Al Francesco started gambling when he was just a teenager and today he is regarded as one of the most influential forces in the history of poker. Just like many aspiring players, he read Edward Thorp’s book beat the Dealer and he started winning using this card counting technique until he was banned from casinos. Undefeated, he came up with a system to beat the house edge by using a team; it was called The Big Player. A team consisted of a number of card counters and one player who would be the high roller. The counters were seated at different tables and they would place small bets until the odds favoured them. At this point, they would secretly gesture to the high roller who would join the table and bet big and move away when the odds no longer suited them. His system was effective because the biggest bets were made when the odds were favourable and this drastically improved the win rate. To increase his edge, even more, he would have several teams that each consisted of card counters and one high roller. Francesco’s Big Player system was so successful that they won millions of dollars during the 70s.
Francesco is admired by gamblers for being the first person to use a team of players to get the better of the casinos. He would find gamblers, teach them his techniques and then form teams. He is credited with recruiting and teaching the team system to Ken Uston, who is regarded as one of the world’s best ever poker players. Uston eventually moved on to form his own teams and he infamously wrote a book called The Big Player which spilt all of their casino secrets and ultimately led to a disbanding of Francesco’s teams.
The Drop was one of the strategies that Al Francesco came up with. After reading Edward Thorp’s book and teaming up with Lawrence Revere. These two were more than willing to team up and take down the gambling world.
What is the Drop?
This was another of the many card-counting techniques that were developed by Al. How this method worked was that when he was asked to split the deck, he would tilt it just enough for the next player to see it clearly. The player would signal the next if this were a big or small card.
How it worked
By knowing which card was there, he and his team were able to determine how many cards needed to deal in order to manipulate the play. The only downside to this method was that it needed three team members. He was at one point caught, but he was soon released, as they could not find evidence.
The Big Player
The Big Player is one of the many strategies that was used by Al Francesco. He had such an innovative mind and it is no wonder he used it on cards, a great way to make money at any time.
How He Came Up with the Big Player
Al came up with this concept while watching his brother at Lake Tahoe. He noticed that his brother would place small bets even though he knew how to count cards. Al would then place a chip of $100 without his brother’s knowledge. The dealer, knowing this would then pay special attention to his brother.
How he used this knowledge
After having noticed this, Al came up with the Big Player concept. His team would all go to the table and place small bets. A big Player, who was part of their team, would also come to play and place a huge bet. The dealer’s attention would then shift to the high roller while the rest of the team would count cards.