Over the years several individuals have been considered to be very important blackjack figures due to their achievements in the field and because of their contribution to the game. Tommy Hyland is one such individual who has been considered a respected figure in the blackjack circles.
Who is He?
Tommy Hyland is a well known blackjack card counter in blackjack. He had also been the manager of one of the longest running card counting team in the history of blackjack since 1979. He had started his blackjack career in 1979 after he read the book Playing Blackjack as a Business.
Tommy Hyland had been inspired by the book and put together a team of four players with a bankroll of $12,000. The team set off to play at the casinos in Atlantic City. The team used the early surrender rule which gave players an added edge. In just a few months the team built up a massive bank and earned profits of more than $50,000.
After a while, the conditions deteriorated for the team in the Atlantic City casinos and many team members travelled to Asia to play in the casinos there. However, Tommy Hyland stayed back in the city and recruited old friends to make up a new team. Tommy had used various techniques like ace sequencing, shuffle tracking and others which allowed the players to have an edge over the house while it made it difficult for the casino staff to detect them.
However, many members of the team had been arrested in 1994 for ace sequencing in a Canada casino. Three casinos in Las Vegas were known to have influenced the authorities in Canada, Windsor to charge the players for cheating. The case was known to be an attempt by professional gamblers to make it legal to count cards. The judge for the case made a decision based on the testimony of expert Arnold Snyder that the players had not cheated but had only used skills and strategies to win at the game.
It is quite unusual for blackjack teams to last for such a long period. In most cases teams fall apart due to the pressure and heat from the casinos. Many of the members of the team acknowledge the role of Hyland for the longevity of the team. It was his knowledge about the game and his ability to gain trust and loyalty of the team members that worked so well for him.
Tommy Hyland was among the first seven individuals who were inducted in the Blackjack Hall of Fame.