The Story of Ken Uston

October 31st, 2007 1:44 am EST

newspaper article photo cutout about Ken Uston the worlds most famous blackjack player - card counterKen Uston (January 12, 1935 - September 19,1987) was a scholar, businessman and a weekend casino warrior. Blackjack dealers around the world would describe him as a genius card counter.

At the age of 16 he was accepted to Yale, did his MBA at Harvard and went on to become a successful businessman ending up as a Senior Vice-President at the Pacific Stock Exchange. If you were looking for Ken Uston on the weekend, you could be sure to find him at a casino playing his favorite game of blackjack.

During the 1970's Ken Uston was known for perfecting team card counting techniques in casinos around the world, earning himself millions of dollars. Some bets he placed on a single card were as high as $12,000. It didn't take long until Ken Uston was banned from casinos where he did his magic. This didn't stop him. Ken Uston was not only a genius blackjack player, but also a master of disguises. He would conceal his identity by wearing different costumes and still be taking the casinos for their money. He had created several hilarious personas that he played to perfection.

ken uston and his disguises

Ken Uston filed a high-profile lawsuit against the casinos arguing that a person should not be banned from a casino strictly for counting cards. After the New Jersey court ruled in his favor, many casinos were forced to change their rules and increase the house edge by increasing the number of decks in the game etc.

Ken Uston wrote dozens of books about computers, blackjack and video games. Some of our favorite titles are Mastering PAC-MAN, Ken Uston's Illustrated Guide to Commodore 64 and Million Dollar Blackjack.

Ken Uston's heart failed at the age of 52, and he was found dead in his rented apartment in Paris, France.