Julian Braun has contributed more to the game of blackjack than any professional player. He was admitted to the Blackjack Hall of Fame, though he was never a professional blackjack player himself. Rather, Braun was an IBM computer programmer with an interest for blackjack strategy.
Julian Braun initially became interested in blackjack strategy after reading Edward O. Thorp‘s book, Beat the Dealer. He contacted Thorp and asked him for a copy of his computer program. He then used his knowledge of computer programming, gleaned from his work at IBM, to improve upon Thorp’s blackjack strategies. He developed simpler, more accurate versions of the Hi-Lo Blackjack strategies and Basic blackjack strategy. Braun’s updated strategies were published in the revised addition of Thorp’s Beat the Dealer in 1966.
Braun continued to work on blackjack card counting methods and he was published in a number of other popular blackjack books, including Revere’s Playing Blackjack as a Business, and Humble’s The World’s Greatest Blackjack Book. He published his own book, How to Play Winning Blackjack, in 1980. Many blackjack books offer insider information and experiential stories from pro blackjack players. Braun’s book, however, focuses on the nitty-gritty of counting cards and the mathematics and logic of gambling strategy.
Although Braun never played blackjack professionally, he has contributed a huge amount to the world of casino blackjack.