Beating the System: Count Cards without Getting Caught

How to count cards at Blackjack

Counting cards is a common strategy used by Blackjack players to track the ratio of high cards to low cards, thereby giving the player a great gambling advantage. But it’s a risky strategy: most casinos have strict policies banning the practice of card counting, and casino mangers don’t hesitate to ask Blackjack counters to leave or play a different game. However, there are ways for gamblers to avoid detection while counting cards.

Card counting is done silently and therefore difficult to detect, but certain elements about the manner in which you play can serve as dead giveaways to those who are trained to spot card counters. You must realize at all times that you are being watched.

Examine yourself for the following behaviors:

1) Do you stare at other players’ cards or the discard pile? Don’t do that. Give them a glance, then count and move on. Shift your gaze to the faces of the other players, one by one.

2) Change your betting pattern every so often, and change the amount of money you bet each round.

3) Buy different colored chips, and shuffle them around during play to distract the dealer.

4) Throw a round occasionally. Don’t bet too big on the rounds you know you’re going to lose, of course, but don’t bet too small or you’ll attract suspicion.

5) It will take some practice, but talk to the other players while playing. You’re less likely to be suspected of counting cards if you are spending time chatting with others.

6) Don’t twist your head around as the cards are dealt: that’s another giveaway of card counting. To avoid this, choose your chair carefully – either the first or the third.

7) Don’t overdress. Dress too sharply and dealers may watch you to see whether you’re as intelligent as you look. Keep it casual.

8) Order an alcoholic drink and pretend to sip it. Casinos are watching for those who avoid alcohol so they can stay sober to count cards.

Do it with a dose of respect

If the casino catches you counting cards and confronts you, respectfully do as they demand. If they ask you to leave, do so without a fuss and it will be easier for you to return in the future. If you make a fuss you will be remembered, but if you leave quietly you may be able to return after a new team of workers begin their shifts. Alternatively, you could play Blackjack at a different casino.

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