About "cheating casinos" at blackjack....

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TheWhale
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29 Mar 2005, 2:30 pm

The general description for this discussion group asks if you count cards or otherwise "cheat casinos." I don't know why it is considered "cheating."

For one thing, counting cards is work. It has to be coupled with sound betting practices. Furthermore, you have to be smooth enough at it to not be detected by the dealers. Problem is that I know several dealers and they all know how to count cards better than most counters :)

It is not cheating. If there is a cheater, it is the house which always adjusts the rules to give it a slight statistical edge. The entire point of counting is to help a player increase his bets when the window of opportunity, a count in his favor, and the right hand, dictates.

By betting more when things are in his favor, the counter makes up for what he loses the rest of the time. Really good counters manipulate the different chips to make it appear that they aren't really increasing their bets when they really are.

The fewer decks played, the wider the windows of opportunity to profit.

I was in Vegas in February for a conference and spent two hours at a nearby casino, finding a table in which the dealer used only two decks and usually dealt halfway through them before shuffling. Two hours at this ten-dollar table produced $150 for me but it was really mind-numbing and exhausting. I could not do that for a living and besides, it is really hard to do it for long and not be noticed.

I count a little differently than most and that adds to the stress of doing it without being detected.

And I have to admit that raising my bets to (30-50) dollars when the count was good was more stressful than I need. I would much rather play the horses. A Blackjack career would probably kill me with an ulcer!

Jerry Newport



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29 Mar 2005, 5:20 pm

I wouldn't think card counting to be cheating. The casino's
may see otherwise, but I say it is counting the odds against
to the odds in your favor. I would play 21 and always win
because I can play the odds better.
Nerve racking, Yes! This only applies if you exceed
$20 per bet. I start with $20 and make $1 increment bets.
"never spend you winnings" and "stop when you spent your
original $20", and most of all have fun rotating tables, the
casino's just LOVE THAT!(UH-UH THEY MAY SAY).



kokopelli
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02 Dec 2017, 2:06 pm

TheWhale wrote:
The general description for this discussion group asks if you count cards or otherwise "cheat casinos." I don't know why it is considered "cheating."


It's not cheating. The casinos don't like it because they think it works against them. They have the option of deciding whether or not you can stay there and play.

I read once that some casino on the east coast explicitly did allow card counting for a while. People would even show up with pads of paper to help them keep count. The funny thing is that these rank amateurs at counting made enough mistakes that the card counting didn't help them win. To take advantage of counting cards, you supposedly have to play flawlessly.



GiantHockeyFan
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18 Dec 2017, 10:43 am

My brother is an expert card counter and was been asked to leave too many casinos to count. I always wondered why Casinos don't just take steps to counter it like reshuffling frequently until I learned for every card counter there are hundreds of wanna bees who think they can beat the house only crash and burn.



naturalplastic
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18 Dec 2017, 11:13 am

Its not illegible (like actual mechanical tampering with a slot machine). But it is fighting back against the house. So from the pov of the house it is "cheating". And some individuals have gotten caught by casinos with pocket calculator type devices stuck the soles of their shoes to keep track of the count at a blackjack table.

I read the book, and later saw the move (starring John Cusack), called "21" about a real ring of college kids at MIT lead by a math professor who did card counting (all mental, not devices) , and for a few years had a profitable run before it all came crashing down. Kind of "Oceans Eleven" meets "Revenge of the Nerds".

An individual who counts cards has a tiny advantage (like one or two percent ). But if you have confederates you can rake it in. This group would have one member play at the table, and when the count got good this person would make a secret gesture to signal the others to join the table and bet a stack of money at the right moment to win. Didn't always work, but the long haul these math knew the odds would favor them, and they made a lot of money for a while hitting Vegas, Atlantic city, and modern Mississippi riverboat casinos in between.



kokopelli
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18 Dec 2017, 1:29 pm

The use of external devices for counting are illegal in at least some states.



remmargorp
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16 May 2018, 9:42 pm

Card counting is a skill, not cheating. But playing the game is an agreement between the casino and the player. If you're too good and keep taking their money, they won't want to play Blackjack with you anymore.



SuperEuroNEET
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11 Jun 2019, 6:25 pm

Sounds like gambling is an usurious arrangement in which the application of skill is actively deligitimised by the beneficial party.