How Casinos Catch Card Counters And Why You Should Avoid Trying It

December 11, 2022 0 Comments

The math on card counting has changed over the years.

I don’t mean the raw numbers governing the true count, or the edge when you’re at +4 and doubling a 10 against a 6.

I mean that a good card counter will need to avoid detection for hundreds of hours in order to be profitable, but I only need to catch them once. 바카라사이트

In today’s technological world, I can have a description, name, and facial scan sent to a dozen surrounding properties before a good card counter can even be escorted from the building.

Make a mistake once in some Indian casino in Oklahoma and the odds are good you won’t even make it to a table without being escorted out the next time you arrive in Las Vegas.

This ups the stakes because once you’re flagged for the first time, you will have a much harder time going unnoticed in the future. It may even bring your playing days to an end.

Casinos around the country subscribe to various databases and programs that help them manage counters and other advantage players.

That shared information means one misstep for a card counter can be extremely costly.

How Casinos Catch Counters
BOLOs (Be On The Look Out) or info sheets on players will not only have pictures, often from multiple angles, but also known associates and aliases.

It will have a detailed description and other identifying info like tattoos.

Many casinos use Car Tag Readers to let them know when certain VIP guests arrive or just to keep track of who enters and exits the garage or parking area, so don’t be surprised if some of that data is also on file.

Typically, these are sent out regionally, or to casinos that have information-sharing agreements between their surveillance departments, but the info is still widely available to be searched by name, description, or the like by any casino that subscribes to the databases.

All of this is often combined with facial recognition software which means many known counters are unlikely to even make it to a table before management intervenes and asks them to leave.

Most casinos will simply not take a chance on letting someone identified by another casino as a card counter play on their tables, though some will allow a player a little leeway so that they can make their own determination.

In the medium to large casinos I’ve worked, it’s not unusual to walk three or four counters a week off the property.

I’m sure the number is much, much higher at certain Las Vegas properties known for their advantageous rules, and deck penetration.

Literally four out of five of those I walk off the casino floor will have been identified off a BOLO. They messed up once and now we have got them again.

But the fact of the matter is, counting cards is a mathematical game. You can only change your play so much before it erodes all your profit.

Some ways of playing are unavoidable.

And that’s what we look for.

The Math That Gives Counters An Edge Is Also Used To Catch Them
Card counting is at its heart a very simple proposition.

Bet more when the remaining cards are in your favor and bet less, or sometimes don’t bet at all, when they are not.

The trick of course is that the casino also knows when the remaining cards are in your favor.

My personal favorite tell is the insurance/16 against a 10 rule. These two play deviations make up almost 40% of the advantage one can achieve through basic strategy deviation.

You can’t escape the math. If you want to make money, these are the two plays you can’t fudge.

Basic strategy says you must hit a 16 against a 10, but the index count for changing that strategy is basically zero.

If the deck is even slightly positive in 10 cards you need to stand. If you stand on 10 against a 16 with big bets out there (a high positive count), you will have my attention.

If you also then sit on 16 when you have table minimums bets out there, I’ll be reaching for the phone.

The same is true of insurance.

While most average players have learned their lesson about insurance being a terrible bet, all counters know that they must insure their hand at a +3 true count.

This leaves them in the unenviable spot of having to sometimes take insurance with a 12 and skip even money when they have a blackjack.

Both are must-make bets for a counter to be successful long term.

And both leave a counter extremely noticeable to anyone trained to look, but there are just as many other tells that will give a counter up.

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