Al Francesco - Team Player Pro

Al Francesco was born in Gary, Indiana. From the very childhood he already could be called a gambler: he played with his friends games like Greek Rummy and others - and earned about 5.000 $ per year - an amount of money which he could earn on an "ordinary" day job.

Al Francesco's character

During all blackjack history Al Francesco remained one of the most respected and honorable players ever existed. He is considered to be Ken Uston's teacher in group card counting. In general Al Francesco is considered to be the father of group card counting and team-play, and he always remained among blackjack players an etalon of professionalism and good manners.

When Ken Uston spoke about Al, he told that Al was a real gentleman in his everyday life and relations: when Uston published the book which revealed the secrets of team-play, Al Francesco was the only one who didn't hate him for that and didn't even say a word about it, while all the other teammates were ready to kill their former partner.


When he grew up he continued his gambling career with reading Edward O. Thorp's "Beat the dealer". After realizing and acquiring the information about Thorp's ten-count system Al went to casino to try out the new knowledge as an earning tool. But after less than half an hour he had to leave because the real card counting appeared not that easy and he got a terrible headache.

But Al Francesco was a stubborn person and his next visit to casino was much more efficient than the previous one. His success was so unbearable that in a year and a half he began to get barred by casino pit bosses, who understood that that was not that man who could be beaten by a dealer.

Al Francesco made a long pause and after 8 years he returned to blackjack gaming. But in a month the story repeated. He began to understand that some new way to play should be invented to prevent casinos from recognizing a card counter. And he did it quite occasionally.


The Big Player method of team-play which Al invented and which is familiar to wonging brought incredible results. Al's team earned very good money, but it all stopped when Uston published a book which highlighted this method in all aspects. Casinos overcame it by entering a "no middle-shoe entry" which forbid players to enter a game in the middle of a shoe.

Nowadays Life

Today Al Francesco has entirely retired from blackjack and is keen on other subjects - like sports betting, horse racing and others, but he is still remembered and respected person in blackjack world.