Beating The Casino
The idea of ‘beating the casino’ is one that has fascinated blackjack players for generations. There are stories of persistent and highly skilled gamblers that have refined basic blackjack strategy and turned it into a way to make lots of money. The intrigue for most gamblers lies in the idea of sticking it to the big guys, using their skill and wits alone, and making off with the loot.
Counting cards is one strategy gamblers have used to give themselves a slim edge over the casino to turn playing blackjack into a profitable pastime. It is not prohibited by law, so there is nothing to really stop you from having a go at card counting yourself. However, we do advise against inexperienced players trying to card count at casinos as you could be asked to leave and may even be banned if you get caught.
So, if you’re an experienced blackjack player, how can you reduce the chances of getting caught?
1. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
Before playing at the casino you should practice at home until you can count cards without making a show of looking carefully at every card on the table. Staring at cards or visibly looking like you are doing something mentally taxing is a sure way to get caught.
2. WALK AWAY FROM A FAVOURABLE DECK
Every so often, as hard as it might be, you should walk away from a favourable deck. For example, if you’re playing with a deck that’s +5 or more, take a break and go and play something else for a while. This is a great way to reduce any casino scrutiny and will make you look like you’ve simply got lucky.
3. GO AND PLAY SOME OTHER GAMES
Other than baccarat, blackjack is the casino game that gives you the greatest chance of winning. To make you like a little less like a pro, spend some time playing games where the odds are heavily stacked in the casino’s favour. The slot machines will give you a comparatively slim chance of a win, but you never know, you might just hit the jackpot!
4. MAKE YOUR DECISIONS QUICKLY
If you’re counting cards at a casino, you need to have an excellent understanding of the basic strategy of blackjack so you know exactly which move to make given a particular hand. If you are not instantly sure what move to make, and you are counting cards, the consistent delays on your part could arouse suspicions.
5. BEAT THE CASINO, NOT THE DEALER
Don’t sit at the same table for three hours with the same dealer. If your betting patterns follow that of a typical card counter, the dealer is likely to become wise to your tactics and have a word with his or her boss. Take a break every so often, grab a drink (of the non-alcoholic variety if you’re counting cards) and play another game before settling at a different table.