Is Card Counting in Blackjack Illegal?
Recently updated on August 11th, 2023
Card counting in blackjack is considered a form of cheating in some cases. But, it is not illegal to count cards in the game. Being able to count cards is a skill that not everybody has. And, in doing that you are relying on your own skills to get you ahead in the game. Many even argue that card counting is no different to bluffing when playing poker. Statistically, card counting gives you an advantage of 0.5% to 1.5% over the house. Continue reading for more.
How Card Counting Works
Just because card counting involves counting cards doesn’t mean that you need to be a mathematician to do it. Keeping tracking of the cards being dealt per round helps you determine whether the remaining cards in the deck favours the player or the dealer. In blackjack high cards like K, Q, J, Ace and 10 favor the player. So, if after the first round of cards are dealt you find that majority of the remaining cards in the deck consists of high cards then you know the odds at that point in the game is more in your favour.
Low cards in blackjack is 2,3,4,5 and 6. Similarly, if you find that the majority of undealt cards remaining in the deck consists of low cards then you know the odds are more in favour of the house.
How to Apply Card Counting in The Game
The insight you will gain from card counting in the game must be applied through the kind of bets you make. When the odds are in your favour, you should increase how much you wager. This will help you secure bigger wins if and when you do win.
On the contrary, when the odds are in favour of the dealer, you should decrease how much you wager because the chances of you losing to the house is bigger.
Card counting in blackjack is therefore not illegal because it reflects your level of skill in the game which is something that cannot be held against you. There is also no state or local law that outrightly says it’s illegal to count cards in blackjack. So, you can card count as long as you do not use a blackjack card counting app or other devices to help you do so. You also shouldn’t ask another player or bystander to assist you in counting cards.
Casinos try by all means to prevent card counters from using that strategy by using more decks in the game, moving the cut card to the front of the pack, and even restricting known card counters from playing. But, these measures don’t always prove to be successful.