Card counting isn’t illegal, as there are no federal or state laws against it. Neither would you be incarcerated for counting cards. However, before you head to the nearest casino and try your hand at card counting, you should read this.

When used in certain ways, counting puts those who use it at an advantage play. When this happens, it is considered wrong, and various casinos frown against it. More so, many casinos take a step forward to curb card counting by catching perpetrators. The big question now is how do casinos catch card counters? In this web-page, we highlight how casinos catch card counters. Hold unto your seat and keep reading.

How Casinos Catch Card Counters

Card counting often leads to severe hits to casinos. Hence, they get prickly when it comes to handling “card counters.” For starters, counters can go alone or in teams. In both cases, the casino devises different ways to fish them out.

Article continues below this advertisement

That aside, certain mannerisms peculiar to card counters alert the casino of their presence. We picked the different basis casinos typically use to spot a card counter:

  1. They employ expert counters to watch players from the security panel.
  2. They monitor the player’s demeanour. Things like how serious the player is if they are taking drinks and if they are chatty can serve as telltales.
  3. The casino watches how much the player bets on the first round. Typically, counters bets minimum at the start of a new round after the dealer shuffles the cards.
  4. They explore how the players bet on the subsequent rounds. Often, card counters have to bet specific ways to keep up with the scheme.
  5. They shuffle the cards after the player has tendered large bets to see their reactions.
  6. They notice the players that don’t tip.
  7. When the player leaves the table for a call or whatever when the counts get negative.
  8. The casino notices that you often need to be more relaxed or slippery.

Aside from the tells a probable card counter shows while playing at a table, casinos also take other measures to catch counters, including:

  • Casinos use facial recognition software to uncover if a player is a known card counter.
  • Often during a blackjack game or after, they employ former card counters to analyze players’ gameplay.
  • Most casinos have access to an extensive database of known counters, so they compare photos.
  • They also make use of counter catcher software for detecting card counters.
  • The casino analyzes the video of the suspected card counter. If proven guilty, they are banned from the casino’s premises.

Besides looking out for solo counters, casinos also look out for card counting teams. These teams are very destructive and are treated as such. Often, casinos spot professional card counter teams like this by watching the surveillance for players who signal to themselves and make large bets. As with solo card counters, the casino checks with other casinos to see if they have seen the same team.

How Can a Casino Be Sure a Player Is Counting Cards?

Before a casino can ban a suspected card counter, the casino must be sure the player is a card counter. On that note, the casino has to have a dependable tool. Most casinos own this tool and input the required details to ensure their suspects are actual card counters, not regular players.

That said, the above list only sometimes gives definitive proof. As a result, software and other tools are often used to ensure they aren’t banning players based solely on a guess or pure coincidence. So, sometimes you’re better off using an established guideline, like a guide to safe casino online gambling from Arabic Countries.

Article continues below this advertisement

What Happens When a Casino Catches a Card Counter?

Most casinos’ joint go-to decision when they catch a card counter is to ban them from the casino’s premises. If it is the card counter’s first time, they are typically forbidden from playing. However, if the card counter is caught counting cards again, the casino’s often press fraud/theft charges.

Sometimes the casino even gets law enforcement involved. When this happens, the police arrest them, and they are typically banned from the casino. Also, they can be charged with felony fraud. This involvement could lead to incarceration at the card counter, which might come with huge fines.

The fine a card counter gets varies. For instance, the judge might assign the conduct under a misdemeanour in Las Vegas. A misdemeanour is typically punishable by six months in jail and a fine of a thousand dollars. While if it is considered a gross misdemeanour, the card counter might spend a year in jail and have to pay a fine of $2,000

Is Card Counting a Real Threat to Casinos?

Well, not really. Typically, most card counters are semi-professionals or merely need to be better. As a result, the casino usually makes more money from them than actually losing to them. And if they are good at counting while playing at a blackjack table, they are generally bad at other games.

What’s more, most modern casinos have devised countermeasures to limit the profit card counters have access to. And less sophisticated casinos often work with rules.

However, this strategy does not threaten casinos because they have measures to check it. If casinos didn’t take countermeasures and ran solely on the standard rules, things might go overboard. Hence, casino managers would have to watch their backs.

How Many Good Cards Counters Are There?

Most casinos have defences against card counters in blackjack armed to the teeth, so they must be a lot, right? Well, no. The card counters that can inflict much damage are few.

Several millions of people have been introduced to this strategy. It is everywhere on the media and internet—nearly ubiquitous. On that note, it is possible to assume that professional card counters must also be in their thousands. However, that’s not the case.

The majority of the card counters are novices and semi-professional. For example, the rookie loses as much money as the average blackjack player would due to flimsy mistakes with a deck penetration. And the semi-professionals often break even at best. The professional card counters that have mastered the system and its nuances are in their hundreds. Plus, their presence is limited in most casinos as well.

Regardless, casino managers view this strategy as an enormous threat that needs to be mitigated. This step leads to them reducing blackjack decisions and taking what most people will say make blackjack fun.

Final Thoughts

Card counting is a legal move that is often used illegally. And when casinos see an activity that can dump them into losses, it is only natural that they frown at it. On this note, casinos have taken several countermeasures to ensure they are one step ahead of any player involved in this act of cheating. And when culprits are found, they often involve law enforcement.

However, we know this strategy is only a real threat because a few professional card counters have mastered shuffle tracking. The steps to counteract this strategy often lead to other equally lousy side effects. But who knows what will happen if the counting of cards is left to run?

The balance between preventing counting and keeping the blackjack going is thin. If the countermeasures keep getting tighter, the blackjack revenue of casinos will inevitably get smaller. Many casinos are trying to find the right spot to stand in all of this, and we hope they do.

Don’t miss another story! Get the Island’s latest news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up to our daily newsletter here.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.

Join our daily newsletter