We debate card counting, counting cards in blackjack, mathematics, Ken Uston, basic strategy.

Blackjack, Mathematics, Card Counting, Basic Strategy, Ken Uston on CBS 60 Minutes

Blackjack card counting, counting cards with Ken Uston, Edward Thorp book 'Beat the dealer'.

Posted by Mr. T ("Chip") on August 15, 2000; later updates.

I read with great interest your opinions on Ken Uston and Edward Thorp. I am a former professional card counter but I currently make my living at the baccarat tables (with great success). Some of what you say has some reality to it regarding Ken Uston. But, for the most part you're off base. He did work for the casino at the end of his life, but not for the reasons you imply. I witnessed Kenny play many, many times. He was simply the greatest. Whatever point you are making about John Scarne would seem to be moot since he has long been deceased and can't possibly know what anyone including Thorp has done since.

But, despite that, everyone can only agree that Uston was named Blackjack Player of the Century by Blackjack Confidential Magazine. His playing ability was highlighted in a segment of CBS's 60 Minutes with Harry Reasoner sitting next to him at Caesar's in Atlantic City and watching him kill them on national television. It was mainly due to Thorp and Uston that the casino industry changed the rules of the game of blackjack. I was there the day they changed the game following a court decision. It can be related to the Wilt Chamberlain effect on basketball by having the lanes widened due to him.

So I suggest you keep those things in mind and respect them until such time as you are named lottery and/or roulette player of the century or have the rules of those games changed due to your impact upon them.

Good luck with your numbers.

Blackjack card counting system by Ken Uston does NOT work – it is a legend.

Read mathematical analysis of casino blackjack card counting, legend and blackjack mathematics.

Blackjack: Software, Content, Resources, Systems, Basic Strategy And Card Counting.
See a comprehensive directory of the pages and materials on the subject of blackjack, baccarat, software, systems, and basic strategy.

Of major interest: Blackjack; Charts & Tables, Probability, Odds, Software.

  • Blackjack Split Pairs Strategy Table.
    Color-coded chart to learn the best Split Pairs strategy. When you get your first two cards, look at this chart first. The pairs occur the least in a blackjack game. If your hand is not a pair, move to the next card (spreadsheet): Double Down.
  • Blackjack Double Down Strategy Chart.
    Color-coded chart to learn the best Double Down strategy. After consulting the Split Pairs table, look next at this table. The Double Down situations occur more often than pairs at blackjack. If your hand is not a Double Down situation, move to the next chart: Hit or Stand.
  • Blackjack Hit / Stand Strategy Card.
    Color-coded chart to learn the best Hit or Stand strategy. After consulting the Double Down card, finally look at this chart. The Hit or Stand decisions are by far the most frequent and important situations in blackjack.
  • Basic Strategy Chart for Multiple Deck Blackjack.
    The traditional method of learning the BJ basic strategy: all decisions in a table. The dealer up-card is listed across (horizontally), while the player's first two cards are listed vertically in the leftmost column. For example, dealer's face-card is 5. Player's first two cards: A+4; the right move: D (double-down). It makes it somehow more difficult to learn the best blackjack decisions accurately and quickly.

  • Blackjack Basic Strategy Charts: Split, Double Down, Hit
    All three color-coded charts in one file, in the best decision-making sequence: Split Pairs, to Double Down, to Hit or Stand.

    Edward Thorp tried to write blackjack math with card counting, counting cards.


    Read an analysis of card counting at casino blackjack and the legend of Ken Uston.

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    Ken Uston was just a legend of blackjack, even though he appeared on CBS 60 Minutes.