Card Counting in BlackJack: Avoiding Detection

Card Counting in BlackJack: Avoiding Detection

Techniques used to camouflage your card counting in BlackJack to avoid getting caught.

By BSC Staff

Blackjack is one of the only traditional casino games where skill plays a major role in the player’s success. Perfect basic strategy can reduce the house edge from 5.9% down to as low as 0.2%. The range exists because basic strategies vary with authors of the strategies.

So, do the edge calculations, but the numbers are also dependent upon how many decks are being played and specific casino rules for the games. But there is one fact that is certain and that virtually everyone agrees with. The main two (2) ways to beat the house consistently is to use Blackjack Basic Strategy and to employ the use of a card-counting system.

Contrary to popular belief, card-counting is not illegal in any casino, unless you are utilizing a device or computer as an assistant. Despite the legality of the practice, a card counter will not be given a new Rolls Royce and a key to the penthouse suite when discovered.

There are a number of techniques used to discourage card-counting that range from making the game more difficult for the player by shuffling more frequently, or changing the stakes, or even changing the rules at the table, to harassing the player and even asking the player to leave.

Casinos have a number of procedures set-up for the detection of card counting. All card counting systems recommend increasing bet size when the card count is advantageous to the player and doing the opposite when the count is negative for the player.

So, the player is sure to be detected if his-or-her betting size is increased dramatically from one deal to the next. An example would be making flat $10 bets followed by a sudden jump to $100 or even up to $200. That would be obvious to both the dealer and the “eye in the sky”. Even if the player is subtle, the casinos now use software to match actual card counts and bets to see if there is a pattern.

What can the player do to become as inconspicuous as possible when card counting in blackjack? Since player pattern recognition by the dealer or software or other casino personnel is the key to identifying a card counter, the player must devise a way to vary his pattern. This is very easy to accomplish.
Vary the increases in the size of your bets. Deliberately inject some basic strategy mistakes into your game when the count favors the house since you are likely to lose the bet anyway. Basic strategy mistakes are contrary to the perceived persona of a card counter.

Avoiding Detection 2

Body language is another way of avoiding detection while being inside of the casino. Don’t make it obvious that you are counting by staring at all of the cards that are played. Take note of them, but don’t stare. Do not act like a human computer or gaming hitman.

Instead, BSC recommends that you loosen up and have fun but don’t annoy the other players.

Be polite to staff members and to the other players, play with your chips, and spread as much good will as possible. Remember, as you are leaving you want the casino staff to be thinking, “I hope that player comes back.”