Uston Advanced Point Count

Ken Uston was a notorious Blackjack player who gained huge notoriety during the 1970s when he successfully sued a group of casinos, managing to bring in a court ruling that card counting was neither cheating nor illegal, provided the only equipment a player uses to achieve it is their brain.

Uston is probably most well known for his participation in Team Counting, a group strategy in which a large number of counters hit a casino floor. They don’t play to win, but rather limp along simply watching the action. When a counter detects that the time is right, he signals a Big Player who comes over and places large bets. Since the behaviour of the Big Player appears erratic, the counters aren’t spotted.

As well as being a successful gambler, Uston was also a writer, and detailed an advanced strategy for card counting in his blackjack book “Million Dollar Blackjack”. This system, known as the Uston Advanced Point Count, can be used to give a savvy blackjack player the advantage over the House. When properly implemented, it allows players to manage their betting strategies in a way that maximises the amount of money they can win while simultaneously limiting their losses.

The Background Theory of the Uston Advanced Point Count

As you know, the aim of the game of blackjack is to gain a hand that’s worth as close to 21 points as possible without going bust or having the dealer beat you. If you can manage this, you usually double your money, but the problem is that you are required to place your bet in advance before the cards are dealt.

The only way to make serious money playing Blackjack, therefore, is to either be clairvoyant, or to develop a system that helps you predict what cards will be dealt. Ken Uston’s Advanced Point Count is one such system, and while it’s not the easiest approach for novice card counters, it is one of the more accurate out there.

The Mechanics of Advanced Point Count

Advanced Point Count functions in a very similar way to most other card counting systems. However, it adds multiple point levels that tend to give far greater accuracy, which is what makes the system so attractive.

The accuracy comes at a cost, though – you need to be able to do a lot of mental arithmetic very quickly while keeping a deadpan facial expression, since most casinos will eject you if they spot you attempting to deploy a card counting strategy. They can’t prosecute you, since card counting is not illegal, but they can certainly stop you playing.

Uston’s Advanced Point Count works by assigning points to different groups of cards in the deck (it ignores the suits). You maintain a running total in your head, and add to or subtract from this total, depending on what cards show up.

The 2 and 8 are +1. The 3, 4, 6 and 7 and +2. The 5 is +3. If a 9 appears, subtract 1. All 10s and Royals, subtract 3. The Ace is neutral, you can ignore it.

These values are added and subtracted from a running total kept in your head. Then when the running count is in the players favour, you should make larger wagers in order to maximize winnings when the deck is in your favour.

For an even more complex card counting system, try the Revere advanced point count system, though this is only recommended for professional card counters.