Whether you count cards or you're thinking about counting cards in blackjack, you may think twice after reading this blog post!
We'll examine whether card counting is illegal, why players shouldn't count cards, and how a casino or slot site catches card counters.
Do Casinos Care If You Count Cards?
It is not against the law to count cards in blackjack, but it goes against some casinos' terms and conditions.
Card counting is a technique that some players use to help them keep track of how many high and low cards are left in the dealer's deck. It's quite a difficult technique to implement since it takes a lot of practice and experience to perfect.
While card counting is not illegal in the UK, casinos do not tend to allow it to happen. If you are in a land-based casino, you will be asked to leave if caught card counting. If caught counting cards in an online casino slots games site, your account may be restricted or removed.
Casinos see card counting as gaining an unfair advantage, hence them putting it in their terms and conditions. They do not hesitate to remove players that count cards, as there are still many players left at the casino who don't count cards or make gaming unfair to others.
Can A Casino Kick You Out For Counting Cards?
Counting cards is legal in most parts of the world, including the UK. However, even though it is technically legal to count cards, it is discouraged.
There have been many cases where well-known card counters have been kicked out of a casino. When you register with a casino, whether online or in-person, you agree to their terms and conditions. You agree to follow the rules set by the casino.
One of those rules usually refers to counting cards. So if a casino suspects that you are playing unfairly and counting cards in blackjack, you could potentially be banned from the online casino for not following the terms and conditions that you agreed to when you became a member.
If caught counting cards online, you could have your account suspended.
How Do Casinos Catch Card Counters?
There are a variety of ways that casinos can catch card counters. One way a casino can spot a card counter is through other card counters. Some casinos hire former card counters to help spot card counters playing blackjack. This strategy has proven to work successfully but is not particularly common.
A way for casinos to stop players from card counting is by having a dealer that can strike up a conversation. Having a friendly dealer who makes conversation with players can help prevent card counting. Card counting requires a lot of concentration, so it would be hard to do if that concentration was to break slightly with a conversation.
A common tactic casinos use to catch card counters is looking for the typical card counting behaviour. If a player is suspected of counting cards, their betting patterns are likely to reflect this. For example, they happen to bet low if they know a hand won't work out in their favour and bet high on a round when it is beneficial to do so.
The casino can also use its CCTV system to watch players they suspect of card counting.
As we mentioned before, players can get banned from a casino for card counting. Some casinos have facial recognition technology to check if a banned player tries to enter the casino. This technology helps prevent habitual card counters from entering the casino.
Can You Count Cards At An Online Casino?
Online casinos have two main forms of blackjack: live blackjack and online blackjack.
Live blackjack is played against a real dealer live-streamed to your device. You place your bets and make decisions using the interface on your screen, and the dealer sees your inputs and responds appropriately.
It is possible to count cards when playing live blackjack, as you can see the cards being dealt by a real dealer, and you can watch the dealer shuffling the cards.
Online casinos are played against the computer, or more accurately, against a Random Number Generator (RNG).
The outcome of these games are always random, and since the game is fully-automated, the deck can be shuffled after each hand almost instantly. It is almost impossible for card counters to track the cards if the deck shuffles after every hand since the previously discarded cards are put back into rotation almost immediately.
How Do Online Casinos Stop Card Counting?
It is extremely difficult to count cards at an online casino; it's virtually impossible. Certain measures are put in place to prevent players from card counting when playing blackjack at an online casino.
One of the main measures used is continuous shuffling. When a round is complete, the dealer puts the cards into a Continuous Shuffling Machine (CSM) which is an automatic shuffler and dealing shoe. The CSM shuffles these cards with the remaining decks of cards. As the machine shuffles so quickly, it's almost impossible to count cards. The same occurs after nearly every hand in online blackjack since it's not a physical deck.
Many live blackjack games use multiple decks in a shoe, and the dealer doesn't use the full shoe before switching to another.
Furthermore, another dealer is often shuffling cards in the background for the other multi-deck shoe so it can be switched out quickly. This makes card counting difficult as the dealer running the game is still dealing whilst cards are being shuffled, resulting in too many things for the card counters to focus on at the same time.
Online casinos may also ban players found to be card counting; this works as a deterrent to other potential card counters.