Michael Shackleford is known as the Wizard of Odds. He is one of the most well known and successful advantage players in history. The website he created, Wizardofodds.com is the most comprehensive collection of gambling odds information on the Internet. There is information for beginning players, such as blackjack or video poker strategy, as well as advanced math computations to explain each and every move and why it is the correct play.
If you have ever seen a blackjack strategy card at a table, a casino gift shop or on a website, it was probably created by Michael Shackleford. He also created the proper play for every video poker game available in the world, as well as a variety of proprietary table games.
Wizard of Odds launched his website in 1997. This was not the first website of his. He started it all in 1995 with a probability website known as “Shack’s Math Problems”. Most of the questions were gaming related. This was the inspiration for launching one of the most important gaming portals in the history of the Internet.
In addition to the websites, Shackleford wrote the book Gambling 102. He is also a gaming consultant. Game inventors need a math expert with a gaming background to check the odds of games. He is the perfect choice for this type of vetting for new games. Shackleford can also be credited as the creator of many online casino games. He has been featured on numerous Las Vegas and gambling related television shows.
Shackleford did not always work in the gaming industry. He started out as an actuary. He started out with the Social Security Administration in Baltimore estimating costs and benefits of policy changes. One of his favorite job duties at the Social Security Administration was creating a list of the most popular baby names in the country. This information was compiled from Social Security card applications for newborns in the country. The lists he created were used by media and baby related industries. He left this position in 2000 to pursue full time employment in the gaming industry.
Before turning 21, Shackleford played poker, Acey-Deucy and Guts. Acey-Deucy is sometimes referred to as “Between the Sheets”. Players wager on whether the next card will fall between the existing two exposed cards. This is similar to the old game show known as Card Sharks. Guts is a match the pot game similar to poker.
Shackleford took on blackjack once he turned 21. He entered the blackjack realm using basic strategy. He eventually employed a card counting technique to beat the game. This eventually got him backed off at several Las Vegas casinos. Those that still allow him to play often refuse to give him comps or free play. He describes this as “DNI”, short for do not invite. This basically means that he does not get mailers or anything else that encourages him to give action to the casino.