Home > Blackjack Articles

Is Blackjack Card Counting Legal?

02 August 2008

To eliminate Blackjack card counting, many US casinos started using multiple decks, cards dealt from a shoe (special container for cards).

Most US jurisdictions do not consider Blackjack card counting illegal. Although, as casinos are a private property, they have the right to ban players, found or suspected of card-counting. As a rule, the host of the casino informs the player that he/she is no longer welcome there. Players must be very careful not to show that they are card-counting. The use of counting or any other electronic device is of course illegal.

All the ground casinos use different systems detecting card-counters. There are “pit bosses” (the on-floor personnel), who may use the video surveillance, computer analysis, and even psychologies and specialists from detective agency that can tell a simple player from the one who counts. There is a special database with pictures of people caught in card-counting, making the monitor system easy to detect them.

Moreover, real gambling halls introduce automated shuffling systems that track the value of the cards in the deck, estimate the player’s edge, and also track and record all the bets to see the probable regularity of them. Furthermore, the system calculates the average errors made during the game while Doubling or splitting (as the card-counters know for sure on when to hit and when to split), and counts the play variation(whether the player sometimes takes insurance, when there are lots of ten-valued cards in the deck, and plays differently when the count is negative). 

Back to articles list

“I must complain the cards are ill shuffled till I have a good hand”

Jonathan Swift