Ken Uston was one of the most infamous blackjack players, winning millions of dollars during his career as a professional blackjack player. Unlike some other blackjack professionals who had an interest in cards from a very young age, Ken Uston came into the game by pure accident while working at the San Francisco Stock Exchange.
One night, Uston decided he wanted to make a change in his life and went out to find himself. He met blackjack hall of famer Al Francesco, who introduced Uston to the world of blackjack. He then began to study the game of blackjack and card counting during his lunch breaks on the SF Stock Exchange. Once he was confident enough he headed for Las Vegas and quickly began winning big. He left his job and started playing blackjack full time.
Ken Uston put himself in the spotlight more than a lot of other professional blackjack players. He was known for playing hard and partying even harder. He also perfected card-counting techniques and popularized blackjack team play.
Because he became so recognizable as a blackjack professional and card counter he was banned from a number of casinos around the globe. He began disguising himself so that he could still play at the casinos he was banned from. He also filed a lawsuit against the casinos that banned him. The lawsuit resulted in many changes in the casino industry, including the addition of game rules that would make it harder for card counters and increase the house edge.
Over the course of his career, Uston wrote a number of blackjack books. The most successful of his books was Million Dollar Blackjack, which outlines a number of blackjack strategies including the Uston Advanced Plus/Minus Count and the Uston Advanced Point Count. His other books on blackjack include The Big Player, which he co-authored with Roger Rapaport, One Third of a Shoe [and] How You Can Win At Blackjack in Atlantic City, and Ken Uston on Blackjack.