What happens when a casino kicks out a card counter

This just in, house adjusts rules to benefit house. Film at 11.


the circumstances of a casino are definitely clear, and the key condition in this situation is that they don’t have to accept your bets if they don’t want to.


Instead they just shuffle up on you. Once they know you’re counting, you’re done.

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I’m fairly sure that there are counterstrategies there as well.

the pit boss’ body language shows that even he isn’t comfortable with what he is saying/doing. which explains why he seems to honestly be as respectful as possible.

“so, look guy, i know it aint fair, but it’s my job here, i can’t let you win. sorry”

i bet he has trouble sleeping at night.

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I think this is worse. If the shoe size is still finite, you can have wider swings in shoe value. Most shoes will bounce around the middle hot/cold but the outlier shoes can be very big. And if you know that the deck is +30 and there’s 90 cards left, you’re going to bet huge and do well.

They do. Some casinos on the Vegas strip use 6 deck shoes. Other smaller Vegas casinos, looking for some business, advertise one or two deck shoes…

I was lucky enough to sit in on a casual discussion with one of the MIT guys who were told they were no longer welcome in Atlantic City after repeatedly winning large pots. He was able to explain the technique they used well enough that the rest of us at the table could follow it, although I wouldn’t try it myself without a lot more study.

I also remember a quote from Sliders: “I do quantum mechanics calculations for a living. A five-deck shoe is nothing.”

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A friend and I were kicked out of a Lake Tahoe casino for counting cards many years ago. Yes, they were reasonably polite, but still quite intimidating. I still remember the two gentlemen who barely fit into their gorilla-sized three-piece suits backing up the pit boss as he insisted on counting our chips before we left.

They noticed we varied the bet size and also that our insurance bets varied. It wasn’t as if we were raking in huge winnings but we were indeed winning. It wasn’t our fault that we found a single-deck dealer who routinely dealt down to six or seven cards left!

Quite a bit of math involved in properly counting cards and if you don’t have a huge bankroll, relative to your unit bet size, even a perfect player has a real “element of ruin” chance.


There’s absolutely /nothing/ fair about Casinos. Never has been. Las Vegas has always been a mob racket, and always will be. The mob today may no longer be organized crime per se (though that’s up for debate…), but it’s just as much of a racket now as it was then.


Boing Boing needs more copy editors.

Interesting video, but dude worked really hard to try to get the boss to say “We only want suckers to play” or something equivalent, and failed. Casinos are businesses, it’s not about “playing fair”, it’s about making money. I don’t see where the problem is, here.

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Sure. I understand and completely agree with you, but it just angers up my blood that something like this is allowed to exist. It’s false advertising: “HEY come on down, EVERYONE’S a winner at (fill-in-the-blank) Casino!” Except if you win too much, whether through card counting or dumb luck, they kick you out.

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I don’t know what she knows, but my sister told me to never place an insurance bet. All I know is that I could knock back 1 or 2 drinks, sit next to her at a table and come out ahead (i.e. enough to cover my bar tab for the week). When she left me alone I still did all right. Maybe we were just lucky. At least once I had a dealer gesture to me to not hit again; he was right and I won. I tip pretty generously though (again, gambling after 1 or 2 drinks).

EDIT: this was on a cruise ship, not at a casino in the US, FWIW.

It exists because gambling addiction is a mental illness and people want it to exist.

They’re different. They know the odds. But they have a strategy, you see…

(Also, the elderly like to vote, and they like casinos, I imagine)

Not only do they run six decks, they reshuffle about ¾ of the way through. You’re extremely unlikely to come across a hot shoe in those conditions. Single-deck tables of course reshuffle for every hand, but they tend to have lower bet limits, limiting the house’s exposure.

I had an acquaintance back in the early 00’s who was a card counter in the late 80’s and early 90’s, and he said that those kinds of changes made it incredibly difficult for him to make any consistent money.

A good allegedly nonfiction story about running a card-counting ring: http://www.localrogertoo.com/casino-odyssey/

Man, that is LONG. I’ll have to mark it to read later.