Ken Uston was one of the most colorful and influential people in the history of the game of Blackjack. He and his teams were famous for making money from the casinos by counting cards, using computers, etc.. He was personally famous for the depth and intensity of his legal challenges of the casinos’ perceived right to exclude he and his teammates from playing there. This book is a collection of his several times a year newsletters which primarily chronicle his legal battles against the casinos of Atlantic City, NJ in an attempt to restore his right to play Blackjack during the early 1980s.
The book is simply the binding of all 13 of these newsletters into a single volume, with a forward describing the conditions of the time, a reprint of his paper Does the Gaming Industry Have (or Need) a Conscience? and his tongue-in-cheek predictions about the future of the game of Blackjack. Aside from the story of the legal battles, these newsletters contained information on the current Blackjack conditions in the Atlantic City casinos and elsewhere, casino countermeasures and general casino news, the use of computers to beat Blackjack, various rules and special offers of interest to Blackjack players, etc.. Much of this information was valuable at the time, but is merely of minor historical note now. However, the story of his legal battles is of serious historical significance in this history of Blackjack and casino gambling in general.
No attempt has been made to re-edit his newsletters, correct typos or clean up the low budget presentation. He alternates between single and double spacing and the whole book runs about 110 8 1/2 by 11 inch pages, so there’s plenty of information, especially for the price. I paid about $4.00 for my copy.
Will this collection make you a better Blackjack ligaz11 player? Probably not. There’s very little information here on how to play the game. Primarily, Uston is updated interested readers on how his crusade is proceeding. Is it worth reading? Well that depends. If you’re fascinated by the development of Blackjack as a game since the widespread publicizing of card counting methods, this is a very important piece of that history, at a reasonable price. If not, there’s not much here for you.
Finding this book can be difficult. The only place I know where one may obtain this volume is through the Gambler’s Book Club in Las Vegas. I also strongly suspect this volume is out of print, so if you want to own this piece of history, you should probably not wait too long before ordering.
This is a binding of Uston’s Newsletter on Blackjack which he published between 1979 and 1981. This volume provides a detailed look into his legal battles with the casinos of Atlantic City at a reasonable price. As a piece of Blackjack history, I recommend it. As an example of a fine editing/publication job or as a book on improving one’s Blackjack play, I can’t recommend it.