World’s Most Famous Card Counters

Each casino game is designed in such a way that the odds are in favour of the house rather than the players. Nowadays, millions of players from all around the world resort in playing popular Blackjack games especially online Blackjack and Live Blackjack, but only a short number of them manage to beat the casinos. Renowned players from all around the world have to use several strategies to tip the advantage towards them and card counting was the most popular of all of them. From Ben Affleck to Ken Uston, many players have mastered the art of card counting with time, skill and patience. Let us look at some of the most popular Blackjack card counters in history and how they went on to become celebrities within the gambling community. Check them out

Ken Uston

Perhaps the most influential card counter of all, Ken Uston has appeared in a number of TV shows before his death in 1987. Due to this, he was popular beyond the gambling community and among the regular public. He successfully won millions of dollars in Blackjack by putting together a couple of counting teams from all over the world during the 1970s. He is known to popularize the theory of team play for card counting and was the main reason why casino adjusted some blackjack rules to negate the advantage of a skilled player.

He was banned from many casinos over the course of the years and later in 1979, he decided to file a lawsuit against one of them. His basis for the lawsuit against Resorts International Hotel was that a casino cannot ban a player simply for becoming skilled at a particular game. The court agreed and to this day, the casino is barred from banning any card counters that come into the casino. After this, casinos all over the world started to increase their shuffling frequencies and decks to make it harder for card counters to succeed in their technique.

Edward Thorp

One of the first person to show how card counting can be used against the house, Edward Thorp is popular within the gambling community literally because he wrote a book about it. In 1962, he wrote down about card counting and detailed his experience with not only mathematical notations but also probabilities. He was the first man to use a computer, particularly the IBM 704, to learn more about card counting and how he can change the odds. He was also the first to show how technology can assist in betting games.

Tommy Hyland

Tommy Hyland went on to win thousands of dollars by managing his own Blackjack card counting team since 1979. The members of the team were selected and vetted carefully and went on to become one of the longest-running Blackjack card counting team in the world. It is speculated that Hyland expected his team members to maintain a certain level of loyalty, trust and respect within them which helped them to deliver positive and prosperous results. He went on to change his team members over the years, but despite this, he continues to be one of the most renowned card counters in the history of gambling.

Ben Affleck

Card counting is not illegal. But, you won’t find any casino who approves it. Ben Affleck, renowned within the Hollywood community recently came in the gambling news highlights when he was banned from casinos for using card counting techniques. He was not banned from using Blackjack strategy but was banned from playing at the Las Vegas casino as he was too good at that game. After he was accused of using advantage play in casinos, he was baned at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. later, the actor admitted that he took some time to learn the game and was infuriated when the casinos banned him after he got good at it.

Keith Taft

In 1970, this genius went on to building a portable computer that will assist him in betting casinos in Blackjack by helping him to card count. Although casinos barred players from carrying any electronic device into the game floor, there were no special laws in place that will prevent anyone from doing so. He came up with a method to hide the device from the casino staffs and used it to successfully win a huge amount at the casino. He improved and refined his inventions over time. Later, he was credited for groundbreaking technological inventions and was applauded for creating a device that was much advanced for its time. These inventions included capturing video using computers, peer to peer networking systems and building one of the world’s first microcomputers.

MIT Blackjack Team

One of the most renowned Blackjack team of all time, this team came under popularity after a movie was made about them named ‘21’. Author Ben Mezrich wrote a book, Bringing Down the House losing based on the MIT team which was brought to the silver screen as 21 starring Kevin Spacey. The team consisted of several students and ex-students of MIT, Harvard University and more. The MIT Team was managed by Harvard MBA graduate Bill Kaplan who went on to win a huge fortune between the 1980s and 1990s. Using advanced techniques and strategies, the team went on to showcase how they could beat the house through card counting.


Name: World’s Most Famous Card Counters
Author: Helen Stratford
Published Date: 07/06/2019