The History of Ken Uston

The fascinating story of Ken Uston is one that has been the inspiration for countless blackjack players all over the world. For some, it is fame, for others, it is money. And, of course, there are those who play for the sheer love of the game, and the desire to beat the casino on its own turf. The story of Ken Uston begins when he was a young, Jewish boy, graduating Magna cum laude from the prestigious Yale University. At the time, he was a financial genius and had job offers to wait for him. In time, he became the head of a New England telephone company and changed and improved it. Indeed, he showed his faculty for finances and mathematics at a very young age, and those abilities were to help him in what would, in time, make him the most famous blackjack player of all time.

He was always interested in the inherent mathematical possibilities that the game of blackjack but had never put his theories into practice until one day, he received a telephone call, while he was vice president of the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco. The call was from a scientist called Keith Taft. He had heard of Uston, and his impressive blackjack-winning records, and had in mind a plan for him. Uston met with Taft, who explained to him a computer program designed to count cards and thus win in ninety percent of all blackjack games played.

Ken Uston’s Card Counting Team
Soon Ken Uston and his team were earning thousands upon thousands of dollars each night in the casinos. It seemed there was no limit to the amounts that they could win. At first, the casinos loved their players, whom they perceived at first as money-spending suckers who would lose all their money. However, in time, when the pit bosses began to notice that things were not right, Ken Uston and his team moved to Lake Tahoe, where came their ruination. Uston sent his teams to the casinos armed with money, in order to make thousand-dollar bets. All at once, the pit bosses came upon them, stripped them of their equipment, and put them in jail. When the local police did not know what to make of the computers, they had them sent to the FBI. The FBI returned the machines and said that it was not indeed a cheating device at all. However, that did no help Ken Uston who received threats on his life and died soon after from a mixture of drugs, alcohol, and an unhealthy lifestyle.


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