Bryce Carlson: The Man with 21:21 Vision

You may dabble in the world of online blackjack from time to time, but there a people out there who consider themselves professional blackjack players and who feel at home in the live casino. What makes someone a professional blackjack player? The knowledge, skills and determination to play the game full-time and make it worth their while. These players know how to beat the casino and win the big bucks. Whether it be a land-based casino in Las Vegas, or the online casino from the comfort of their own home, these guys know the game like the back of their hand. One of the most famous professional blackjack players in the world is Bryce Carlson.

Who is Bryce Carlson?

It’s hard to have a conversation about professional blackjack players without the name Bryce Carlson coming up. You may have heard the name, but who’s the man behind it? What we do know is that Carlson is one of the most famous professional blackjack players in the world. Despite this, he’s remained a fairly mysterious figure in the gambling industry, prominent on the blackjack scene for quite some time and establishing himself as a world-class player. Carlson has been playing blackjack for almost half a century, starting in the 1970s. You may think that professional blackjack players are there for the payout, but for Bryce Carlson, the main draw of the game is beating the casinos. The idea of being able to gain a legitimate advantage over the casinos fascinated and intrigued him. After being told repeatedly that it was impossible to beat the house, and that blackjack strategy wouldn’t help him win, he was determined to prove everyone wrong. And that’s exactly what he did.

How Did He Become a Blackjack Pro?

Over his lengthy blackjack career, Bryce Carlson has rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in the game. He’s traded tips with Stanford Wong, Lawrence Revere, Ken Uston, Peter A. Griffin, Don Schlesinger and Arnold Snyder to name a few. It’s from these players that Carlson learned much of what he knows about how to play blackjack successfully, from card counting strategies to team play. Blackjack strategy and advanced card counting systems have played a huge part in Carlson’s success at the blackjack table. He considers camouflage to be his strongest area in blackjack.

But what does he mean by camouflage? Camouflage is a strategy adopted by professional blackjack players in order stay under the radar by appearing to be a recreational player. Casinos don’t often tolerate people who are likely to cost them a substantial amount of money, so pro blackjack players have to conceal their skills. Card counting must be inconspicuous. Camouflage is about knowing when to win and which hands to sacrifice, by knowing exactly how much money you’ll gain or lose when you do, in order to keep your edge over the house.

Carlson started playing blackjack in land-based casinos, but the explosion of online blackjack in the 90s led him into the world of virtual blackjack as well. He then became a frequent user of online blackjack websites. He’d even gather other famous blackjack players from across the globe at online casinos so they could play together. The online casino provided the perfect setting to practice playing blackjack and put blackjack strategy to the test at his own convenience. Carlson still plays online blackjack from time to time, but usually under a pseudonym to avoid attention.

Carlson also learned how to master the game from books written by world-famous blackjack players, such as Beat the Dealer by Edward O. Thorpe and Million Dollar Blackjack by Ken Uston. He then went on to write his own, titled Blackjack For Blood.

Blackjack For Blood

First published in 2001, Blackjack For Blood is widely considered one of the most comprehensive books on blackjack out there. It’s designed for readers who know little to nothing about blackjack, explaining the very basics of the game. It then progresses into handy tips and clever strategies to help create world-class players like Bryce Carlson himself. It’s in this book that Carlson introduces the Advanced Omega II system for card counting. Adopted by many professional blackjack players, the Advanced Omega II system is complex and considered one of the most powerful card counting systems in existence. You’ve probably heard of card counting as a strategy, but Carlson claims that the system he developed is one of the most accurate - meaning it can result in some huge wins and revolutionise the way you play blackjack. In addition to this clever system, Carlson also developed his own blackjack computer software system, named the Omega II Blackjack Machine. This software is designed to count cards for you, using the system Carlson established. The blackjack machine Carlson created is explained further in Blackjack For Blood.

Blackjack For Blood offers the chance to get inside the mind of one of the best blackjack players in the world. Bryce Carlson contributed a lot to blackjack strategy, which is all detailed in the pages of his book.

Sharpen Your Skills

It’s clear that Bryce Carlson is one of the most prominent and influential players on the blackjack scene. Proving that the impossible is in fact possible, he’s implemented complex blackjack strategies and beaten the dealer time and time again.

Want to know how to take your blackjack skills to the next level? Read our How to Play Blackjack guide to get to grips with the basics and learn all the ins and outs of the game. Then check out our Blackjack Strategy blog, where you can learn about basic blackjack strategies that’ll arm you with the knowledge you need to become a more skilful player.

Bryce Carlson himself has often taken a seat at the online blackjack table, and it's the perfect place to get to grips with the game. Play against a live dealer and six other players in Live Blackjack, or if simulated blackjack is more your thing then Blackjack: Perfect Pairs is the game for you. Whatever your preference, head on down to the best casino where you can make your move.

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