© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Multi-layered space-time block coded systems (MLSTBC) strike a balance between spatial multiplexing and transmit diversity. In this paper, we analyze the block error rate performance of MLSTBC. In addition, we propose an adaptive MLSTBC schemes that are capable of accommodating the channel signal-to-noise ratio variation of wireless systems by near instantaneously adapting the uplink transmission configuration. The main results demonstrate that significant effective throughput improvements can be achieved while maintaining a certain target bit error rate.