Casino Countermeasures - Be on Guard

Since the first published book referred to card counting, casinos have made a long way and a lot of tricks were invented by gambling houses to prevent card counters to win their money at blackjack tables.

The first steps were changing the number of decks, because it was absolutely necessary to do due to the new book which was published by Edward O. Thorp. The name of the book was "Beat the dealer", and a smart man who read it in a proper way and made correct conclusions out of the material, could tear into pieces any casino which offered blackjack as one of games available.

That's why casinos had to make an urgent decision which somehow disabled card counters to remember the score and to win huge money in blackjack.

The following steps were also rather efficient: in order to avoid "wonging" counters casino entered the rule of "no mid-shoe entry", which made wonging impossible to apply.

At the end of millennium and up to the present day casinos considerably widened their arsenal enabling them to check out and to ban card counters or people who tend to be such ones. The list of devices and methods is as following:

  • Those who are suspected to be card counters are harassed by casino staff. The girls which serve cocktails, the music or "accidental" interlocutors may easily break a counter's concentration.
  • The deck penetration is tending to be minimum, to prevent developing of a high count during the whole game.
  • Identification of card counters, and exchanging photos between the casinos to warn each other of if a card counter enters a casino.
  • "Smart" tables which can identify a card counting system if a player uses such one (for example, popular systems like MindPlay).
  • Heuristic systems, which keep a track on player's bets and basing on his bet variation find out a card counter by large varieties of bets according to the count.
  • Sometimes a dealer may just shuffle a deck if a player increases his bet considerably - it's a true sign of a high count which will end in a money loss for casino
  • Splitting, Doubling down and other rules are varied in order to influence the whole betting strategy.
  • Forcing the player not to change his bet during the game, or flat-betting.

That's the main points which can be met nearly in any casino. How fair it is - it's up to you to decide, as card counting is NOT cheating, but they don't make difference between the two (besides, about the ways of cheating you can see in the chapter called Card counting vs cheating.