When you begin to ponder the biggest names in Blackjack gaming history, there’s no shame in admitting that it’s a relatively male-dominated list. With a whole host of male mathematicians, tournament tycoons, and even television stars filling up the infamous Blackjack hall of fame, you’re bound to be left wondering – what about the women?
Well, whilst there are no winning women listed in this particular hall of fame, there are in fact a lot of impressive players out there who just so happen to be female. So, when you log on to play Blackjack at Paddy Power games, why not take a bit of inspiration from some of these leading ladies who dominate the Blackjack scene?
Eleanor Dumont is recognized as the first-ever professional Blackjack player, regardless of her gender. In 1854, French-born Dumont moved to California to open her own Blackjack-only casino called Vingt-Et-Un, in honor of the game’s original name.
Dumont ran the casino almost single-handedly, introducing strict rules for those who chose to gamble under her roof. At first, her regulations were met with some resistance as she even removed players who used bad language or showed aggressive behaviour on her premises. Gradually, players grew used to her stern hand and began to oblige by her rules without hesitation.
Dumont was known to deal the cards for each game in her casino, as well as participating in a few games herself. From there, she made a name for herself as the best Blackjack player in California, dishing out Champagne regardless of the outcome of the game. Needless to say, she became very popular!
Fast forward to 2007 and the World Series of Blackjack took place in a specialised studio, broadcasting out to thousands of avid casino fans. One of the now-big names who participated in this event was Alice Walker, who wound up winning the event and pocketing a whopping $500,000 prize. Walker was winning tournaments way before the World Series, but arguably this is the competition that truly put her on the map.
Walker’s previous 2006 win at the National 3-card Poker Championship meant that her Blackjack win made her the first and only player to bag this double award. At this time, Walker was thought of as one of the top card players in the world, yet she was never awarded a spot in the Blackjack Hall of Fame. We’ll let you be the guess of why!
Here we have another astonishing female professional Blackjack player. Rather than chalking her success up to natural talent, Hardy admits to sheer determination being the key to her undeniable skills and earning her a place as one of the greatest players in the world.
She began by competing in lower league games to gain insight and experience, before branching out into higher profile events such as the Ultimate Blackjack Tour and the World Series of Blackjack, playing with an aggressive gambling style that spurred her on to finish with many wins under her belt.
So, there you have it. Although we may not hear or see as much about the impressive feats of female players, there’s certainly a lot to be said about women in Blackjack. Next stop – the hall of fame!