If you are playing blackjack and similar casino games, you have probably heard about card counting, which is a strategy that can help the players determine the odds if the next hand will bring a win to the dealer or to the player. Card counters are experienced players who are able to play and bet with low chances of losing. We need to mention that this isn’t illegal, but sometimes they can have a bad influence over the other players, who are trying to predict their odds by making possible combinations of the cards that remain, so they can optimize the winning.
Card counters can make big money from this action, and that’s the main reason why the casinos are trying to stop them, so they can increase the chances for the regular players. You don’t have to be an expert in blackjack and other games of luck to see that skilled players usually use some tactics to win bigger.
In order to understand better what exactly is card counting, we will try to explain it first. The counters track the high and low cards because the high cards can bring big wins, but low is increasing the chances for a good hand, and that helps them to predict the possible outcome. Even though it’s not illegal, many casinos think it’s cheating, and they try to spot them, and then remove the card counters from the game. It’s not enough to see them – casinos consider them as cheaters and they are doing their best to stop them, using some of these tricks and methods:
1. Follow who will rise the bets
When the minimum bet is some low amount, and some player is increasing it a lot, they are detecting the bet spreads, and follow the player, to see if they somehow manipulate, or try to bluff the other players. The casino workers are usually aware of this predictable tactic, and it’s easy for them to spot the counter, and do whatever it needs to be done, so the game can continue without problems.
2. Who is making huge buy-ins
Another way to spot these “cheaters” is to track their buy-ins. This action grabs a lot of attention, and they can see what’s happening, without having to follow them a lot. Many players choose to play online casinos on websites for more details check here, thinking they won’t spot their weird behavior, but the truth is, sometimes the system is able to mark all these unnatural movements and ban the player until further notice.
3. Investing in shuffling machines
This device is named a continuous shuffling machine, and many casinos refer to it as CSM. The dealer is returning the used cards to the deck, so the machine can shuffle it, to avoid any possible manipulation. This action makes the counting almost impossible, and the counters need to remember an unlimited number of combinations, so they can try to “hack” it.
4. Forbid the action named wonging
The author Stanford Wong made the action named wonging popular between the counters. The player doesn’t sit on the table, until they count enough cards from the side, and then join the game at the right moment, so they can have the odds on their side. Most of the casinos have banned this thing, by forbidding entries in the middle of the game. The player should wait until the game is done, so they can join the next hand.
5. Replacing the dealers
The people who work at the casinos have a full right to switch the dealers, so the next one will shuffle the cards in a different way, and the counters will lose track of the counting. This is more prevention than a solution, and no one will be banned or removed from the game because of a suspicion.
6. Offering a drink or food
If the workers see someone who is counting the cards, they will try to remove the player from the game, by offering a free drink or meal and follow them to the restaurant. They will interrupt the person with their offer, and the meal is usually something very expensive, and most of them will accept that, thinking that they are special.
7. Increasing the number of shuffles
The casino has a full right to require an exact number of shuffles before dealing the cards. The person named pit-boss, who often walks through the tables, also has a right to ask for an additional shuffle if they see a suspicious person who is counting. This will make them lose track of it, and get the game back to normal until the same person tries to do the same again. If that happens, they will perform some of the measures we mentioned above, to stop them.
8. Detecting the players who do that
The counters are often experienced gamblers who know what they do and what they want to accomplish, so it’s expected that some casinos have a database of all the players who are more likely to do that. They may have detailed records of every player who is using their services, and exactly know who will try to count, to increase the chances, and who they need to monitor more carefully.
Blackjack and every other similar game, and also other casino games, should be considered as an entertaining activity. Some people take them very seriously, but not everyone is able to be a professional player. You must know how much you can afford before you enter a real-life or online casino. Trying to over smart them is not always the smartest movement you can make. They will always be one step ahead of you, trying to predict what you plan to do.
With the global rise of online casinos, we can say that card counting is almost impossible, but if the player is using some of the predictable methods to turn the odds on their side, the software will ban them immediately. Fair playing should be your priority, and if you see that gambling doesn’t work for you, it’s better to find another way to entertain yourself.