Players of poker, blackjack, and other card games have created incredible world records and unbelievable facts. Record wins are always impressive, and the famous card games blackjack and poker have thrown up some surprises that have rocked the gambling world. Sure, many players have lost over the years, but there have also been lots of lucky winners. In reality, many of the bigger wins aren’t publicized, forever remaining a secret between player and dealer. It is especially true for big wins when there wasn’t an internet, smartphone or social media.

Don Johnson Wins US$15 Million

Don Johnson’s US$15 million bonanza win in 2011 is a record that set the gambling world on fire. The CEO of Heritage Development LLC company Don Johnson went on an incredible winning streak that lasted from December 2010 to April 2011, netting him a cool $15.1 million playing blackjack at several Atlantic City casinos. The successful blackjack player started his winning streak with a $4.23 million win at Caesars Atlantic City. He followed that up with almost $1 million at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa. He struck lucky again with a $1.8 million and a $2.25 million at the Borgata once again over two nights. His final win was $5.8 million at the Tropicana Casino. How did he manage that? He claims he never resorted to counting cards or any other techniques. He merely took advantage of favourable house rules, winning more as he played on. In an interview, Johnson mentioned that he negotiated discounts on his losses to keep him playing longer, and it undoubtedly paid off big time!

Kerry Packer Wins US$20 Million in 40 Minutes

Kerry Packer managed the unlikely win of $20 million by visiting Las Vegas whenever he was on holiday. Returning in 1995, after many previous visits, he reportedly played eight blackjack hands simultaneously on many tables at the Las Vegas MGM Grand. With bets of $250,000 per hand, he managed winning hands for twenty hands in a row. Within 40 minutes of play, Packer finished his winning session by cashing out a cool $20 million. He allegedly left $1 million behind in tips for the dealers!

First And Largest Online Poker Tournaments

Planet Poker wins the award for hosting the very first online poker tournament for cash in the 90s. The site no longer hosts poker tournaments or games; however, the website still helps online poker players better understand poker rules. The Guinness World Records lists PokerStars as holding the largest online poker tournament, which still stands today. The online event took place in October 2015 in the United Kingdom. There were over 250,000 players who participated in the competition, with a total of 470 hands played. Simon Grabenschweiger from Austria was the overall winner, using his nom-de-plume DaDumon. He bagged $10,000 in prize money, and his name went down in history for that feat.

Youngest World Poker Series Winner

Joe Cada was the youngest person to win the World Poker Series at the tender age of 21 years, 357 days. He claimed the major prize for the main event of the World Series in 2009, according to the Guinness Book of Records. He defeated Jeff Shulman and Phil Ivey in the last game and became famous during the event, featuring in the Detroit News in 2018 and still plays professional poker today.

Record Poker Tournament Prize Money

Antonio Esfandiari holds the enviable record of winning the most at a poker tournament. He set that record with an incredible $18.3 million prize. He made history in 2012 in Las Vegas, where he established the world record for the most considerable prize money at a poker tournament. He defeated no less than 47 professional and wealthy amateur poker players during the Big One For One Drop tournament. That ensured he won the biggest prize payout for any competition to date.

Craps Record Wins

Craps isn’t a card game and not quite as popular as poker or blackjack; nevertheless, a few players have managed to win big playing craps. They include Stanley Fujitake, who won over $1,000,000 in just 3 hours in May 1989, playing at the California Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He created the longest recorded Craps roll in history, rolling the dice 118 times before passing it on. The session became legendary in craps making a new name for the most significant players, Golden Arm. Casinos today see an average of one Golden Arm a month.

The lucky winners will also have their name mentioned in “The Golden Arm Club.” Fujitake won the Golden Arm award no less than four times! Since most winners prefer to remain anonymous, many big wins go unreported. The former owner of the Golden Nugget, Las Vegas, Tom Breitling, told the tale of a mysterious Mr. Royalty. He was a member of a royal family in Europe and racked up $4.7 million in just six-hours at the Craps tables. Even more incredible is that he returned one week later, winning an additional $1.5m!


The history books are full of incredible records achieved playing card games and winning astonishing cash prizes. Online wins have been equally impressive, with more players turning to video poker, online blackjack, roulette, and craps. Poker rooms and tournaments online attract numerous players, from amateurs to professionals. Playing poker online can be financially rewarding, although not on the scale of millions of dollars. Instead, you can make regular wins, find poker rooms with inexperienced players and make a killing! No doubt, there will be more exciting records to look forward to as poker, blackjack, and other games become more popular online. Land casinos are slightly less appealing in these days of social distancing, and online casinos and poker sites are mushrooming to fill the vacuum!