Card counting is an old trick and one that the casinos all know about. Don’t think they don’t realize you’re doing it! The method of using deduction to predict what cards a dealer has requires a lot of focus, and those who are suspected of doing it are usually asked to leave the premises pretty quickly.
But can you still count cards in 2020? And have casinos taken measures to stop you? Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of this practice, and consider whether it’s really possible to count cards in 2020.
How Does Card Counting Work?
In table games that involve some level of skill, it is possible to predict what cards are remaining in a deck. In card games like blackjack, it is, therefore, possible to dismiss a number of card combinations in order to make a more informed decision when betting against a dealer.
Put simply, if you know what cards the dealer definitely doesn’t have, then you can be more confident in your bet.
A player will remember what cards have been dealt so far, remove them from the deck in their mind, and calculate which bet offers the best odds. It’s not easy to do, but for someone with good memory and a mathematical mind, it’s entirely possible.
Precisely because it is possible, and because it reduces the house’s chance of winning the bet, casinos don’t like it. They don’t like it one bit!
You (Probably) Can’t Count Cards Online
Because online casinos give users the privacy of their own home, and the time they need to do real calculations, measures have been taken to crack down on card counting. In most instances, though not all, online casinos use a separate deck every time the dealer deals.
Instead of using a single deck, or even two decks, the deck is completely replaced every single time they deal a card. That makes it completely impossible for somebody to count cards, as the chances of a particular card being dealt (or the dealer having a particular card) doesn’t change.
So, if you’re looking to count cards in an online game, you probably shouldn’t bother. This is equally true with live online casino games, where you view a game taking place in a land-based casino through a live stream. Dealers will be given new decks every time they deal a card, and while it probably makes packing the decks away more complicated, it does mean you can’t have the upper hand over the house!
Casinos Still Don’t Like It, and They’re Cracking Down
Casinos really don’t like you counting cards, and just like changes have been made in online casinos, land-based casinos have started making changes to ensure you can’t beat the system. They’re even using technology.
First of all, big casinos are using facial recognition technology. This means that if you get banned from the casino, it’s extremely unlikely – impossible, even – that you will ever be welcome back. The facial recognition technology means they’ll log you as banned, and if you try and enter again in the future then you’ll be turned away immediately. This serves as a deterrent to casino enthusiasts who don’t want to lose out on being able to visit their favorite casino.
Secondly, the cameras that recognize your face are also there to act as CCTV. You can bet that big casinos have teams of people watching everything you do in a casino. If they think you’re focusing particularly hard during a game of blackjack, then they’ll take extra measures to ensure you can’t continue counting cards. If they believe simply that you are counting cards, then it’s more likely they’ll just throw you out!
However, casinos are likely to give you the benefit of the doubt and might employ different tactics to stop you from counting. This might involve the waitresses who roam around the casino offering you refreshments. If a camera has caught you looking particularly focused, they may send a waitress to ask you questions or offer you a drink. In no time, you’ll have forgotten what you were doing and time will be running out for you to make your bet.
Waitresses are trained to spot this too and are told to regularly interrupt gamers during card games to ensure that they can’t beat the system. Sure, it’s a mean tactic, but it works!
Well, Is It Still Possible?
Technically, yes. It is still possible to game the system and to count cards in 2020.
Is it likely you will be able to, though? Probably not.
With the measures mentioned above being implemented in an increasing number of smaller casinos, it’s harder than ever to count cards. You might be able to do it, but it will take years of training to become a master at it. And, by then, they might have introduced even newer measures to stop you!