Keith Taft

January 18, 2023 at 3:25 am

Keith Taft  The High Tech Gambler

Keith Taft is no ordinary professional blackjack player. He studied card counting through books and being incredibly smart helped. He found card counting easier when he developed a wearable computer to do the job for him.

Keith Taft was born in the small town of Cut Bank Montana in 1930 and had no exposure to gambling growing up. His family were extremely religious and frowned upon such sinful activities. Being smart and enjoying unravelling problems and mysteries he completed an undergrad degree in physics and music and went on to receive his Masters in physics.

The Start of his Gambling Career

In 1969 at the age of 35, he had his first experience at a Blackjack table which was inadvertent. Things were about to change when he took his family on vacation. As they were passing through Reno, they stopped off at Harrah’s Auto Museum where he received Lucky Bucks. He converted them to Blackjack chips and won $3.50.

After that, he kept heading back to the tables, but success was far from his grasp, and that lead to him developing George in 1972, a first wearable card counting computer. George weighed 15 pounds and ran on batteries and Keith communicated with this computer via switches he pressed with his big toe. He had great success with George for a while until he started losing and decided to give up on George and computer blackjack technology completely.

Taft teamed up with another Hall of Famer and David was born, and it was much smaller, about the size of a pack of cigarettes. In 1980 Taft developed a genuinely illegal system. It had a video recorder attached to a players belt designed to see the dealers hole card. The law eventually caught up to Taft, and he was fined $10 000 and spent 60 days in prison.

Wrapping it Up

Keith Taft continued to play Blackjack and develop more advanced electronics over the next 20 years, due to it being legal as per the law passed in 1895. He was inducted into the Blackjack Hall of Fame shortly before he passed away in 2006.