The Literary and Legal Life of James Grosjean


Some professional gamblers or experts are known for their skills and bravado, some for their in depth analysis and development of ground breaking strategies, and some are just renown for their ability to win and win. James Grosjean, a member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame, is a highly skilled player and author, but he is just as equally known for pursuing legal cases against the casinos that have harassed and prevented him from playing the games.

It is a long-standing conflict that exists between casinos and professional or “skilled” players. Since the very beginnings of legalized gambling there have been players with extraordinary abilities that were able to easily beat the “house” and win vast sums of money. As a way of combating these individuals casinos have fought long and hard to make it extremely difficult for such people to play their games of choice. The state of Nevada has set down fairly clear rules about a casino’s right to refuse service to anyone as long as they do not step outside of federal discrimination laws. In this way a casino can simply ask a talented professional to leave the premises, or refuse them entry into a competition or tournament.

James Grosjean has encountered more than his fair share of this behavior and has successfully taken several casinos and agencies to court over their behaviors and policies.

A successful mathematician and author of “Beyond Counting: Exploiting Casino Games from Blackjack to Video Poker”, Grosjean had enjoyed a professional career in tournament play, and sharing his findings, experiences and solutions with thousands of other players of all levels. However, beginning around the year 2000 he has been heavily involved in lawsuits against agents of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, several casinos and the famous Griffin Investigations.

His ultimate victory over the latter caused the group to declare bankruptcy in 2005 – which was an event celebrated by professional gamblers, and unfortunately by cheaters, everywhere. The Griffin group provided casinos and gambling establishments with detailed information about every advantage or skilled player, as well as any cheaters, on record. The term being “griffined” applied to professional players who made the pages of the publication and found themselves being turned away from all of the major casinos. Most took the Griffin findings to task because it simply lumped skilled individuals with those who had been caught cheating. The disappearance of the publication was not considered a loss by professional gamblers.

Grosjean was also forced to file lawsuits for being forcibly detained by security staff at one casino, and kept in a county jail for more than four days for a different situation. In one case Grosjean and a partner were accused of cheating, and in another Grosjean was simply on the premises of a casino where he could not enter into play. For both situations the jury found in favor of Grosjean and awarded him legal damages.

For his ongoing efforts to protect the legal rights of professional gamblers and for his incredible literary and mathematical achievements he was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame in the year 2006.