The Uston SS is a complex, multi-level system for counting cards aimed at professional gamblers who have a deep understanding of card counting. Created by some of the most famous blackjack players in history, the Uston SS Count is a powerful method for eliminating the small house edge in this game and offering players a sufficient advantage to generate solid profits over time.
It bears the name of its creator, the legendary player and masterful card counter Ken Uston who was one of the first people to successfully exploit the idea of team card counting. Uston, who had made millions of dollars from his blackjack skills, was banned from casinos around the world but this did not stop him from developing and perfecting various strategies for card counting. After introducing the Uston Advanced Plus-Minus and the Uston Advanced Point Count in his book Million Dollar Blackjack, he was seeking to devise a new system that would be equally strong but without this high level of complexity.
Eventually, Uston joined forces with other successful blackjack players, Arnold Snyder and Sam Case, and the Uston SS Count was born. It was first published in 1986 and although SS stands for Strongest and Simplest, the system can hardly be described as simple. Many blackjack players, especially those who have only tried basic counts such as the Hi-Lo or the Ace/5 Count, struggle to even understand it. This system was clearly developed with experienced blackjack pros in mind.
The Uston SS Card Counting System Fundamentals
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Uston SS System
Ken Uston’s Strongest and Simplest system is the easiest, yet an advanced method for counting cards. Although it is a level-3 system, is takes the Aces into account so players are not required to track them separately. More importantly, the Uston SS Count is an unbalanced system and there is no need to estimate the so-called true count. Overall, this is a professional and straightforward system for experienced counters and it works best with basic strategy and a good betting spread.
Obviously, the Uston SS was not intended for beginners. In fact, many blackjack pros would probably find it too complex for actual application in real-life games. Theoretically, the system is easy to understand but keeping a negative count with five different numerical values (+/-1, +/-2, and +3) is quite the challenge. This is why players need a lot of practice before they decide to actually use this method to gain an edge when playing blackjack.
When used correctly, this method not only eliminates the house edge but it also promises a player’s advantage of nearly 2%. The variance with the Uston SS is lower than on a simpler system but players who are confident in their counting skills can improve their odds even more by tracking the Aces. Keeping a side count, whether it is for Aces or for any other type of card, is quite difficult but it is possible.
Moreover, players should know that most of the time, the running count will be negative. So, they will be betting the minimum for a long time. If the count rises from -2 to +3, however, and they place a bet that is several times the amount wagered so far, the casino staff will get suspicious. To avoid that, good counters also apply camouflage betting – something Ken Uston himself was a true master of.
In addition, this method could be applied to various pitch and shoe games. To maximize their profits, players should look for blackjack variations with more favorable rules – 3:2 payout for player blackjack rather than 6:5, dealer stands on all 17s, Surrender allowed, etc.
The Uston SS is an incredibly powerful and accurate system for counting cards in blackjack. However, it is not for those who are just making their first steps into the world of counting. This method requires a lot of practice, dedication, and a strong understanding of basic strategy and the main principles of card counting.