experts do not recommend such strategy, it becomes very hard to believe that he won this way. But who knew that a mundane breakfast at Bellagio would turn into such a thrilling morning? Maybe we should give it a try too.

$800,000 at Hard Rock Casino

Maybe the name of the casino in the heading itself has given you a clue. We are talking about Oscar winner Ben Affleck’s blackjack streak. The actor is well known for his role as Batman and his role in the critically acclaimed Argo.

Recently, it came to light that he was also quite the blackjack player. When asked about it, Affleck admitted to having played blackjack and been interested in the strategy from a very young age.

In 2001, Affleck happened to stroll into Hard Rock Casino one evening and had an unbelievable lucky streak that won him $800,000 and rumour has it that he tipped the staff a whopping $145,000.

Years after that when Affleck went back there one evening, he was busted for card counting after a couple of lucky games and the casino forbid him from playing at the blackjack tables.

Affleck however, was allowed to play other games at the casino and was even offered a car. The staff was very nice to him and his wife but they just didn’t want him winning. Although card counting is not illegal, it is frowned upon by casinos. So Affleck is now very interested in sports betting, we hear.

$132,000 by Taxi Driver

All of us have dreamt at some point to become millionaires but for this taxi driver, his dreams actually came true. He woke up one morning and told his wife that he had dreamt that he had played at a casino and won a lot of money.

Even though his wife was a little skeptical, he pleaded with her and went to a casino that very same night and started playing roulette. But after a while, he switched to blackjack maybe because that’s when he realised that he actually played blackjack in his dream and not roulette.

So after he switched, lady luck sat beside him for the rest of the night as he won $132,000 through the night. Imagine a cab driver turning over his life in just one night. He went on to completely renovate his house and also bought his wife a fancy car. That’s sweet no?

The most surprising and unbelievable aspect of the win is that he did not use any strategy or mathematical calculations to win. He said that it was completely luck and believes that his guardian angel guided him to this win and that he was not even a “casino” kinda guy. So, all of you pray for some fruitful dreams tonight so that you will be a millionaire by the time you go to bed tomorrow 😛

$100,000 at Las Vegas

While the previous story was that of a commoner, this one is the story of Shane Smith, CEO of Vice Media. He was in Vegas just to witness the Consumer Electronic Show. But he just thought he would try his hand at a casino.

As he happened to walk into the MGM resort, it seems like all the stars were smiling at him. He played blackjack and won a whopping $100,000. Even the CEO of the casino congratulated him. While this in itself may not seem much to you after having read stories like that of Kerry Packer’s, you will be thrilled to know about Smith’s celebratory dinner.

Smith headed straight for Prime Steakhouse and spent an even higher $300,000 on dinner! He treated everyone who accompanied him and also the people who cheered him on. Can you believe that? Smith sure became known for his generosity that day unless it was kind of a huge drunken mistake 😛 But that’s okay as he could afford it. Hehe.

We know that these stories would have given you very high hopes. But do you really have to spend so much money and get to Las Vegas for your lucky day? Nope. You can play from the comfort of your homes. So stop building castles in the air and register now at the best online casinos so you have a chance to win right now.

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