Al Francesco

You will not be surprised to find that there are seven original members of the so called Blackjack Hall of Fame. One of them is Al Francesco. He is probably one of the most well-known blackjack players of all time. There are many things, which made Al really popular. One of them is the fact that he was one of the few players that introduced card counting as a normal thing for the players. Also, he was a fan of the team plays. One of his greatest discoveries was Ken Uston. He is a legend in blackjack, too and he is really prominent in USA

The Beginning

Al started playing cards, when he was only 19 years old. This is the time when he started dealing with gambling, too. Rummy was his first game of choice. However, the book called "Beat the Dealer" chanced his life entirely. He decided to try card counting and this is the point where his skills come in handy. He is natural talent of counting cards. He used the system Ten Count, which was introduced by Thorp. He studied it very well and because of that he started earning a lot of money really fast. His outstanding skills would put the dealer's skills to a test.


The casinos, when Al played, had only games with one deck. That's why it was relatively easy to count cards. However, his skills made some casino's bosses really angry and that's why he was forced to quit playing for some time because he was banned from several well-known casinos. Later on, most of the casinos started using 4 decks for their games. That's how the system introduced by Al was not working at all.

It was obvious that some modifications were necessary. Al read a lot of information about counting cards and he checked out many systems. When he finally found what the missing part was, he had to stop playing again because he was banned again from most of the casinos. Counting card was never well accepted in most of the casinos. In 1970 he introduced his method of team play.

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