Tommy Hyland Professional Blackjack Player

Blackjack School

Of all of the biggest blackjack legends, Tommy Hyland is undoubtedly the most noteworthy and skilled team player. He has found his fame and riches by playing in groups of up to 40 people, something which is hugely beneficial for every player as any loss which a single player incurs is balanced out by the overall collective profit of the group.

Born in 1956 in New Jersey, Tommy Hyland first discovered blackjack whilst sharing a college dorm room with another student whilst attending University. At the time, Hyland had no particular interest in the game. His roommate did, however, and this ultimately led to Hyland stumbling upon Lawrence Revere's book Playing Blackjack as a Business. This book forever changed Hyland's life.

He first learned basic blackjack strategy by playing the game with his roommate, but it quickly became clear that Hyland was the best player of the two of them. The two enthusiasts made their way to Atlantic City in 1978. This trip led Hyland to the decision that he would devote a much larger portion of his energy and time toward this thrilling game of skill.

One of the main reasons for Hyland's huge success was his ability to identify and eliminate his own weaknesses. At the start, Hyland was not sure about how he should apply the theory of card counting to a real life situation, even though he was fully aware of how the theory worked from a logical viewpoint. So what did he do? He read up on the subject. He covered blackjack books by Stanford Wong and Ken Uston and then decided to form his very own team.

His very own team consisted of himself and only three friends, and they found great success during their run in 1979. When the other members of this team decided to go to Asia in pursuit of their own dreams, Hyland stayed put and built a new team.

Hyland created an enterprise of which he was the main wheel. He constantly recruited players at his golf club, and this brilliant idea ultimately led to the emergence of the longest running card counting team since the very first beginnings of the game. The team used card counting, computer play, shuffle tracking and ace sequencing to beat the odds and win millions of dollars. Hyland's own favorite card counting system is the high/low system.

However, with success came problems. It may seem absolutely shocking to the players of today, but back in the day, some of the more successful players were faced with physical abuse by casino staff as a result of the negative impact they had on the casinos' finances. At one point, Hyland was arrested for wearing a device at a casino, followed by the arrest of his wife who was held hostage in an attempt to get him to plead guilty to a non-existent charge of fraud. He has even been threatened at gun point once.

Luckily for Hyland and all other blackjack enthusiasts, casinos are no longer able to bar card counters. Card counting is legal and casinos are not allowed to ban players from their premises based on the fact that they are doing this. Before this issue was addressed in court, however, Hyland was often forced to wear disguises to get into casinos. At one point Hyland hit the casinos dressed up as Father Christmas!

Today, Hyland does not play at the casinos as much as he used to. Nonetheless, he is still a member of the incredibly exclusive Blackjack Hall of Fame, which means that his contribution to the game will never be forgotten.

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