Top Female Blackjack Players: Past and Present

Eleanore DumontBy Alicia Chung.

It’s no secret that males have historically dominated casinos, especially the card tables. But don’t let the days of yore fool you—women are winning high-stakes card games like never before. Blackjack isn’t just for the boys!

Women, both past and present, have left a legacy on the game that can’t be ignored. From the old Wild West to present-day Europe, these women have tried their hand at one of gambling’s most popular games and dominated. Learn more about the skilled players who subvert gender norms and give the men a run for their money at blackjack.

Eleanore Dumont

It’s unclear whether Eleanore Dumont was born in New Orleans or France, but this plucky individual arrived in Nevada City, California, in 1854 during the Gold Rush. With miners striking it rich across the state, Dumont was in the right place at just the right time for a skilled gambler—pockets were looser than ever as riches flowed in from gold panning operations.

She opened her own gambling parlor called Vingt-et-un, where she dealt blackjack and other casino games with aplomb. Dumont is considered one of the first professional blackjack players in American history and stayed on the scene for two decades. Although she played all over the American West and was known to be a fair dealer and fierce competitor, Dumont died of suicide in 1879 after losing a sizable amount of money in a gambling venture. She was nearly 50 years old.

Cathy “Cat” Hulbert

Cathy Hulbert1)For more information on Cathy Hulbert, check out the 25th Silver Anniversary of the Blackjack Ball, where Hulbert was elected to the Blackjack Hall of Fame. didn’t have much growing up. She left home at the age of 15 and worked in a soap factory in upstate New York until enrolling in college. Hulbert funded her own way through school and eventually got a job as an assistant for the Senate minority leader in New York State.

Her new employers tasked her with a research job regarding the legalization of gambling. This sparked Hulbert’s interest in card games, so she visited Las Vegas to decide if she supported legalization. There Hulbert took a blackjack dealing course, and the rest is history!

Hulbert quickly quit her job and moved to Las Vegas, where she met Ken Uston, a fellow famous blackjack player. Together they played across Europe. Hulbert was also a successful poker player and the only woman to be inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame. She wrote a book titled Outplaying the Boys: Poker Tips for Competitive Women. Hulbert passed away in late 2022 after a battle with cancer.

Alice Walker

Texan native Alice Walker got into blackjack around the age of 13. That early start paid off when she became the first woman to win the World Series of Blackjack in 2007. Walker bested 39 other players in the tournament and won first place—$500,000! Walker had been winning tournaments well before the World Series, but this major televised event caught the eye of thousands of fans. She also won the 2006 National 3-Card Poker Championship, making her the first and only player to win this double award.

Angie Hardy

A single mother of two, Angie Hardy started playing blackjack as a way to make some extra cash on the side. However, she was by no means an expert and had to work hard to win. Completely self-taught, Hardy’s determination helped her succeed and earned her the name “Mother Lioness” for her aggressive playing style.

Although Hardy initially played only through minor-league games, she was eventually invited to the Ultimate Blackjack Tour and participated in multiple World Series of Blackjack seasons. She lives in Colorado Springs with her two daughters.

Monica Reeves

Monica Reeves is a talented card player with brains and beauty. A professional blackjack and poker player from Oakville, Ontario, Canada, and a former model, Reeves started playing in 2005 with the help of famed expert poker player Jim Worth. Reeves spent a grueling nine months in training with Worth and began playing professionally shortly after.

Some of her accomplishments include placing in the top ten at the St. Maarten Spring Poker Showdown, 114th in the Aruba Poker Classic, and first during the Bellagio $1K event held in 2006. Reeves also appeared on the Ultimate Blackjack Tour, where she won the fourth preliminary tournament and came in second place in the all-women’s event. She is an endorsed pro on the Ultimate Blackjack Tour.

Erica Schoenberg

The parents of Schoenberg, who were born in Akron, Ohio, loved to play cards and bet on racehorses, so gambling must be in her blood. Showing a skill for numbers at a young age and winning math championships throughout high school, Schoenberg had a bright mind and grew into a successful adult competitor.

Both an adept poker and blackjack player, Schoenberg has competed in the World Series of Blackjack and the World Series of Poker. She’s also been on the Ultimate Blackjack Tour and World Poker Tour. In 2011, she married professional poker player Erick Lindgren, who were both regulars when it came to Las Vegas casinos and pretty much any online casino list.  Lindgren and Schoenberg divorced in 2014.



1For more information on Cathy Hulbert, check out the 25th Silver Anniversary of the Blackjack Ball, where Hulbert was elected to the Blackjack Hall of Fame.

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