Al Francesco Card Counting Team

Al Francesco is a well-known blackjack player and expert, a leader of the successful blackjack team of 1970s, the person who developed the concept of team play at blackjack and the strategy of Big Player. He was the one who accepted Ken Uston at the beginning of his career and taught card counting to him; MIT blackjack team, as well as Tommy Hyland's one, used Al Francesco's concept of Big Player for winning money at blackjack.

The list of Al Francesco's achievements can be easily continued: in 2003 he had become one of 7 initial members of the Blackjack Hall of Fame for his contribution to the game. Really, blackjack card game had changed forever after Al Francesco's coming to the gambling world.


Al Francesco had always been interested in the game of blackjack: as far as it is known, he played this game since early ages and won some money which was enough for his living. Only when Al moved to California in 1963, he decided to systemize his gambling somehow: he read the book of Edward Thorp Beat the Dealer and began using the strategies described there. Soon, Al Francesco understands that it really works!

But nothing is endless, and casinos could not stay indifferent to his big winnings: Al was banned from visiting casinos and did not play blackjack for 8 years afterwards.

Coming back to the game, Al Francesco uses Revere's system though it was not perfect; the right decision had come very soon: he should find a new strategy to beat blackjack! The concept of team play was born in such a way.

Blackjack Team

Al Francesco gathered his own blackjack team in 1971: 7 people were the members of it and they used the big player strategy where 6 players were card counters and the 7th one - a big player who made bets. Such a scheme perfectly worked till 1977 when Ken Uston published his book The Big Player: being the ex-member of Al Francesco's team, Mr. Uston knew all its secrets perfectly and revealed them in his book.

Francesco's team consisted of 21 members at that moment already, and all of them were banned from casinos after this book's publishing.

Today the father of team play does not play blackjack anymore: he devotes his time to his other interests, including horse-racing.

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