Blackjack Hero - Kevin Blackwood - Blackjack Apprenticeship

Blackjack Hero – Kevin Blackwood


Biography of Kevin Blackwood

Kevin BlackwoodKevin Blackwood is a professional blackjack player, card counter and author who is famous for his best-selling book Play Blackjack Like the Pros. He has played in the World Series of Blackjack and the Ultimate Blackjack Tour.

Born in the state of Maine, Kevin Blackwood had humble beginnings as he was brought up in a very conservative devout-Baptist background for nearly two decades. Upon traveling off to college, and transferring a few times to different universities, Kevin was able to successfully complete his undergraduate and masters degree by the year of 1981. Kevin then enrolled in a Ph.D program to continue to work towards his doctorate degree, as he was planning on either teaching Church History as a professor or venturing off into the ministry field. It was at this time that he began reading about card counting wherein his life was changed drastically.

While reading an article in Sports Illustrated about a “new breed of gamblers”, Kevin became fascinated with the idea of a new and innovative generation of gamblers who played by the science of gambling using mathematics, thereby breaking the old stereotype of the “good ‘ol boy” blackjack player. As someone who had a mathematical background, Kevin knew that this was something that he could seriously pursue successfully with the right amount of time and training. “They weren’t gambling in a true sense,” stated Blackwood, “They were using their aptitude in a way to turn the tables on Las Vegas.”

In the early ‘80’s –right after marriage –Blackwood began training in Oregon and Washington in local taverns for many months insofar it was a sterile environment away from more serious places in Nevada. It was here that Kevin began to track meticulous records of his fiscal earnings and losses, and built up his bankroll before he took his newfound skills to big-time casinos in Vegas. Nevertheless, after decades of black jack as a professional card counter, Kevin decided to shift into semi-retirement and begin to convey to others some of his legacy and creativity through the power of the pen.

Kevin’s first book, a novel, entitled The Counter was written with many autobiographical themes throughout the book including his religious upbringing. Published in 2002, it tracks the story of Raven Townsend and his desire to become a millionaire blackjack player. His second book, Play Blackjack like the Pros, was published by Harper Collins in 2005, and is a basic guide and instructional book on how to become a successful blackjack player. Kevin’s third book, Casino Gambling for Dummies, steps away from the blackjack themes and covers the basic ins and outs of the casino life and how to become victorious at various games therefrom. Kevin’s most recent book, The Legends of Blackjack, was published as an e-book, and is replete with numerous stories of many of the blackjack giants.

Blackwood now currently resides in Oregon with his wife, two sons, and cat.


[1] Sports Illustrated, “Youth Can Age You,” May 14, 1979

[2] Kevin Blackwood, (On Blackjack), interview by Colin Jones, Blackjack, Podcast Audio, , May 7, 2013,

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