Former Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan is one of the most famous sports stars who absolutely loves to gamble. Famously, he bets on everything from quarters to golf.
When he’s in a casino, Michael Jordan’s game is blackjack. Heck, he loves playing cards so much that he used to play with teammates outside of casinos.
The Hall of Fame basketball player is so competitive that betting limits don’t matter. Much like when he played basketball, Jordan is ultra-competitive when gambling.
Gambling Is A Competition For Michael Jordan
Michael Jordan would play blackjack games for tens of thousands inside casinos. He’d also play for just a few dollars per game just so he could one-up teammates.
Michael Jordan’s gambling antics aren’t new. Jordan has been a known gambler for as long as he’s been in the public eye.
Over the years Jordan has said that he doesn’t have a gambling problem. He says “I have a competition problem”.
In this way, Michael Jordan is like many recreational blackjack players. Winning money is great and usually a goal. Beating the casino and earning the money is just as enjoyable for many.
Jordan’s competitiveness when gambling goes beyond the casino.
Sometimes Blackjack Isn’t About The Money
I don’t wanna be like Mike when it comes to gambling but I am.
My gambling entertainment budget is expendable income. It’s okay to walk away without winning. I rarely go beyond my gambling budget.
Sure, I want to win money but half of the fun for me is beating the casino or friends while I’m gambling.
There are the reasons I’ve studied blackjack basic strategy. I want to give myself a chance to a) win money and b) beat the casino in whatever way I can and for whatever amounts my budget allows.
Minimizing the house edge for the casino helps me play longer. This gives me a better chance to hit a hot streak and win. It also allows more time for gambling which is fun.
Having said that, I’m not nearly as competitive against my friends and coworkers as Jordan. Competition burns so deep with this man that he would play cards with teammates for just $1 so he had a leg up against them.
I like beating my friends as much as the next person. That said, I want their money too.
Jordan Is Still A High Roller
Let’s not get it twisted. Michael Jordan has been a rich man for years. When he’s in the casino, Jordan has always been a high roller.
Former Chicago Cubs star Mark Grace recently shared a tale of seeing Michael Jordan at a riverboat casino playing blackjack.
Jordan was playing alone in a casino with approximately 70 empty tables. He wasn’t playing big to show off how much money he has.
Jordan was just playing blackjack by himself and for himself. Grace shared the following about watching Jordan play blackjack:
“I watched him play about 20 hands, and if he played 20 hands he probably won 18 of them.”
Cool, many of us have had good streaks playing blackjack. However, few of us have done it at the same limits as Jordan. Grace continued:
“(H)e’s got stacks of – I think 50s and 100s [chips] are really, really good – and he’s got colors I’ve never seen before.” He’s got aqua marine and he’s got all of these colors and there are stacks of thousands, five-thousands, ten-thousands, stacks of them.”
“And he’s putting thousands upon thousands of dollars, big stacks of chips, anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 a hand, and he’s winning.”
The segment ends with Grace saying “Man it must be good to be the king.”
Sure, it’s good to be rich but the stakes are relative when it comes to competition. Playing against the casino offers a different kind of competition for Jordan.
I look at his $10,000 or $50,000 hands may equal my $25 bets. We both have a similar feeling about beating the casino and doing so within our personal budgets.
Having said that, I understand why Grace wouldn’t want to push out small double-digit bets while sitting next to someone dropping five-figure bets.