Is Using Card Counting in Casino Games Legal?

Gambling is a highly popular activity, and given how many ways there are in which to cheat, both by the house and player, it is also highly regulated. As long as gambling has been around, there have been ways in which to take advantage of the bet maker. In days of old unscrupulous casinos would remove certain cards from a deck, making it impossible to achieve certain hands, and thus greatly reducing the amount they would have to pay out on a regular basis. Or, even worse, some casinos would rig their slot machines to have horribly low payout rates.

Of course in modern times casinos are closely watched by independent bodies, ensuring that certain standards are always maintained. Likewise, however, the bet maker is also as guilty of taking advantage of the house. Simple sleight of hand tricks were popular before the days of advanced security systems, involving a quick gambler switching cards during a game. Although, it should also be said, in those some days of old a cheater would be met with a severe beating, if caught. Today they are likely only to be banned from all casinos for the remainder of their lives.

Card Counting

Card counting is a notorious skill, and well known due to popular culture. Often portrayed in movies and books as a guaranteed way to win at card games, it is in fact a much more complicated and difficult system to do correctly, still coming with a certain amount of risk. The system involves a player mentally keeping track of the cards that have been played, thus giving an idea of the cards that still remain in the deck, and which are yet to appear in the game.

The important thing to keep in mind is that although it does not make the player psychic in their level of prediction, it will, inevitably, put an enormous advantage in favour of the player, helping them know when to play risky, and when to play cautious. For example, in a game such as blackjack knowing how likely you are to get a low or high card dealt is incredibly advantageous. Simply taking an uneducated risk as to how likely you are to draw a low or high card is one thing, knowing that the deck is almost finished, and which cards still remain in the deck, is another thing entirely. Card counting is of course massively frowned on by casinos, and those caught doing it are banned from gambling establishments.

Skill Required

Card counting is certainly not something that can be done by everyone, requiring incredible focus, amazing concentration, and a staggeringly accurate memory. Those who are capable of using the system are aware how much it is frowned on by casinos, and generally will not use the skill to cheat, at least not enough that they are spotted. Since casinos are specifically looking for counters, a user of the ability will often win only a small amount, after which they will simply leave the casino, avoiding looking like an obvious cheater. In this way not only can they avoid being spotted, but casinos mind far less, since the money won will generally fall within what is generally accepted as a normal winning streak.