Many gamblers rely on card counting to win substantial sums of money. Two casino games where card counting is most prevalent are poker and blackjack. However, is this practice acceptable and ethical, and what happens if the dealer becomes suspicious?
What is card counting?
Players who practice card counting memorize the cards already played and calculate the probability of certain cards being dealt later to give them an advantage. People use card counting techniques when playing in-person or live dealer online casino games.
Card counting sounds complicated because it is. Very few gamblers are successful card counters and can predict with great accuracy what cards will come from the deck next.
Is it illegal?
Strictly speaking, card counting is not illegal in casino games. However, casinos operators are entitled to ban players they deem to be a risk. A successful card counter can earn thousands of dollars each time he sits down to play blackjack. This notion does not find favor with casinos as they are in the business of making profits and take a dim view of anyone trying to buck the system.
Due to the legalities, a card counter is unlikely to face criminal action from law enforcement authorities. However, the casino operator might no longer provide the player access to its facilities. Card counters should expect a conversation with pit bosses and security staff before being politely asked to vacate the premises in a land-based casino.
A casino’s rights
As with any business, a casino has the right to decline serving customers at its discretion, provided it does not violate anti-discrimination laws in the process. Players being caught counting cards and banned from a casino is entirely within the operator’s rights. As with everything else online, this information could come to light when you have an interview to get a good job and make a prospective employer question your ethics in life.
The online context
Players might think it is easier to count cards at an online casino. After all, there are no surveillance cameras monitoring them and intimidating personnel who want to have a quiet chat. However, that does not mean card counting is possible in an online casino. Live dealer blackjack card counting is detectable through algorithms. Players who win more than the odds indicate have their games monitored. If even a whiff of impropriety is detected, the casino can ban that player.