Is Blackjack Card Counting Illegal? The legality Behind Card Counting and How It Works

While it’s true that blackjack is a game of chance – many regular players count it as a game where they can produce some consistent winnings at both the online and traditional land-based casino forms of the game when playing blackjack sensibly. While various strategies help a person play better – and maximize their chances of winning, none seem to have gained as much popularity as the blackjack card counting procedure.

Counting cards in blackjack is a topic popularized by mainstream western media – including, of course, Hollywood. Surely, readers are familiar with ‘The Rain Man’, played by Dustin Hoffman (1988)? This movie popularized the procedure and topic of ‘clever’ people or those gifted at math who can predict what cards the casino will deal with or play. However, such movies do not represent the exact truth when understanding blackjack card counting. Indeed, a rudimentary understanding of math, a good concentration (in some cases, card counting software), and good arithmetic might be needed. Besides this, like with anything else, practice makes perfect.

Black Jack Cards
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This article will look at blackjack card counting, how it works (briefly), and its legality at online and traditional land-based casinos. Enjoy!

Card Counting – In A Nutshell

In brief, whereas there are a few different forms of card counting, the most popular method is known as the ‘Hi Lo’ method. According to Blackjack Apprenticeship, with this method, a positive, neutral (zero), or negative value is assigned to various cards in a pack. Basically: “2-6 = +1. 7-9 = 0. 10-Ace= -1.” Using this system to keep a running count of the deck value, or ‘true value’ of the hand, can help determine how to bet and how the hand will play. It sounds simple enough, but there is always a: ‘catch’. In the case of blackjack card counting, the fact is that many casinos forbid it, and many online casinos use a separate deck for each hand played. This means the relative ‘Hi Lo’ value the deck has will change each hand, making it impossible to accurately figure out the hands ‘true value.’ Let’s now look at these topics in more detail, beginning with the issue of card counting at a traditional land-based casino.

Traditional Casinos And The Counting Of Cards (Is Counting Cards Illegal?)

As the counting of cards gives a player an advantage over the house – many traditional land-based casinos prohibit it. Indeed, the use of electronic card counting devices is strictly prohibited – and, if caught out, can get you into a lot of trouble with a casino, and in some cases – even the law. According to De Castro Verde Law, cheating in a casino is illegal – especially in Las Vegas, you can get arrested if you are seen to be using an electronic or mechanical tool to help you count cards. Please bear this in mind.

When it comes to counting cards without any mechanical or electronic aids – that is – in your head – in Nevada and other places, it is not (exactly) illegal. The reason for this (according to De Castro Verde Law) is that card counting does not alter the outcome of a game. However, as such techniques can, and do, give players a distinct advantage over the house – and casinos are in the business of making money, many casinos have camera surveillance and try to monitor players and see if, indeed, they are counting cards. If they believe a person is doing this, often they will be asked to leave the table – and might even be ‘escorted’ out of the casino and banned. So the golden rule here is don’t get caught – as it is a risky business counting cards at a traditional land-based casino.

And Online Casinos?

When it comes to online casinos the same rules apply. Cheating at a casino is strictly prohibited and illegal according to – De Castro Verde Law. So while the use of various blackjack card counting software is alluring and promises big dividends, if you get caught using such software, you much be in a bit of trouble – and face legal ramifications.

Depending on where you stay, there are no specific laws against counting cards – just laws against cheating. Bear this in mind. Always know your rights if you do decide to follow this strategy – but assert them carefully.

I hope this article has been informative. If it has, perhaps you should read: Blackjack 21: A Beginners Guide To Sensible Betting And Blackjack Game Play

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