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Ken Uston is one of the most noticeable figures in black jack history who had made a really big input to blackjack's development: he was the professional blackjack gambler who used card counting and principles of team play in order to win blackjack; he was the author of bestselling blackjack books which revealed all blackjack secrets to newcomers; he had become the master of disguise after he was banned from all casinos for card counting; he was the author of some unique blackjack strategies (Uston APC system for example); he was the one who won the case against of Atlantic City casinos (Ken Uston proved the right of gamblers to use card counting at blackjack because it was not a method of blackjack cheating actually).

How everything started

Mr. Uston did not see himself being a pro blackjack player: he just liked this game and gambled it from time to time. He graduated from Yale and Harvard (he had degrees in Economics and Finance) and worked as a manager at the Southern New England Telephone Co.

Everything has changed when he met Al Francesco - the manager of a successful blackjack team of 1970s: Al Francesco noticed that Uston was very good at blackjack and invited him to become a member of his blackjack team. Ken Uston had been staying there for 3 years and was able to win really big money for the team; Al Francesco taught him everything concerning blackjack card counting and team play, and Uston decided to leave the team.

The Big Player

In 1977 Ken Uston publishes his first book The Big Player where he reveals all the secrets of Al Francesco's team work. The book becomes the bestseller, and Al Francesco faces many troubles because of that: his team was banned from all casinos for card counting, and his career of a big blackjack player ended.

Ken Uston becomes the manager of his own blackjack team which continues beating casinos out of millions; but nothing is endless, and Uston is also banned from casinos soon though he still plays and wins thanks to the disguise he uses.

Uston is also the author of the following books on the topic of blackjack:

  • Million Dollar Blackjack (1981)
  • One Third of a Shoe (1979)
  • Ken Uston on Blackjack (1986)

Mr. Uston is also the author of many computer and video guides on gambling topics. He died in 1987 because of heart attack when he was just 52. In 2002 Ken Uston became the initial member of the Blackjack Hall of Fame together with 6 other blackjack gurus.

One of his daughters (he has 3 children) leads the official website of Ken Uston where she tells true facts of his biography. To know more about the personality of this significant blackjack figure, read here.


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  • Online Blackjack

    Blackjack gained worldwide popularity and played in land casinos as well as online.

Being a highly popular casino game, no weird there exist lots of funny jokes about blackjack.

Blackjack Jokes