Ken Uston


Ken Uston was born in New York and at sixteen he attended Yale University. He first became fascinated with the game and the strategies used after he met a noted gambler Al Francesco at a poker game. Francesco had just introduced his own card counting team that had been operating on the big player concept, the first ever of its type.

Ken Uston was then recruited to be one of the main players in his team. On his first ever five day trip to the casino, the team won $44,000. Uston had been a card counter for two months and was then made a Big Player.

Own Blackjack Team

In 1978 Ken Uston moved to Atlantic City and formed his own team of blackjack players. However, he was soon barred from many casinos in the city. After he was barred he filed a lawsuit against the casinos stating that skilled players cannot be banned by casinos. In this high profile case the New Jersey court ruled that casinos cannot bar casinos just for using their skills at the game. This was considered to be the biggest victory among the card counters.

However, the casinos then began to take other measures for decreasing the odds of the players by methods of adding more decks and frequently shuffling. Ken Uston is known for his famous book, The Big Player, which he had co written with Roger Rapoport.

Master of Disguise

Uston was without a team of his own and he soon adopted a new method of using disguises for hiding his identity in order to continue playing. He was known for his flamboyant and aggressive style of playing. Ken Uston is known to be a genius of disguises by fellow card counters.

Ken Uston also wrote another book, Million Dollar Blackjack. The book includes various details about the techniques used by blackjack players for gaining an added advantage at blackjack. Since then Ken Uston has also written several other books on computer gaming and on various other topics.


Ken Uston died in Paris, France in 1987 because of heart failure.

Ken Uston is considered to be one of the best card counters of all times in the field of blackjack.

MIT Techniques

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