The story of Don Johnson is one of the most incredible and recent in the world of gambling. He has managed to accomplish a feat so far seen only in theaters and books. According to The Atlantic, he won $15 million in five months at three casinos in Atlantic City just playing Blackjack.
Between December 2010 and April 2011, Johnson earned $4.23 million at Caesars Atlantic City, about $998,000 at the Borgata Hotel & Casino, then $1.8 million and $2.25 million again at these casinos. But his best performance was in April 2011 at the Tropicana casino, for which he earned $5.8 million in less than 12 hours of play.
Johnson single-handedly left the Tropicana in the red that month. In 33 years, it was the sixth time a casino in Atlantic City had lost so much money on Blackjack in a single month. According to the Las Vegas Sun, the employee of the establishment who authorized the high limit of $100,000 per round was fired (although the casino manager denied that Johnson’s gain was the reason for the dismissal).
In the beginning, by the New Jersey casinos, he was recognized as a “good loser.” Of those players that all casinos want and that cradle, offering “advantages” such as: from a percentage of the actual losses, usually 10%, passing to the use of private jet and nights in the most prestigious suites. And incredibly, it is precisely these points that Johnson exploited to win at the Blackjack tables.
In 2011, Atlantic City casinos had a hard time finding players of this type. Marketing managers, as a rule, offer the possibility of dealing with the conditions of the players themselves. Don Johnson, taking advantage of his reputation as a poor player in his negotiation, discussed the terms of his plays. Before doing so, he said he had spoken to mathematical experts about the game to know what conditions to push the most.
All this has led the good Don to sit at the tables with the odds at 50% against the dealer, basically taking away from the Casino’s long-term advantage against this type of player. It is assumed that the negligence of those who contracted on behalf of the gaming companies was repaid with a dismissal.
In his interview, three years after the incident, Don Johnson revealed the advantages that led him to success: “First I got $50,000 of free chips and a 20% discount on losses. I got the chance to bet up to $25,000 on three hands, to double any starting hand, split up to four times, and for the dealer to stop on the soft 17. Finally, I did accept some unconventional signs during the game phases, such as calling card or declaring oneself served, and in the event of a dealer error I would have automatically won the hand.”
Therefore, the basis of the game provided for a game at 50-50%, and for every dollar wagered in reality, he was playing only 80 cents, not bad as conditions! Using 20% of the Casino’s money was too much of an advantage, which meant that Johnson set up an aggressive game that soon proved to be a winner.