professional player and author who popularized the concept of team play.
Uston burst onto the scene in 1977 with the publication of The Big Player , co-authored with Roger Rapaport. In this book, Uston exposed the secrets of Al Francesco’s big player teams. The book caused a falling out between Al and Ken which lasted for years, as Al felt Ken had betrayed his trust as well as his teammates.
But there is no denying that this book caused an upheaval in the world of card counting, changing the ways that professionals looked at the game and attacked it. Three of the most successful international blackjack teams—the Tommy Hyland team, the MIT team, and the Czech team—all were founded in 1978, the year after Uston’s book was published.
Al and Ken later patched up their relationship and Uston went on to start many blackjack teams of his own. He was a personality on a grand scale, who legally challenged the casino industry in the courts of both New Jersey and Nevada. His playing career spanned two decades of play at the highest levels, and included card counting, BP teams, hole card techniques, and concealed computer play.
Ken was also the author of Two Books on Blackjack (1979), Million Dollar Blackjack (1981), and Ken Uston on Blackjack (1986).
Uston died in 1987 at the age of 52.