Card Counting: The Countermeasures taken by casinos

It’s been a while since card counting techniques first appeared, and the first books on the subject were published in the 1960s. And it’s been as long as casinos have been trying to stop it. We present below the most common (ineffective) measures.

The cutting card

One of the first steps taken by casinos. This involves placing a cutting card in the package so that it is never used in its entirety.

Multiple clogs

Casinos have also started using more than one game at a time, although this does not really affect the count if you are using the hi-lo system described above.

Internal counting

Nowadays, many casinos use automated systems that detect what they think is cheating. They scan all the cards dealt and do their own counting. This allows casinos to compare the data of bets made by players at times when the deck is favorable to them. If a player systematically increases his bets during these times, he will probably be asked to leave the casino or to devote himself to more random games.

Chip tokens

Another way to spot irregularities is to put an electronic microchip in the chips, which allows the casino to track the amounts wagered at each table. Yes, it has an “Orwellesque” side, but we are talking about establishments that have been using surveillance cameras for decades and whose main objective is to earn money, not to leave people able to beat them at their own game.

Facial recognition

One of the latest innovations in casino security. This device makes it possible to identify already known cheaters thanks to a database. The cameras scan each player entering the casino, and a known counter may be forced to leave the establishment before they have even started playing. 

At the discretion of the establishment

Unfortunately, it is not as simple as that. The situation needs to be clarified. As we said, it is not technically illegal to count cards at casinos, but the latter view these practices with a very bad eye. What does this mean for you? Well, if you are playing blackjack odds on your side by counting cards, you can easily expect a casino employee to ask you to leave and stop visiting the establishment.

No, there is nothing illegal here. Casinos, like restaurants or any other “business,” have the right to refuse service to a person, at their sole discretion. So, although you are not breaking the law by counting cards, this still constitutes an offense to casino owners who have the complete right to refuse service to you, that is, to deprive yourself of any casino game. In addition, your name and face will be added to the establishment’s blacklist, preventing you from visiting this casino again.

In light of all these elements, you will have to play very finely so as not to draw attention to yourself when you count the cards in blackjack.