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Why is Card Counting Illegal?

 

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“Is Card Counting Illegal?”

I saw this question and answer on a message board recently and thought I’d clear it up…

Q: Why is Card Counting Illegal? A: Its simply because you a defying how the game is naturally supposed to be played and if done right, you cannot lose so there is no longer “chance” involved in the game and therefore the house can no longer win from you. It’s potentially stealing. To put it in simpler terms. It would be like someone saying I’ll give you $100 if you roll a 6 with a dice, and you use a dice with all 6′s.

Here are 5 Things you should know about Card Counting:

  1. Card Counting is NOT cheating. Card counting is simply using your brain, like a winning chess player. Fortunately, using your brain is still perfectly legal in the US!
  2. Card counters play the game exactly how the casino offers it. It’s not like using a dice with all 6′s, but like being better than someone else at scrabble. They may beat you sometimes, but you will win more often over the long-haul. Blackjack just happens to be the only casino game that can be consistently beaten EXACTLY how they offer it.
  3. YES, casinos can ask you to stop playing. In the same way that I’d pout and give up playing 1-on-1 basketball against Kobe Bryant, casinos can say that they don’t want you to play against them anymore because you are too good. They may treat you like you’re the bad guy, but the winning card counter is just the rare person who has taken the time, energy, and resolve to master how to beat the game. But that doesn’t make it illegal.
  4. You can make REAL money at card counting! We’ve taken millions from casinos over the years. It’s documented in the movie “Holy Rollers“, there are many professional card counters on our blackjack forum (none of whom break the law), and there are dozens of card counting books that explain how.
  5. You can learn to count cards! Many people think you have to be a rocket scientist or brain surgeon to learn to beat card counting. But we’ve trained hundreds of people to beat the game. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it’s a learnable skill.

by Colin Jones

12 Responses to “Why is Card Counting Illegal?”

  1. Mrivera0407 says:

    Is there a way you can message me the link to that message board? I would like to create an elaborate response to that poster about how ignorant he is. haha

  2. Clown Shoes says:

    Personally I always thought the explanation used in The Hangover is perfect! “Thanks a lot, Bin Laden!”

  3. Matt says:

    EXACTLY. my parents and some friends always tell me its illegal and i wont get anywhere “gambling”. this article gave me more points to back my argument that its not illegal and its investing, not gambling.

  4. colin says:

    Mrivera,
    will do.

  5. Jon says:

    If card counting is illegal then having a photographic mind would be too! To know what cards have been played and whats still left without counting is essentially the same thing right? So in other wards you can’t play this game unless you play blindly with out strategy. So for all you counters and photo graphic memory players, NO MORE! (Sarcasm)

  6. Mark Nouveau says:

    A Birthday Card! Buahahahahahahhahahaha!

  7. Michael says:

    OK, card counting may be legal, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt innocent people. My wife and I were just 86ed from a casino near our home, one where we have been playing every day for years, because the club thought I looked like someone in their book of known counters. They apologized for the mistake, but we are afraid to go back there for fear of being roughed up or arrested.

    Also, your website and materials fail to point out that counters are ridiculously easy to spot and once identified are flyered, making it pointless (IMO) for anyone to attempt counting as a long-term activity or career.

    But best of success to you anyway.

  8. Kenneth Williams says:

    I understand and agree that CARD COUNTING is not an illegal activity. However, I believe it should have been pointed out more clearly that a casino may exercise its right to exclude a person from their property if they so choose.
    I think it is true that if the Casino properly notifies a person of this exclusion, then it could be considered illegal for that person to enter the Casino’s property and they could be charged with trespassing.
    Trespassing is illegal, hence perhaps, the confusion on this issue.
    How close am I to the truth??? Ken
    Regards Ken

  9. Colin says:

    Michael,
    1. Sorry the casino 86ed you from their casino. In my opinion, that’s really bad business to 86 people because they play blackjack properly. Lame that it happened to you.
    2. There’s no reason to be afraid to go to a casino. You have the same rights as any other law-abiding citizen. It would be illegal for them to rough you up or arrest you, unless you were breaking a law or trespassing (which they cleared up, that you would not be).
    3. You claim that counters are ridiculously easy to spot… there are hundreds of card counters collectively taking millions of dollars from casinos from card counting every year. I can still count cards at hundreds of casinos in the US (yes, many in Vegas) using the same “ridiculously easy to spot” techniques I’ve been using for a decade now.

  10. Colin says:

    We explain that in the video: They can trespass you, though it is very rare (and poor business in my opinion). And as the video points out, in some parts of the casino, it is illegal to trespass someone for card counting. I’ve only been trespassed a few times, each time after I’d taken the casino for 5-figures. But it has happened to each of us a couple times. That doesn’t mean you were doing anything wrong.

    As far as getting arrested for returning, I’ve only heard of that happening once, and I ran a team of dozens of people who played thousands of hours at hundreds of casinos. But it definitely could happen.

    If someone doesn’t want to risk getting asked to not play blackjack somewhere, then card counting isn’t for you. But if you don’t mind conflict and want to beat the casino at their own game, it is perfectly legal. We’ve legally made a living from it for nearly a decade!

    Thanks for your input, Ken!

  11. southAP0407 says:

    I always chuckle at the thought of a casino roughing up a card counter or AP using legal techniques to beat them. One of two things will happen if they ever cross the line of looking intimidating a violent to actually being violent.
    1. they will send me a big fat check in the mail begging me not to sue them and possibly losing their gaming license.
    2. I take them to court and they still cut me an even fatter check and bad publicity losing out on current and potential patrons.
    I have been backed off numerous times. Some nicely and some not so nice but never once have I ever felt that my safety was in danger from the casinos themselves. They are in the business of making money, not violence.

  12. kelly unknown says:

    I have exhausted all sorts of organized counts for years. I learned that thier is no way to prove a person is counting card lack of physical evidence. Using ur brain to swing a curve in your favor. Is more camelflodge then a casino hiding one card down to decieve u. Also u brakung out past 21before he does when u both bust and he gets to steal your money. Thier the crooks and getting away from it. We fallow thier set of rules. Play the best we can abidding by thier rules that they lay out. Just using our brains with no tecknowledgy. Tell us were cheating and its illeagal. Cant prove it. But thier rules of advantage is stealing. Thats who should be charge. Lack of evidence prove it. Counting..

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