Casino Countermeasures Against Card Counting

Most casinos spread the word that to count cards in blackjack is illegal. The truth of the matter is that card counting is a perfectly legitimate strategy. No United States jurisdiction or statute prohibits gamblers from counting cards. However, most casinos still provide the game even if they know that skilled players can benefit from it.

The reason why casinos prohibit card counters from playing blackjack is because they do not want to lose money. Las Vegas casinos ban card counters from their halls because it is a private establishment and the owner has the prerogative to choose who they will permit to enter their premises.

Casinos have invested a lot of money and effort in trying to foil attempts to count cards in blackjack. Among the newest technologies used by casinos to combat card counting are surveillance cameras, computerized programs, scanners, multiple splitting, rule modification for splitting, doubling down, or multiple hands.

Some states, such as Nevada, are not allowed to implement these countermeasures. In New Jersey and some other states, casinos have the option to implement restrictions on the countermeasures against skilled gamblers.

However, these countermeasures likewise offer some disadvantages to the the casino. Shuflling the cards several times decreases the playing time of gamblers who are not counting cards and eventually it will decrease the winnings of the house. As a remedy for such problem, casinos now utilize automatede shuffling machines. A deck of carrds is simultaneously shuffled while another deck of cards is being used in play.

Some other models such as the Continuous Shuffle Machine lets the dealer return dealt cards to a shoe without interrupting play. These machines are perfect for eliminating whatever advantage gamblers can get from traditional card counting strategies. In online gambling, shuffling is done at the beginning of a new round which always gives the advantage to the casino.

In some instances, pitbosses who suspect that a player is counting cards approaches the player and invites them to play other games aside from blackjack or ban the counter from the casino. In states where banning players is not allowed, pitbosses requires the players to make a flat wager and prohibits them from joining the game in the middle of the shoe. This is an effective strategy in eliminating whatever advantage the gambler will have from playing multiple decks.

Another countermeasure that casinos implement against players who count cards in blackjack is to share the name and picture of the player with other casinos.

In the end, casinos will still be the winners in all of these as they always end up earning more profit than their patrons.

A Glimpse At The Beginnings of Card Counting

Dr. Edward O. Thorp, an American mathematician, is regarded as the father of card counting. His book Beat The Dealer, which was published in 1962, described various betting and playing methods ideal for optimal play. While they may be statistically perfect, some of these techniques are no longer applicable due to the implementation of strict counter-measures by casinos.

However, prior to the release of Beat The Dealer, a few gamblers were already trying to count cards in blackjack. Among the pioneer card counters was Jess Marcum. He is believed to have been responsible for the development of the initial point-count method. Likewise, another popular card counter was Joe Bernstein, who was one of the most feared counters in Nevada casinos. Wilbert Cantey, James McDermott, Herbert Maisel, and Roger Baldwin – known in the card counting world as “The Four Horsemen” – pioneered an accurate blackjack technique as well as a basic method of counting cards designed with the help of simple mechanical calculators.

During its early years, there were successful attempts to card count in blackjack, among them Al Francesco, who invented team play in the game and was the teacher of Ken Uston and Tommy Hyland, who managed the longest-running team in the history of blackjack.

From the 70s to the 80s, as computers started to grow, more advanced card-counting systems came into being. Most card counters have the consensus that a more basic but less favorable method can be utilized to play perfect blackjack for endless hours compared to a more complicated method which is prone to errors.

In the 1970s Ken Uston wrote about a strategy used to count cards in blackjack called the Big Player Team. Using this method, designated spotters are assigned to various tables in a casino. Their job is to monitor the count and alert the big player when the count will favor the player. The designated big player will then join the game, making maximum wagers that will favor them. When the spotter signals that the count has been reduced, he informs the big player to stop playing. With this method, the BP is able to prevent themselves from being in an unfavorable position.

Aside from that, since the big player plays on a random basis, they will keep themselves from being caught by the casino. The spotters, who are tasked with counting the cards, are not making any changes to the size of their bet or strategy so they would not be suspected. The only means of catching these teams is through their gestures.

With this strategy, various blackjack teams have won millions of dollars over the years. Some of the notable teams that have won millions are those run by Al Francesco, Tommy Hyland, Ken Uston, the MIT Blackjack Team.

How To Make Card Counting Work

If you have been playing blackjack for a long time, then card counting is no longer something new to you. Counting cards is a popular technique used by blackjack players in order to turn the odds to their favor. It is not something that you can use as a formula for winning lots of money instantly.

When you count cards in blackjack, you are just trying to predict what kind of card will be dealt next based on the number of cards remaining in the deck. The basic principle behind card counting is that when there is a higher ratio of high cards in the deck, the advantage will swing to your favor. On the other hand, when there are a larger number of small cards, the dealer has a bigger chance of winning.

In order to win in blackjack, the ideal scenario is to have a deck which contains high cards and the chances of these cards being dealt are relatively higher. In this situation, you will increase your bet larger than the usual.

When there are a higher percentage of low cards remaining in the deck, place minimal bets. Conversely, when the ratio of higher cards remaining in the deck is larger, increase your bet. However, this does not mean that you would wager $5 on a hand and $5,000 on the succeeding hand. The difference in the bets must range from $5 – $15 although you need to decipher this yourself.

If you intend to do card counting in online blackjack, it will not work in such an environment. This is because online gambling sites shuffle their stack of cards for every hand thus counting cards will be a futile attempt.

In land-based casinos, you will realize the benefits of card counting as the deck dwindles down. However, to successfully count cards in blackjack, all the cards need to be displayed.

If the next player simply throws their face down cards, then you lost the distinct advantage you have. The higher the frequency of this scenario, the more unfavorable your count will be.

You can enhance your card counting skill by first practicing at a table where the betting limits are minimal. You can look for games that deal face up cards as well so that you can easily learn to count.

Bear in mind that card counting on its own is useless. If you have poor blackjack skills, you would not have any advantage with card counting. In fact, it can even to the downfall of your bankroll. You need to be knowledgeable with the game and must be able to play it correctly.

Should I Stop Gambling Or Try To Control Gambling

Stop gambling or control my gambling is the question you may be asking yourself. A study came out yesterday that talked about controlled gambling as a possible solution to a gambling addiction or a severe gambling problem. This is known as “harm reduction” and seems to be showing some promise.

If you are reading this post, and you are a problem gambler, you may me wondering, or may have wondered at some time if controlling gambling can actually work. You may have even tried to cut down in the past and it worked, but then you slipped back in to uncontrolled gambling.

There is a big debate over this issue, and I tend to believe myself that controlled gambling may work for a while, but then the loss of control can kick in because of the addictive process.

It really depends also how severe a gambling addiction is. If the gambling problem is totally out of control, with credit cards maxed out, house on the line, and total loss of savings, it is my believe that total abstinence from gambling is the answer. At that point, making the decision to stop gambling and sticking to it would be the answer.

Gambling addiction help would be something that you would seek out if you have a severe problem and need help to stop as it is difficult to go about this alone.

CONTROLLED GAMBLING?
For many gambling addicts,especially those with the popular slot machine addiction or pokies addiction, gambling is like taking the drug crack cocaine. The gamblers high is so extreme, that just having “one hit” of some slot machine action can cause a great amount of harm because the gambler is unable to stop his or her self. Frequent visits to the ATM become the answer, and a gambling binge then results in horrible consequences of financial loss and emotional devastation.

The true answer to this question is most likely within yourself. Are you able to just bring a small amount of money or amount that you can afford with you to the casinos? Do you leave your ATM cards at home, and only keep one credit card in case of emergency?

If you win money, do you quickly return to the casino the next day and then lose it all? These are questions that you will have to answer when you ask the question “Should I stop gambling or try to control gambling?”