The Uston Advanced Count Systems

Blackjack Hall of Fame member Ken Uston developed the Uston Advanced Point Count and a variation called the Uston Advanced Plus Minus Count. Both are published in his book Million Dollar Blackjack. Ken was a legendary Blackjack player who was barred from playing at most of the casinos in the USA. Ken won vast sums of money using the Uston Advanced Count and Uston Advanced Plus Minus Count while in disguise at casinos that had previously banned him. In 1982 the New Jersey Supreme Court sided with Ken in his suit against a local casino that had banned him from playing Blackjack there. There are three popular and highly accurate count systems attributed to Ken Uston; the Uston Advanced Point Count, the Uston Advanced Plus Minus Count and the Uston SS Count. In this article I will cover both of Ken Uston’s advanced card counting systems. The SS Count was designed to be less complicated, but there are other equally simple methods out there that are more accurate like the KO System, so I will leave that method out.

How To Use The Uston Advanced Point Count Blackjack System

The Uston Advanced Point Count isn’t too difficult despite its name. You will keep a running count of the used cards based on the chart below. It is certainly more difficult than card counting methods that only use plus and minus 1’s but this should be a problem to most players.

uston advanced point count

This count method requires the user to calculate a true count. To do this you divide your running count by how many decks you think are left in the shoe. The Uston Advanced Count does not give a value to Aces so you should keep a side count. This can be hard to do while playing Blackjack at a casino. Dealers are trained to play as many hands as possible. I’ve even heard that dealers that maintain a high hands/hour rate receive bonuses. The point is that keeping a running count, an Aces side count, estimating the number of decks left in the shoe and calculating the true count may be beyond the abilities of some players, especially inexperienced card counters. You will also need to estimate the number of decks remaining in the shoe in order to make use of the side count for Aces.

If you are playing at a table that uses six decks and you are about halfway through 12 Aces should have been played which leaves 12 remaining. If only 10 have been played that means that you have a slight advantage. If 14 have been played that puts you at a slight disadvantage. By itself this knowledge isn’t very valuable but when you combine it with the true count you can strategically increase your bet. Whenever the true count is positive you should make larger bets. You can base the exact size of the increase on the true count and the Aces side count.

How To Use The Uston Advanced Plus Minus Count Blackjack System

Since the Uston Advanced Point Count is a little too complicate for some people Uston also created simpler method called the Uston Advanced Plus-Minus Count. This card counting method is based on the Edward Thorp’s Hi Lo Count. The only tangible difference is that Uston’s count system values 7’s at +1 while Thorp’s system does not give sevens a value at all. This may seem like a small change, but it is why the Uston Plus Minus Count is unbalanced. If you counted every card in a single deck, or several decks, the last card will put your running count at zero in a balanced count method. This is not true for unbalanced systems like the Uston Plus-Minus Count. Here is a card value chart that you will use for your running count using this method.

uston advanced plus-minus count

The running count with this system will need to be divided by the number of decks that are left in the shoe. The result will give you the true count which you will use to determine if there is a player friendly advantage in the remaining cards.