Is Card Counting Legal?


Card counting is a strategy used in blackjack to determine whether the advantage in the next hand lies with the player of the dealer. Essentially card counters attempt to overcome the house edge by keeping a running count of all the high and low value cards that have already been dealt, based on statistical probabilities that high cards favour the player and lower value ones the dealer.

(This is a more complicated betting technique than customers of sites like bet365 alternative links typically use).

Whilst some card counters have relied on mental ability to keep track, popularised in Hollywood films like Rain Man and 21, most assign a point score to each card based on its value, and maintain a running total.

Card counting is not against any federal or state laws in the US, and is not prohibited in jurisdictions like the UK either. However, somebody does commit an offence if they use any electronic and mechanical means to keep count, because this is regarded as gaining an unfair advantage over the other players at the table.

Irrespective of the legality, though, casinos do not like card counters. All casino games are predicated upon the fact that the house wins more times than not. They are profit making enterprises and, if they were continually paying out more than they take in, then they would soon go out of business.

Card counters affect the natural order of things as far as they are concerned, and, in the eyes of some, are tantamount to cheating, something that the authorities do take extremely seriously during card games. For example, switching cards with another player or adding cards to the deck is an arrestable offence.

Anybody card counting is effectively taking money that would otherwise go to the house.

And, whilst the police cannot arrest somebody for counting cards, that does not mean it can be done with impunity. Casinos have high tech cameras, and other security measures in place, including undercover floor walkers, who monitor every aspect of games in real-time. They are likely to detect any card counters and alert management as a matter of priority.

A guard can then ask a patron to stop playing the game and leave the table.

They could then have them arrested on the grounds of trespass, because casinos are effectively private property. Patrons are expected to respect house rules, and card counters are in contravention of these.

Operators do not need a reason to ask customers to leave the premises, and if anybody refuses to comply, or begins to act in an aggressive manner, then they could be arrested for disorderly conduct.

Card counters will likely be banned from ever visiting a casino again.

And, just in case, somebody is tempted to try their luck at another casino, it is worth knowing that operators usually take pictures of offenders, which they not only keep on fille, but will usually share with sister casinos.

Therefore, whist card counting may sound like a great way to beat the system, it comes with a considerable element of risk. It may be legal, but casinos will do everything in their considerable powers to prevent it happening on their premises.

Bonus: So, How to Become Better at Blackjack?

Card counting is not the only way you can improve your chances of winning at blackjack. On the contrary, there are different methods you can use to become better at this game. Generally speaking, blackjack is a luck-based game and it does not require any specific knowledge or skill. However, that doesn’t mean you can count only on luck. Instead of that, there are certain basic strategies that you should apply and improve over time. Let’s see all the steps you need to take to become better at this game!

Know When to Double Bet

As we said, counting only on luck is too risky. We do understand the necessity of people to risk sometimes. Unfortunately, they unreasonably sometimes double their bet. Do that only when there is a legit reason. For example, we recommend you do that always if the first two cards are 11 in total. There are huge chances you will win.

Anyway, something we actually want to say here is to understand the basic strategies. This was just an example of a strategy you should apply. Your task is to understand which strategy is best in a particular moment, understand whether you deal with a soft or hard hand, when to split the cards, etc.

Analyze the Limit

Believe it or not, even experienced players sometimes forget to check out the limit sign. For those that do not know, different variants of blackjack have different limits and rules. Not all the blackjacks are the same. You may chase an outcome that won’t bring you any money. Because of that, be sure to study the game before you even sit at the table.

Set a Budget Wisely

Applying this tip won’t help you become better at blackjack. However, it will ensure that you do not spend more money than you can afford. Blackjack is interesting and it often makes the players forget about the money they are spending. You must prevent this from happening by setting up a budget precisely. This is especially important for beginners that will probably have to experience certainly losses until they gain the necessary experience. It is crucial that those valuable lessons are not too costly. If they are, you will never experience the true entertainment that blackjack can bring. You will just be nervous!

Learn from Experienced Players

This is a game where you do not play against other players. You are actually playing against the dealer and casino itself. Because of that, other people that participate in blackjack can be your partners. Sometimes, it is enough to follow the moves and decisions that experienced players make. We do not want to say their decisions are always correct. But, you should also follow the mistakes they are making. That way, you will actually improve your knowledge even more without any need to spend more money.


You now know that card counting isn’t illegal. But, you also know this is not the only strategy you can use to become better at blackjack and raise your chances of winning. Analyze the mistakes you and other players make and understand the basic strategies that can ensure you a better income.