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Blackjack Aces Series: Don Johnson

by Craig Edwards
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Don Johnson

The next installment in the Joe Wager Blackjack Aces Series is Don Johnson.

Not the “Don Johnson” famous film star known for Miami Vice but a corporate executive and famous blackjack hustler who has accumulated prodigious gains from the casino game over the years.

How Did It All Begin for Don Johnson?

Don Johnson has been around the gaming and gambling industry for much of his adult life, starting out at the Philadelphia Racetrack in the early 1990s. Johnson managed other racetracks and became the State regulator in gaming and gambling for Idaho, Oregon, Texas and Wyoming.

Then, in the early 2000s he founded a company that produced computer solutions to fix wagering problems for horse racing.

The Global Financial Crisis Launched Johnson’s High Roller Days

During the Global Financial Crisis of 2007 and 2008, the casinos were struggling and needed to entice high rollers back to their tables. To achieve this, they tinkered with the rules of Blackjack by negotiating a change in their rules that enabled players to have a slight mathematical edge never previously allowed.

The changes meant 17 became a soft number and customers would receive a 20% rebate on any losses exceeding $500,000 and there became a further adjusting of the rules surrounding re-splitting for aces and six-decks.

$15,000,000 in Profits in Six Months for Don Johnson

What followed those changes in the rules for high rollers was Johnson chasing down these tables around America with great success.

The Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City was the first gaming house to suffer at the hands of Johnson, as he embarked on a marathon 12-hour session that saw him win $1,200,000 in three consecutive hands using the new rules.

Johnson bet $100,000 and upon being dealt two 8s, he split them and remarkably was dealt another two 8s, which he was allowed to split again. At this point he had wagered $400,000 and was dealt two threes and two twos across the four hands, allowing the unique opportunity to double down and he was now wagered for $800,000 in total. With the odds stacked against the house, the dealer proceeded to bust, and Johnson won $800,000.

In the short time that followed, and under the new modified rules of Blackjack for high rollers, Johnson proceeded to hurt three of America’s biggest casinos.

The profits from the Tropicana in Atlantic City totalled just under $6 million and he followed up with a $5 million profit from the Bogota Casino, also in Atlantic City.

Then Johnson went to Las Vegas and Caesars Palace and hit them for $4 million, for which he is now banned from their establishment. The two casinos in Atlantic City have not banned Johnson but have stopped him from playing high rolling Blackjack under those modified rules.

Was Don Johnson a Card Counter?

Card counting is perfectly legal and a very skilful commodity for a Blackjack player. Most of the winning stories over the years revolve around the practitioners of the art. To do so, a player must sit at the table for many hours and have a photographic memory allowing them to add up the cards dealt, with reference to cards of 10 or more in value.

Then, when the odds are in their favour, they suddenly increase their staking by a multiple of ten or more.

No doubt, Johnson was already a proficient card counter, but he learnt how the newly modified rules increased his edge further on those high rolling tables and had the confidence of his convictions to follow a profitable plan with huge discipline over the period of his success.

Where Is Don Johnson Now?

Don Johnson, now sixty-two years old, currently resides in Bensalem, Pennsylvania and is still running his wagering business within the industry. He has been seen enjoying a champagne lifestyle, rubbing shoulders with several well-known celebrities such as Charlie Sheen, Jon Bon Jovi and Pamela Anderson.

He says, his life has not changed much for his Blackjack success but there is no doubt he has proved to be one of the most successful Blackjack players of all time with his strong mathematical acumen.

At Joe Wager, we have several recommended online casinos where you can play Blackjack safely. They have been rigorously tested by our experts with regards to their standards of security and software.

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Craig Edwards
Craig Edwards, an online tipster in golf and snooker for over four years, boasts a track record of 7800 bets with a 28% return on investment. A snooker professional from 1988 to 1996, he was once a single-figure handicap golfer. Achieving the 282nd position in the WSOP MAIN EVENT in 2007, Craig possesses a unique insight into the psychological shifts of professional sportsmen, anticipating their mindset week by week.

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