Card Counting at Casinos and Its Misconceptions

One of the main reasons that counting cards has become notoriously known as illegal is because of movies and the mob. 21 and Rain Man romanticized the notion that if the casino catches someone, they will be fleeing for their very lives. However, over time there is a more acceptable code that almost all casinos stick with to deal with people and how they count cards; they escort them out and ask them never to come back.

Counting Cards Can Get Players Kicked Out

Bannishment is more sensible and reasonable since people who can count cards are taking away from the very nature and cornerstone of a casino. The house always wins. However, if someone or even a team of people can come in and find the system and break it, the ultimate rule is broken. Casinos make a lot of profit off of blackjack, and even though a small amount can is lost, over time this can lead to more substantial losses.

The question remains though, is counting cards illegal? According to quite a few lawsuits over the years, the law dictates that it is very legal. However, when dealing with any private property, the casinos are allowed to refuse service to any customer they so choose within reason. Casinos consider people who count cards as bad customers and therefore can force them to leave. The only time counting cards at casino tables can be considered illegal is if someone is using an electronic device.

Casinos That Set Different Rules

There are two exceptions. First, Atlantic City has not been able to ban anyone since 1982 except for security threats by a customer. Secondly, Native American casinos are on “sovereign” land; thus they are exempt from specific United States laws. Since this is the case, if they catch someone who is card counting, they can take all of that person’s winnings from them and then ban them from the casino.

Besides the movies, the mob is another factor that has affected how people view casinos and why they think card counting is illegal. People also assume physical harm will come to someone who dares to try and get away with it. In the old days, it is very real that mobs ran a majority of the casinos, especially in Las Vegas. Until well into the 80’s, the mobsters would physically accost someone if they were caught stealing, cheating or in this case, card counting. When the casinos were bought out by corporations, all of the rough and tough mobsters beating people up in the back room came to an end.

Card Counting is Risky… Sort Of

For those that have considered counting cards as a full-time job need to know what they are getting into. Not only people take the chance of being banned but also blacklisted from multiple casinos. The casinos in Las Vegas work together to target specific people, so they never come back to the establishments. Also, people have to have a lot of money to start with and a very trustworthy team to back them when card counting. There is potential to make a lot of money, but the odds are still in favor of the casino and people will lose now and then anyways.

The central paradigm of counting cards is that it is tough to accomplish. Yes, it is legal, but being 100% focused in a busy casino with their many distractions is very difficult. Anyone can learn to count cards; it is keeping track, having a good team and starting out with enough money. This means that card counting can be a job for anyone who dreams of it.

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