An inductee in the Blackjack Hall of Fame, Keith Taft had an amazing influence on the world of modern blackjack. Not only was he a successful blackjack player, but he also contributed to the world of blackjack with his work creating hi-tech ways to beat the game of blackjack.
Taft built the first blackjack computer in 1970s – it was a 15 pound piece of equipment that could compute perfect blackjack strategy. Over the next years, Taft worked on building more devices, including strategy calculating machines that weighted as little as a few ounces, camera belts that peeked at dealer’s hole cards and more.
Using computer-based devices and gadgets, Taft put together a card counting team with pro player Ken Uston. Their team had an 80% success rate and won more than $100,000 within five weeks. However, the team was eventually busted and all of their electronic devices were discovered. Charges were dropped when the FBI claimed that the equipment was not cheating devices. However, today strategy-aiding gadgets are not allowed in casinos.
Despite the fact that Taft’s blackjack computers are no longer allowed in casinos, his impact on the world of blackjack was unforgettable.