Card Counters Detection

Over the years, casinos have used several different measures for detecting blackjack card counters for the purpose of barring them from playing at their casino. Casinos monitor the behavior of the players and even keep records of suspicious characters.

Special Staff

The on floor personnel of a casino which are often referred to as pit bosses are responsible for detecting blackjack card counters and for monitoring their behavior. There are dedicated staff members who are in charge of surveillance department and sometimes even use video surveillance and computer techniques to sport suspicious behaviors.

Many casinos teach their dealers to count cards themselves so that they can easily recognize other players who do the same. Several casinos even employ special agencies, the most famous being the Griffin Investigations which is known to have a whole catalog of suspicious players. If any player is found to be in the database he/she would not be allowed to enter whether or not they count cards during that game. Most blackjack card counters therefore practice skills that would allow them to cover their behavior to avoid the heat.


There have been lawsuits in the past for allowing the casinos to bar players who count cards. However, if card counting is done in the mind based on one's skills it is completely illegal. Counting card with the help of math is known to be a skill and is not an offence. However, using any device or help from outside sources is not legal.

A case in Nevada had two players using a video method to get information about the hole card. Though the case is different than the essential card counting, it gives enough insight in the law implications.

Casinos are known to be not tolerant of card counters since it gives the players an edge over the others. If they are permitted by the local law they would even ban certain players from entering the casinos. In Nevada, the casinos are private places so they are allowed to ban players for a year or more if the casino feels the player counts cards.

Several card counting players even use measures like disguises and changing their playing habits to avoid the heat. However, casinos make use of sophisticated devices like face recognition to detect card counting players. According to many professional blackjack players, this is not true and according to their experience video surveillance is not always successful.

At one point of time more than 100 casinos use the services of Griffin Investigations to help them detect card counters. However, a lawsuit had been filed by professional players against the firm because of which it had to file for bankruptcy.

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Card Counting

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MIT Members

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